School Program
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ECDC offers classes for three and four year olds.  The program is child oriented.  Activities are designed to meet children's developmental needs and to foster social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.  The length of time children are in school is three hours.  All classes take place in either of two classrooms.  Parent Participation, described below, is an integral part of the program.



Early childhood research places a very high value on play, which will be visible throughout the program.  The program activities are organized into an environment that encourages and facilitates play.  Rather than being a time filler or a break from learning, play is seen as the critical learning activity of the young child.  Child directed block play, dramatic play, art expression, music, reading, etc., and teacher directed activities are all opportunities for the young child to interact with materials and people.  Through these interactions children develop the physical, intellectual, social and emotional skills that will prepare them for future experiences.


Arrival and Departure

Morning classes begin at 9:00 AM.  Morning drop-off begins in the playground unless the weather is inclement.  Doors to the classroom are closed until starting time.  On days when we are unable to go out in the playground, parents and children are asked to wait in the hallway outside the classroom.  Please do not drop off children early, since there will not be a teacher available until class begins.  Arrival on time is also very important, as late arrival is disruptive to class circle times.  Parents are asked to make sure that their children wash their hands upon arrival at school.  When the doors are open, parents may escort their child into the classroom.  Children are then asked to hang up their coats and backpacks and carry out their attendance routine.  Departure is scheduled for 12:00 Noon.  Parents, please take a few minutes to read the Daily Activity Board that is outside the classroom door and lists the activities that the children have participated in that day.  PLEASE BE ON TIME FOR PICK-UP! The children often become anxious when a pick up person is late.


Parking and Carpooling

Parking in downtown Walpole is at a premium.  For this reason, we strongly recommend carpooling or arranging a drop off system with another ECDC parent.  Drivers bringing children to school should park in the lot behind Foundry Building.  Street parking is also available along the side of the building.  Please do not occupy the handicapped parking spaces unless you have a legitimate sticker to do so.

At the beginning of the school year, it is very difficult for the teachers to keep track of to whom each child belongs and with whom they ride.  Combined with young children's unpredictable separation anxiety, the first few weeks of school can be very confusing.  To minimize this confusion, teachers are requesting that parents or caregivers bring their own children to school and do not begin carpooling until the second week of school.


Transportation Plan

1.      Parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from school.  Parents are responsible to escort children from their vehicle into the classroom or playground and sign-in their child(ren).  If carpools are arranged, the school needs to be informed of the arrangement in writing to assure release of a child to the proper person.  These written permission slips are then filed in the child’s folder.

2.      Teachers will check attendance against the sign-in list upon children’s arrival.  Parents must call or email the school to report a child’s absence.  If this is not done, a teacher will call the child’s parents to confirm absence within 45 minutes of the start of the day.  If parent cannot be reached, a voice message will be left on all contact numbers.

3.      In the event of a medical emergency, the child will be transported to the nearest hospital by ambulance or other emergency vehicle.  Less severe emergencies may require transportation to the hospital by a staff member or parent volunteer.  A staff member will accompany the child at all times.

4.      Parents will provide field trip transportation for their own child by dropping off at the field trip site and picking up at the field trip site.  Parents are responsible to escort children from their vehicle to the field trip meeting point and sign-in their child(ren). 

5.      Walking field trips are held when appropriate supervision is available (i.e. a minimum of two adults to a class – one adult at the front of the group and one adult at the rear.)  When walking along the sidewalk, children may use a walking rope for safety.  First aid supplies and emergency numbers are taken on all walks.

6.      Written permission from parent or legal guardian is needed if someone else is to pick up child.

7.      Staff members will contact an authorized emergency person if whoever comes to pick up child is impaired.  If an authorized emergency contact is not available, police will be notified.


Children will be provided snack at school.  Snack foods must meet the USDA nutritional guidelines.  Children who stay for Lunch Bunch will receive guidelines prior to the start of the lunch program as to what sorts of foods are acceptable and which ones are to be avoided.  Parents are expected to volunteer to bring snacks for one week during the school year.  The school director will provide a shopping list during the week prior to a family’s signed up week.  We are concerned with nutrition, and, therefore, request that high sugar and high fat items be limited and served only on special occasions.  Traditionally, parents have donated goodies for our holiday parties.  We would like this tradition to continue but would like to limit the portion to one sweet item (a small cupcake or a cookie, for example) and the rest of the snack contributions to be juice, festive fruit, paper goods, stickers, etc. If your child has a serious food allergy, please be sure to discuss your options with your classroom teacher.


Toys from Home

Many children have special toys or stuffed animals that they would like to bring to school.  These prized possessions are sometimes difficult to share or may become disappointingly broken or misplaced when brought to school.  Over the years, we have found that it is best to have a rule that these items stay home.  Under extreme circumstances an item may be brought, but it must stay in the child's backpack.  Once the children are comfortable with school and the routine, the teachers will be sending home a SHOW AND TELL or MYSTERY BOX schedule.  When the appointed day comes, your child will be able to show everyone in the class his/her special item during circle time.



ECDC encourages active participation in movement activities and experimenting with a variety of paint, paste, and other media, all non-toxic but potentially staining.  Please send your child to school in comfortable, safe play clothes which he/she won't have to worry about getting dirty.  Sneakers or rubber soled shoes with straps or Velcro® are best.  Clothing that can easily be put on and taken off, fastened and unfastened, encourages self-help and independence and may prevent toileting accidents.  All children must bring a complete change of clothing to school daily in their backpacks.


Almost every day the children will have the opportunity to bring home artwork and projects they have completed.  A roomy backpack is strongly recommended in which children can place their artwork and notices to be taken home.


  Assessment Plan

  1. Children are assessed upon entry to school and throughout the year.  The purpose of assessment is used
    • to identify any needs or skills that need attention
      • referrals for developmental screening or diagnostic assessment are done when indicated
    • to identify children's interests and needs
    • to determine children's development and learning progress
    • to plan further curriculum and improve program
  2. Progress reports are completed 3 times per year (November, February, May) to describe child's progress and learning.
  3. Observations are done throughout the year.  Children are observed in the natural setting using:
    • formal skills assessment every three months
    • anecdotal notes
    • work sampling for portfolios
  4. Parent - teacher conferences are held with all families in November and additionally as needed (either by parent request or by teacher request.)  Parent input is utilized to develop a plan for the child as needed.
  5. Referral for special education is recommended to parents when indicated.
  6. Parents are regularly informed of concerns, progress, behavior issues through:
    • face-to-face communication
    • written documentation
    • telephone calls
    • emails
  7. Progress reports and any written communications with parents about child are placed in child's file in office for privacy.
  8. Observations and assessments are used to modify curriculum as necessary.

Conferences and Progress Reports

Before the school year begins, each child may be visited at home by his/her teacher at the parents' discretion.  Home Visits are strongly encouraged for all first year students.  A Home Visit allows your child to meet his teacher and allows you to ask any questions you may have about the program.


There will be opportunities for Parent/Teacher conferences.  One mandatory conference will be held in November.  Regular classes are canceled for the November conferences.  The week before conferences, a sign-up sheet is posted on the parent bulletin board.  Parents may sign up for a specific time.  Additional conferences are always available upon request. 


A written review will also be sent home with the children in February.  We hope that this review and the conferences will provide you with ample information concerning your child's development at school.  You are also welcome to ask the teacher to arrange a formal or informal conference at any time during the year.



The staff at ECDC welcomes open communication with parents. 

1.      A Daily Activity Board is filled out and posted in the parent waiting room.  The information on this board can give parents an idea of some of the things in which their child may have participated during the day.

2.      Teachers try to communicate individually to parents at pick up time. Parents are also encouraged to ask specific questions about their child’s day at this time.

3.      A monthly newsletter is distributed at the beginning of each month with any information that is pertinent to parents and children.

4.      All notices and newsletters will be sent home in a weekly “Communication Packet” periodically.   Packets should be checked by the parent and then signed and returned to the file box on the wall in the parent bulletin waiting room.

5.  Teachers make an effort to make sure that all communication is sensitive to family values, culture, and home language when needed.



Birthdays are special events and we would like to celebrate each child's special day.  Please help us by reminding us of the day ahead of time and letting us know if you plan to provide snack for the occasion.  Because of food allergies and other health issues that children may have, we encourage birthday treats to be a favorite fruit or vegetable.  Make sure that you let your classroom teacher know what you plan to bring in so that parents of children on special diets can be notified prior to the day of the birthday celebration.


Field Trip Policy

While not mandatory, field trips are designed to enhance and support the curriculum and concepts being introduced in the classroom.


Safety is our primary concern on each and every trip! All trips are noted on the monthly calendar and a notice is sent home approximately one week in advance.


We make every effort to plan field trips that are relatively close to school.  Therefore, we ask that parents drop their children off at the field trip site and pick up at the field trip site to avoid other transportation needs.


Children will ride in car seats or booster seats.  Parents are responsible for providing their child's own seat, and should oversee the proper installation of that seat.


Lunch Bunch

Lunch bunch, offered every day from 12:00 - 1:00 PM, provides your child with the opportunity to extend his/her day and participate in enrichment activities.  The activities reinforce the classroom curriculum and explore new areas.  Children bring their own lunch.  Parents are encouraged to pack nutritious items for their child’s lunch and avoid candies and other high sugar treats.  Lunching together is an exciting experience for everyone.  Each session of Lunch Bunch costs $8.00 if signing up on a trimester basis or $10.00 for drop-in spots.  Parents may register their children for the whole year or on a trimester basis.  If any slots remain open, they may be filled on a drop-in basis.  In this case a sign-up sheet for drop-in slots will be posted on the hallway bulletin board.


Enrichment Programs

ECDC Nursery School will be offering a variety of enrichment programs for preschool-aged children during the school year.  These programs will be theme based and will be held in the afternoon. A schedule of session themes, dates and fees will be posted on the hallway bulletin board. Notification of upcoming programs will also be posted in the school newsletter. The programs will be available to children enrolled at ECDC and their siblings as well as to children in the greater community.