Policies

Policies  |  Roseville Central Campus

NIDO PARENT POLICIES & PROCEDURES

ADMINISTRATIVE

Two Campuses

Welcome to Hand in Hand Christian Montessori!  Our NIDO Infant and Toddler Programs are offered at our Central (Roseville) and West (Wayzata) sites.

Campus program options, daily operational hours, calendars, location sites, and program tuition can be found on the hihcm.org website.

Programs & Admissions in Nido (Nest)

NIDO Infant Program

Infants in our care can be between 12 weeks and 15 months.  The Central campus is licensed for 9 infants and the West campus is licensed for 6.  This allows for a 1:3 staff ratio.

NIDO Toddler Program

Toddlers can be between 16 months and 32 months.  The Central campus is licensed for 12 toddlers and the West campus is licensed for 12.  This allows for a 1:6 staff ratio.

Registration/Enrollment

Families interested in joining our NIDO community can contact the NIDO program for a tour.  The next step is placing their child on a waitlist for an available opening.

When an opening becomes available, administrative staff will reach out to the parents with a pre-enrollment survey.  Note that while expecting parents can place their child on a waitlist, administrative staff will not reach out to parents to secure an upcoming available spot until the baby is born.

After this step, families are offered a “Welcome to NIDO” packet and complete an enrollment process through TADS, an online platform that is used by HIHCM.

Once a contract is signed and enrollment documents are turned in, a child can attend the program.  Infants and toddlers complete a phase-in process.  Day 1 is for 2 hours.  Day 2 is for a ½ day.  Day 3 starts their full-day care.

Contracts

Contracts are signed and payments made through TADS.  All contract questions should be directed to Jeanne Savitt at j.savitt@hihcm.org.  Families who wish to unenroll their children from NIDO are required to give a 2-week notice.

Licensing/Accreditation

Minnesota legislation requires that our infant and toddler programs (NIDO) as well as our preschool and kindergarten programs (our Children’s House) to be licensed with the MN Department of Human Services (DHS).  If you have any questions or comments, the telephone number of DHS is 651-296-3971.

Central Campus preschool and kindergarten programs are accredited by NAEYC, which influences campus-wide HIHCM policies.

Required Documents

TADS Online Information

The TADS enrollment process collects required and important detailed information about the student.  Parents/guardians sign parent-school agreements and permission for emergency medical care.  Family and friends are designated as authorized to pick up children and as emergency contacts.

Immunization Form

Updated immunization status/exemption forms are required for NIDO students prior to their first day in the classroom.  NIDO infants and toddlers may not participate in programming without completed forms.

Medical Exam Form

An initial medical exam form is required within 30 days of enrollment for NIDO students. NIDO students may not participate in programming after this grace period without documentation.  The form must be filled out by an MD, DO, PA or NP.  An updated medical exam and form are required for infants transitioning into the toddler program.

Other Intake forms

Prior to starting in the classroom, parents fill out required enrollment forms that acquire parent permission for some aspects of care (i.e. sunscreen use), clarify policies and help our staff get to know the children.

 

DAILY LIFE

Building Access

Building entrances are secure.  Program-specific start-of-day and end-of-day protocols are in place for children entering and exiting buildings.

Parents can message staff through HiMama  to gain building access during school hours.

Drop-off and Pick-up Info for Parents

PLEASE NOTE–A fee of $10 per minute is assessed before and after posted programming hours.

Each campus has protocols for dropping-off and picking up students that compliments the programs offered as well as the campus building and parking areas.  These are crafted with safety and convenience in mind.  Families are given specific instructions on this process prior to starting their program.

When parking and escorting children into/out of the building, use the designated procedures to promote safety.   We encourage grace-filled mornings without rushing children.

When leaving your car parked in the lot or on the street, remove all valuables from sight to discourage theft.   Do not leave children unattended in your parked vehicle.

Other programs for older children might offer the opportunity to drop-off or pick-up children at curbside.  There is NO PARKING in the drive-thru/pick-up lanes during designated curbside drop-off and pick up windows for these programs.   Staff members wait curbside to assist children into the buildings during these drop off windows.  If you see staff in these lanes, please park in another area.

Refrain from using cell phones in the parking lot.

Authorization to Pick Up Child (non-parent/guardian)

During our enrollment process, parents include the names and contact information of friends and relatives who have permission to retrieve their child.   If a person other than these authorized people is picking up a child, that person’s information must be entered into HiMama.  Any changes in transportation must be in writing.  Anyone we don’t recognize will be asked to provide a photo ID in the office before retrieving children.

Classroom Arrival and Departure for Older Infant/Toddler Students

The teachers and assistants arrive early before each session to prepare the environment for the children.   When arriving for the day, toddlers are guided through an age-appropriate routine that prepares and cues the children for their morning.  This includes independently hanging up backpacks and coats and changing from outdoor footgear to inside classroom shoes.  A handwashing protocol and a formal warm greeting from staff at the classroom doorway peacefully welcome the students into their classroom experience.

At the end of the day, shoes are changed back into outdoor footgear, belongings are gathered and children reconnect with their caregivers.  Following the departure of the students, classroom staff journal, keep records, and tend to the adult tidying and cleaning needs of the environment.

Please note that staff are typically not available for parent/teacher conversations before or after school without prior arrangement.  HiMama is a preferred way for parents to initially reach out to their child’s teachers with questions and concerns.

Reporting Absences

Report absences on HiMama.  Staff will reach out to parents if a child is expected in the classroom and has not arrived.

Food Guidelines

It is our desire at Hand In Hand to take a holistic approach to educating and caring for our children.  We want to nourish their minds and bodies with quality ingredients. HIH strives to partner with families to inspire our children to cultivate a taste for truly healthy food—food that is healthy for bodies and keeps minds clear for optimal learning.

Breastmilk/Formula/Baby Food–Infants through 12 months old

Parents of infants through 12 months old will provide breastmilk or formula and when ready, baby food, for their babies.  Guidelines for the handling of infant breastmilk, formula and baby food are detailed in our written health policies.  Note that unused breastmilk will be returned to the caregivers at the end of the day.  Unused formula will be discarded.  Bottles should be prepared at home and labeled.  The staff uses HiMama to communicate the baby’s daily intake information to caregivers.

Snacks

Hand In Hand will provide a healthy snack each day for toddlers. These will be—

  • Natural, and often organic
  • Legumes, grains, vegetables, fruit, cheese/yogurt
  • Free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oil

The provided snack is part of the practical life learning experience at Hand In Hand.  Snacks are offered to children during the children’s morning and afternoon work cycles.  Snacks and meals are spaced so that they are at least two hours apart but not more than three hours apart.

Certain foods are avoided or modified during both snack and lunch because of the imposed threat to younger children.   This includes the following: whole hot dogs, whole grapes, whole nuts, peanut butter, raw peas and carrots that are not cut into sticks.

Parents with additional preferences or whose children have food allergies can send a snack from home that follows our food guidelines.

Lunch

Parents of infants first being introduced to solid foods are responsible for sending a lunch with their child each day.  Older infants/toddlers may participate in our “all- natural” hot lunch program.  For families sending a lunch box to school, consider the nutritional value of what you are sending to enable a clear and teachable mind.

Food from home should be free of artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup.  Do not send candy or soda pop.  Avoid artificial puddings, artificial fruit snacks/juices and artificially processed lunchable-type products.

Daily protein and carb offerings balanced with fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are a best practice.  Whole foods are encouraged.  If you choose to send treats in your child’s lunch, consider homemade healthy treats or packaged organic/natural alternatives.  Natural fruit cups (no added sugar), yogurt, fruit leathers (age-appropriate), fruit salsa, and nutrient-dense bars (granola) are acceptable.   Our infant and toddler rooms are nut free.

Cold packs should be used to keep perishable food cool.

Whole Milk is offered until age 2 then 1% milk and Soy Milk as well as water will be provided at lunchtime for all students.

Campuses with kitchens are regulated by the Minnesota Health Department and our school cook/food specialists are licensed and certified.  The staff discards foods with expired dates, documents compliance with any corrections that have been made according to the Health Department, School Health Consultant/Nurse, Head of School and other applicable food safety standards.

Our Snack Options and Hot Lunch Menus are available in hard copy form or on-line and are regularly reviewed by our School Nurse and other nutritional experts.

While we are very consistent with the food policy in our daily practice, there are classroom celebrations (2-3 occasions per school year) that may also include sweet treats. Parents will be notified ahead of time to consider alternatives if needed.

Outside food (like birthday treats provided by families) is not permitted to maintain food safety parameters within the classrooms.

Food Allergies

A detailed allergy policy is available on our website under a separate tab.

Families should be aware that individual classrooms and school wings have individual policies regarding bringing peanut and nut products to school.  These are shared prior to the start of school and updated based on any changing needs in the classroom.  Please be mindful of restrictions when preparing lunches for your child.

Family Events

Families are often invited to contribute to a community feast for our family events.  The tone of our policy—good, wholesome food—will apply to the food served at Hand In Hand Family Events although it will be more relaxed.

Homemade or healthier store-bought items such as banana muffins, zucchini breads, healthy granola cookies, and similar items will be part of these fun events. The idea is not to make unnecessary restrictions, but rather to provide an environment where we can all enjoy and be nourished with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and natural; families’ unique preferences will be respected.

Parent Only Events & Meetings

Food served at Parent-Only events and meetings carry the most relaxed guidelines. While we encourage healthy treats, this is the opportunity to share your favorite cookies or brownies if you wish to do so.

Health & Wellness Policies

Immunization Forms are required before a CH child can attend class.  Each parent must submit a Medical Exam Form or health summary completed by an MD, PA, DO or NP within 30 days of admittance into the CH program.  Health surveys are distributed and reviewed by the health office annually at the start of the year and on-going with new admissions.

Authorization for medical treatment and liability release are part of the registration and enrollment process.  Parents should disclose their children’s known health, learning and behavioral needs during the registration process and on the surveys.

Immunization Forms are required before a child may attend class. Each parent must submit a Medical Exam Form completed by a Physician indicating immunizations and health care summary within 30 days of admittance into the program. A Medical Release form must accompany the registration.   

  1. Parents are required to give your child’s immunization history to the child care provider when you enroll. Minnesota law (Minn. Stat.121A.15) requires children enrolled in a Minnesota child care to be immunized against certain diseases or have a legal exemption. The Immunization Record is designed to provide the child care provider with the information required by law. This or another form documenting immunizations or an exemption must be kept on file with the child care provider. Electronic immunization records are an allowable form. 
  2. Parents keep track of your child’s immunizations, and tell your child care provider each time your child gets an immunization. It will save you time if you keep an immunization record for each of your children. Be sure to have the record updated each time your child receives an immunization.  
  3. If your child is not up to date on his or her immunizations; by law you have 18 months, after enrolling, for your child to have all his or her required immunizations. If you are missing or need information about your child’s immunization history, talk to your doctor or call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) at 651-201-3980 or 800-657-3970. 
  4. If a parent or guardian objects to a certain immunization or all immunizations, the parent or guardian must document a medical and/or non-medical exemption, and have it notarized by a notary public. 
  • Medical exemption:  Confirms that the child should not receive the vaccines marked with an X in the table for medical reasons (contraindications) or because there is laboratory confirmation that they are already immune. 
  • Non-medical exemption: A child is not required to have an immunization that is against their parent or guardian’s beliefs. Unvaccinated children who are exposed to a vaccine-preventable disease may be required to stay home from childcare, school, and other activities in order to protect them and others. 

At HIH, we support the parent’s right to choose the approach to vaccination that is most appropriate for their child’s needs. We strive to create an environment that supports the health of each child, no matter their vaccine status.  We provide daily sanitation of the environment, and monitor children for signs of illness.    

We ask parents to keep their child at home for 24 hours after vaccination to monitor for any adverse reactions, and provide any comfort measures for fevers, etc.  It may be advantageous for parents to schedule vaccines for Friday, or on their last day in programming to reduce the burden of taking additional days off work.    

Handwashing

Every effort is made to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. To promote such efforts, the staff, children and families will incorporate the following practices:

Toddlers learn proper hygiene methods with hand-washing lessons. (Vigorously rubbing hands for 20 seconds with liquid soap and running water.  Drying with a paper towel.)

Hand washing is required by all staff, volunteers and children when it can reduce the risk of infection.  Staff will assist children with hand washing.  Hand sanitizer might be used minimally in lieu of hand washing if a sink is not accessible.

Children and staff wash hands:

  • Upon arrival.
  • After toilet use.
  • After handling body fluids.
  • Before bottles, meals or snacks.
  • Before food preparation.
  • After playing in water.
  • After handling pets or other animal contamination.
  • When moving from one group to another.
  • After handling garbage.

Food Service personnel wash hands continuously throughout food prep and delivery.

Infectious Disease Guidelines

We ask that all children who are not feeling well be kept at home for the duration of the illness. Please notify Hand in Hand about any communicable disease within 24 hours.  We will contact you immediately if your child becomes ill while at Hand in Hand. The child will be kept comfortable until a parent or authorized contact person arrives. With possible exposure to a contagious illness the parent/guardians will be notified. To help prevent the spread of disease, the Minnesota Health Department sets these guidelines as reasons to keep your child at home.  Please reach out to the office or health office with any questions.

  • Fever of 100 degree or more in the last 24 hours
  • Frequent cough
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  • Heavy, greenish or yellow nasal discharge
  • Undiagnosed rashes
  • Overly tired
  • Fussy, cranky, generally not self
  • Untreated live head lice

Medication Administration

Whenever possible, it is preferred that children take prescribed and over-the-counter medicines before and after school with parental supervision.  For medications that are necessary during school hours, trained staff oversee medication administration at school.   If a student needs any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication, parents should go to the office first, not their child’s teacher.  The Medication Administration Form (Forms and Documents Tab) has detailed instructions.  The school nurse or administrative staff review medications and consults with families and providers as needed.

Records of non-prescription/prescription medication that require a medication administration form are kept and filed.

First Aid/Ouch Reports/Serious Injuries

The directors, teachers, assistant teachers, substitutes, and unsupervised volunteers working in a child care center governed by Minnesota Rules, are trained in pediatric first aid and pediatric CPR within 90 days from the start of work and not unsupervised until this certification is complete.  HIH recognizes that at a minimum for initial licensure, there must be an individual trained in first aid present in the facility during all hours of operation as well as on field trips and when transporting children.  Within 90 days of the initial licensure of any new program, all lead teachers and assistant teachers must be trained.

Parents are notified immediately if a child has a serious accident including a head injury or becomes unwell.

Staff may call the child’s health care provider or dentist directly if the parents are unreachable by phone or for medical advice or triage.  911 will be called in the event of a serious injury or medical situation.  The child may be transported to a local hospital for emergency treatment.  A staff member will be assigned to stay with the child until the parents are available to be with the child.

With minor injuries, staff will write an injury report that is sent home with the child at the end-of-day dismissal.

For injuries that might need medical evaluation, a detailed injury report will be completed by appropriate staff members and given to the parents.  Any injury to a child at school that requires a physician’s treatment, and/or the use of any emergency medical service will be reported to the Minnesota Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Division of Licensing within 24 hours using the online reporting tool.  Parents should follow up with staff for any injury requiring medical treatment.  The health office/administration will be available for follow up with these concerns when indicated.

Records of illnesses, accident and injuries, along with any first aid treatment, non-prescription/ prescription medication or treatment given to a child, are kept and filed accordingly.

Nap & Rest Policies

Children enrolled in an all-day toddler and preschool program are offered nap and rest time daily on a cot in space designated for a period of rest.  Children who have completed a nap or rested quietly for 30 minutes are not be required to remain on their cots or crib.  Each toddler and preschooler is provided with a napping cot which, embracing Montessori philosophy, the child can independently manipulate for the nap.  Cots are sanitized regularly by the staff.  Each child provides his or her own bedding, which is returned home every week for washing, or as needed when soiled or wet.  Naps and rest must be provided in a quiet area that is physically separated from children who are engaged in an activity that will disrupt a napping or resting child. Cribs, cots, and beds must be placed so there are clear aisles and unimpeded access for both adults and children on at least one side of each piece of napping and resting equipment. Cribs, cots, and beds must be placed directly on the floor and must not be stacked when in use.

A crib must be provided for each infant under 16 months for which the center is licensed to provide care. The equipment must be safe and sturdy construction that conforms to federal crib standards under code of federal regulations.  An option to use a cot is available for a child between 12 and 16 months old with special permission.

The license holder must place each infant to sleep on the infant’s back, unless the license holder has documentation from the infant’s physician directing an alternative sleeping position for the infant. The physician directive must be on a form approved by the commissioner and must remain on file at the licensed location. An infant who independently rolls onto its stomach after being placed to sleep on its back may be allowed to remain sleeping on its stomach if the infant is at least six months of age or the license holder has a signed statement from the parent indicating that the infant regularly rolls over at home;

The license holder must pale each infant in a crib on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet that is appropriate to the mattress size, fits tightly on the mattress, and overlaps the underside of the mattress so it cannot be dislodged by pulling on the corner of the sheet with reasonable effort. The license holder must not place anything in the crib with the infant except for the infant’s pacifier, as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 16, part 1511;

If an infant falls asleep before being placed in a crib, the license holder must move the infant to a crib as soon as practicable, and must keep the infant within sight of the license holder until the infant is placed in a crib. When an infant falls asleep while being held, the license holder must consider the supervision needs of the other children in care when determining how long to hold the infant before placing the infant in a crib to sleep. The sleeping infant must not be in a position where the airway may be blocked or with anything covering the infant’s face.

Placing a swaddled infant down to sleep in a licensed setting is not recommended for an infant of any age and is prohibited for any infant who has begun to roll over independently, however with the written consent of a parent or guardian according to this paragraph, a license holder may place the infant who has not yet begun to roll over on its own down to sleep in a one-piece sleeper equipped with an attached system that fastens securely only across the upper torso, with no constriction of the hips or legs, to create a swaddle. Prior to any use of swaddling for sleep by a provider licensed under this chapter, the license holder must obtain written consent for the use of swaddling from the parent or guardian of the infant on a form approved by the commissioner and prepared in partnership with the Minnesota Sudden Infant Death Center.

The cots are arranged so that the head of one child is next to the feet of another and vice versa, creating an alternating pattern.  In order to have daily continuity of care, the responsible staff will create a “napping map,” arranging the cots according to this standard.

Recess—Outdoor Clothing

Children should be prepared with necessary outdoor clothing to go outside for daily recess—snow, cold, wind, rain and sun.  HIH staff refer to a National Recess Guide that utilizes the temperature and wind-chill to make a recommendation for the amount of time children spend outside on a given day.

Permission to administer sunscreen is a part of the intake process upon enrollment.

 

COMMUNICATION

HiMama

HiMama is an online parent/staff communication tool for NIDO children.  It includes a daily log, recording sleep, food intake, diapering, and activities/mood.  Parents can track their children’s classroom development.  HiMama utilizes parents’ email or texts to connect parents and staff.  Parents can reach staff or ask question through this platform.

Facebook

Resources and photos are shared in a closed Facebook group, moderated by HIH administrative staff.

Parent/Teacher Connections and Conferences

Meaningful educational connections are built on trust and understanding.   From the initial registration to graduation, HIHCM aspires to build connections between home and school.   Teaching staff provide ongoing personal contact with children and families, meaningful learning activities, supervision, and over-all protection of child’s well-being.

HH staff schedule parent conferences twice per year and include reviewing a written assessment of a child’s intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.   Parents or staff may request a conference between the scheduled conferences as needed.

Initial conversations with campus NIDO directors and staff as well as phase-in experiences also facilitate the transition into the NIDO program.

Classroom Observation—Caregiver visits to the classroom

In keeping with our open-door policy, our deep belief that parents own primary responsibility in the care of their children, and DHS guidelines, parents are able to monitor a classroom at any time.

Our preference, however, is to respect the integrity of the Montessori classroom and environment by inviting parents to engage a formal observation experience.  Observations can be wonderful opportunities for visitors to watch and discover the Montessori environment from a quiet observer’s chair in the classroom.  Individual children can be perceived within their classroom environment and the flow of Montessori work cycles.  Concentration is a primary goal of the Montessori classroom. To achieve this, children need consistency and order as much as possible.    We ask visitors to honor the child’s learning time and the quiet classroom and to avoid inadvertently impacting the teacher’s ability to teach properly and the student’s ability to learn.  Parents, grandparents, and other visitors must be mindful of this upon entering the classroom.   Virtual observations often give a more accurate picture of an infant or toddler’s classroom experience, as children tend to orient to their caregivers instead of the Montessori materials when these caregivers are in the classroom.

Observations can be arranged via campus offices, and guidelines are given at the time of your arrival to help focus your observations.  After an observation experience, if you have questions or wish to discuss your observation, you can directly contact the classroom teacher or campus director.

 

GENERAL

Behavior Redirection

Our Christian Montessori philosophy emphasizes the need for children to have “inner discipline” and “normalized behavior.” We believe discipline comes from the root word “disciple,” which means “one who follows out of love.” Young children are encouraged to talk and move, to express their feelings and be understood.  Grace, understanding, and restoration are of utmost importance. We believe the child will do what the child can do.

It is our purpose to encourage each child in the unique way God has created him/her and seek to help a child to do what is appropriate.

WE ENCOURAGE AND TEACH the following attitudes—

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Resourcefulness

WE WILL NOT TOLERATE the following behaviors—

  • Disruptive
  • Destructive
  • Dangerous

We will redirect negative behavior and talk to the child gently and positively. We teach by “teaching” not correcting.  Physical discipline is NEVER used.

With a repeated behaviors we will notify the parent in writing.  A parent-staff-director conference may be called to collaborate around positive remedies.   If the pattern continues, mutual consent will determine whether HIH is the best fit for the child.  If dismissal occurs, fees will be pro-rated.

In redirecting negative behavior, we may separate children from the group using separation log. We inform parents in writing if such a separation occurs.  A child will not be separated from the group except by following the procedures outlined in detail by DHS below.  Children will not be separated for lapses in toileting.

No child may be separated from the group unless the following has occurred:

  1. Less intrusive methods of guiding the child’s behavior have been tried and were ineffective.
  2. The child’s behavior threatens the well-being of the child or other children in the program
  3. A child who requires separation from the group must:
  • Remain within an unenclosed part of the classroom where the child can be continuously seen and heard by a program staff person;
  • The child’s return to the group must be contingent on the child’s stopping or bringing under control the behavior that precipitated the separation; and
  • The child must be returned to the group as soon as the behavior that precipitated the separation abates or stops.

All separations from the group are noted on a daily log that includes the following:

  • The child’s name, the staff person’s name, time and date;
  • Information indicating what less intrusive methods were used to guide the child’s behavior,
  • how the child’s behavior continued to threated the well-being of the child or other children in care;
  • if a child is separated from the group three or more times in one day, the child’s parent shall be notified and the parent notification shall be indicated on the daily log; and
  • if a child is separated five or more times in one week, eight times or more in two weeks, a parent-teacher-director conference will be called and other professionals may be a part of figuring out next steps.

 

DHS also requires that our parent policies specifically define the physical and emotional behavior that will not be found in our facilities.  We will not withhold food, light, warmth, clothing or medical care as a punishment for unacceptable behavior.  All mechanical restraints (like tying) are prohibited as are any physical restraints other than holding a child where containment is necessary to protect the child or others from harm. Rough handling, shoving, hair pulling, ear pulling, shaking, slapping, kicking, biting, pinching, hitting, spanking will never be use.  Children will not be subject to any emotional abuse, including, but not limited to name calling, ostracism, shaming, making derogatory remarks about a child or the child’s family, or using language that threatens, humiliates, or frightens the child.

Aggressive Behavior Policy

Some aggressive behaviors are very common among children from birth to three years of age. Hitting, pushing and biting may be forms of communication and are almost always a response to the child’s needs not being met or coping with a challenge or stressor. At Hand in Hand, we believe by understanding the developmental stages of the children in our care and their individual needs, we can proactively prevent many aggressive behaviors with a prepared environment designed to meet the child’s developing physical and emotional needs.  

We understand that biting is one of the most common and more difficult behaviors to deal with in group child care settings. It can occur without warning, can be difficult to defend against, and provokes strong emotional responses in the offender, the offended, the families, and the caregivers involved.  

For many toddlers, the biting stage is just a passing problem. Toddlers try it out as a way to get what they want from another toddler. They are in the process of learning what is socially acceptable and what is not. They discover that biting is an effective way to evoke a response from both the other child and the adult. However, when they experience the redirection and guidance of the adults nearby and eventually learn other ways of interacting with others and expressing difficult feelings, the biting behavior ends.  

For other children, biting is a persistent and chronic problem. They may bite for a variety of reasons: teething, frustration, boredom, inadequate language skills, stress or change in the environment, or to feel a sense of power.  

In order to alleviate some of the triggers for aggressive behaviors, Hand in Hand has many practices in place that are known to help prevent incidences in small children. 

  • Quality relationships:  Staff develops nurturing relationships with the children and gets to know each child individually.Staff are given many opportunities for professional development to help he/she learn ways to build quality relationships with the children. 
  • Environmental influences on child’s behaviors:  Children are given opportunities to work individually, and in small or large groups; there is a variety of work and children are taught how to wait to use a “beloved” work; the environment in a Montessori program is often quiet and productive which is very soothing to children; and staff are very aware of and willing to help a child that is feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Targeted social-emotional supports:  Children have a daily routine that they follow which consists of circle time, time to pursue own work, and snack time. Children learn early how to navigate classroom transitions in a way that helps them build confidence and alleviate stress.Staff communicate about emotions/feelings through books and other work, and use guidance strategies to help children learn to calm themselves. 

It is important to note that for the child under 3 years of age, all forms of aggression; hitting, pushing, kicking, and biting are equally offensive. Our responses to any form of aggression will be consistent with the outline below. 

Hand in Hand has developed the following Peacemaking Plan of action to be used when aggressive behavior occurs and/or persists. 

 When a child is offended by aggressive behavior:  

For the offender: 

  1. The offender is immediately removed without negative emotion, using words such as “pushing/biting/hitting is not okay – it hurts.” We will avoid any immediate response that reinforces the offense or calls attention to the offender. Caring attention will be focused on the child who was offended.  
  2. The offender will remain with an adult and the boundaries around how to interact with others will be expressed on a level which he/she can understand. “I can see that you want that truck, but I can’t let you hurt your friend.” 
  3. The child will be redirected to other work/play. 
  4. Staff will complete an “Incident Report” and notify the family of the offender when the child is picked up for the day. 

For the offended child:  

  1. Staff will separate the child who was offended from the offender after using language to help the offended child “eventually” speak for themselves. “You may tell Sarah, “Hitting hurts me! I don’t like it!”
  2. Special attention will be given to comfort the offended child. 
  3. Staff will administer appropriate first aid as follows: 
  4. Assess the wound and if it is bleeding, apply pressure directly to the wound, using a clean, dry cloth, until the bleeding stops. 
  5. Clean the bite wound with a mild soap and warm running water for approximately 3 – 5 minutes. 
  6. Rinse thoroughly, and pat dry with a clean, dry cloth. 
  7. Cover the wound with a clean, dry dressing. 
  8. Should the wound require immediate medical attention; appropriate action will be taken, and parents will be notified immediately.  
  9. 6. Staff will then complete an “Incident Report” to notify the family of the offended child, that the child has been hurt.  
  10. 7. Classroom staff will confer with the Director to review the context of the incident, whether adequate supervision was present and whether the environment contributed to the incident. If changes in supervision and/or environment are warranted, then those changes will be implemented.  

 When Aggressive Behavior Continues:  

  1. The child will be shadowed (remaining with an adult) for a predetermined period of time, to help prevent incidents. 
  2. The child will be observed by the classroom staff to determine what is causing the child to express themselves through aggressive behavior (teething, communication, frustration, etc.)  The Director may also observe the child if the classroom staff is unable to determine the cause. 
  3. The child will be given positive encouragement and acknowledgment for positive behavior.  

When aggressive behavior (specifically biting) becomes excessive:  

Please note: Aggressive behavior other than biting will follow the same process stated below. It is important that all aggressive behavior receive the appropriate response, in order for all children to feel secure in their community. 

  1. If a child inflicts 3 incidents in a one-week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another child or staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, a conference will be held with the parents to discuss the child’s behavior and how the behavior may be modified.  
  2. If the child again inflicts 3 bites in a one-week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another child or staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, the child will be suspended for 2 business days. 
  3. If a child once again inflicts 3 bites in a one-week period (5 weekdays) in which the skin of another child or staff member is broken or bruised or the bite leaves a significant mark, the parents maybe asked to make other child care arrangements.  

If a child, who has been through steps 1 and/or 2, goes 3 weeks (15 business days) without biting, we will go back to step one should the child inflict harm again.  

If a child bites twice in a 4-hour period, the child will be required to be picked up from Hand in Hand for the remainder of the day. The 2-day suspension will go into effect the following school day. 

Educational Methods and Religious Basis

The general education method used by our HIHCM programs is Christian Montessori.  We believe all children are unique and special creations of God and worthy of respect and acceptance of their similarities and differences.  We see that developmental stages in children of all ages are an important consideration in creating an appropriate atmosphere of learning.  Teachers will use the method of observation to design appropriate objectives and lessons for the children.  Acceptance of each individual is of paramount importance as each person grows in favor with God and fellow human beings.

Educational Research

These will not occur without the express written consent of the Parents or Guardian. It is possible that HIH will be a highly visited and studied model.

Environmental Health

Environmental hazards such as air pollution, lead, and asbestos are reduced or eliminated according to public health requirements, by maintaining the property and grounds, yearly inspections, and routine professional care.

Field Trip

HIH occasionally takes walking field trips off premise to nearby playgrounds or walks. Parents will be notified in advance of field trips beyond these excursions and permission forms will need to be signed.  A separate policy is shared with parents.

Grievance/Internal Review

If a parent has a grievance with any policy or employee of HIH, the parent should follow the dispute practice outlines in Scripture. The first attempt to settle the dispute should be done in person with the offending party. If the grievance is not resolved, the parent should take the matter to the next person in the chain of command–classroom staff, NIDO director, campus director, head of school.  A complaint in writing with an answer in writing should be given. If the grievance is still not resolved, the matter will proceed to the Board of Directors of Hand In Hand. It is our deepest desire to live in peace with all people and act in a professional and peace-making manner.   There is a HIH Internal Review Policy in place to ensure truthful and open communication for all stakeholders.

Peacemaking

Beyond our redirection policies, HIHCM is intentional about helping children become peace makers, practice peace and become more peaceful even in the midst of trials and hardships. Dr. Montessori discussed this issue in light of her generation and troubles in the world.  She offers some unique principles, and the HIH staff continually seeks to develop school-wide strategies to encourage peacemaking in our community.

Peacemaking and Parent Communication

Parents in our HIH community are asked to maintain respect and integrity in voicing questions and concerns and in all communication with other families and staff.  We practice “speaking the truth in love.”  In fellowship with each other, we invite adherence to the discipline of believing the best in others, even in confusion and disagreement.  We also invite our families to practice the discipline of repair and forgiveness work when there is offense.

Campus administration will address parents/guardians who are inappropriately intimidating, threatening or belittling in their communication (verbal, nonverbal or writing) with staff or other families.  Initial attempts at peaceful reconciliation will be pursued.  Persistent bullying behavior by parents and guardians may result in the dismissal of their student from HIH programming.  If dismissal occurs, fees will be pro-rated

ICCPPs

Students in CH with significant allergies or medical concerns or acute behavioral diagnoses will have an Individual Child Care Program Plan (ICCPP) developed in collaboration with the health office, administrative and classroom staff.  Staff are trained in these plans and the documents are updated annually or as needed.

Insurance

HIH hold insurance policies under the authorization of the Board of Directors for General Liability, Workers Compensation and for Directors and Officers. Individuals with         questions regarding this insurance can reach out to the finance office for more details.

Maltreatment Reporting

If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

The MN Department of Human Services (DHS) also requires us to inform parents that any concern of suspected abuse or neglect within a facility should be reported to the Licensing Division’s Maltreatment Intake line at (651)431-6600.  All Children’s House families are given a copy of the DHS Maltreatment Policy during phase-in conferences and have access to the document at hihcm.org “Forms & Documents”.

For concerns occurring outside of campus facilities, county social services agencies should be contacted.

Pet Policy

Pets and plants may be a part of the HIH experience creating home-like connections and empathy practice. When we introduce a new pet or animal to the environments for educational purposes and enrichment activities, this should be cleared with the teacher of the environments first and families will be notified in our weekly HIH Notes. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  It is expected that visiting animals will show written proof that they have had all necessary shots and wear necessary tags. In addition, visiting pets would be allowed only in designated areas and would be expected to be properly leashed, supervised and/or caged. In the pre-planning process for pet visits, participants with allergies to animals would be informed and alternative arrangements for them would be made.

Public Use of Children’s Photos Policy

We will take pictures of the children in the classroom playing and working. These might be used for bulletin boards, newsletters, promotional flyers, and websites. We request a signed opt-out form, available in the office or on the HIH website, if the parent desires photos not to be taken and published publicly.  The child will not participate in any individual or group photos if the parents choose this option.

Security and Safety

Entrances to the campus buildings are secure.  Campus administration will guide parents in building access protocols prior to the start of school or upon enrollment.  Visitors, volunteers and professional partners (paras, for example) are required to obtain a badge from the campus offices, acknowledging access to the classroom areas.  Background checks are also required from staff as well as regular volunteers and professional partners.

Children remain under the direct supervision of a staff member at all times.

Staff are trained in best practices for emergency situations.  Local law enforcement and emergency services prioritize schools.

In the event of an evacuation, each campus has a designated alternate safe shelter.

Staff and Faculty Policies

Upon being hired, the Teaching and Support Staff members are given details of their staff responsibilities, an extensive orientation, personnel policy training, and on-the-job training for their position.  Through-out the year, staff members are given continuing education opportunities, community resources, and staff development funds to foster growth both personally and professionally as incentives.  Through prayer and attention, staff members are “hand-picked” and plans and policies are offered to attract and maintain a consistently qualified, well-trained, well-equipped, and called-by-God staff.

All staff members who work directly with children must pass a criminal-record, background clearance check before being left alone with children; must be free from any history of substantiated child abuse or neglect; must have completed their high school diploma and be 18 years of age; have provided personal references; and have a current health assessment that attests to their ability to perform the tasks required to carry out the responsibilities of the position.

Volunteer/Professional Assistants Policies

HIHCM does not use volunteers in the NIDO rooms.  If an infant or toddler room is utilized as a supervised learning lab, parents will be notified.

Professional assistants (an RN or PCA who is supporting a child) will submit a background check from their agency or through HIHCM.  Professional assistants will collaborate with lead teachers to facilitate the Montessori experience for the children in the classroom.

Weather-related Closing Criteria at HIH

Our current weather-related policies reflect the independent transportation practices and challenges of our own community.  We will be looking at information provided by the National Weather Service (NWS). Campus directors will decide whether to call a snow day or more commonly a late start based on predicted frigid cold temperatures or snow accumulation.  In the event of a late start, individual families will have the option of taking a snow day, if conditions are deemed unsafe for their family.

Closings Communication

If Hand in Hand closes or issues a late start, the information is communicated via HiMama.

Updated 11/2021.

PARENT POLICIES & PROCEDURES

ADMINISTRATIVE

Three Campuses

Welcome to Hand in Hand Christian Montessori!  We offer unique programming experiences at each of our three campuses—

  • Central Campus in Roseville
  • South Campus at Bethany Global University in Bloomington
  • West Campus in Wayzata

Campus program options, daily operational hours, calendars, location sites, and program tuition can be found on the hihcm.org website. 

Admissions and Programs

Family Musik (0-4 yrs old) and Family Preschool (2-4 years old)

Children can be between 0 months and 48 months on September 1 of the school year for which the child plans to attend.  Because parents are always on the premises with their child(ren), family programs are exempt from MN DHS regulations (see below).  Children do not need to be fully potty trained to participate with their caregiver in these programs.

Children’s House/Casa (33 months – 6 years old)

Children must be a minimum of 33 months on September 1 of the school year for which the child plans to attend (MN state licensing guidelines). They must also be toilet trained, able to communicate coherently and to follow simple directions.

  • Central Campus—60 students (20 per classroom per day)
  • South Campus—30 students
  • West Campus—30 students
  • Home School Academy– Elementary 3-Day Program (6-12 years old)

Children must be between the ages of 6 and 12 and registered as “home educating children” with their school district.  The cooperative classroom is viewed as enrichment/supplemental education to a core curriculum of the parent’s choice.  Students ages 6-9 are in our Elementary Level 1 (E1) classrooms (grades 1-3) and ages 9-12 are in Elementary Level 2 (E2) classrooms (grades 4-6).  Our part-time enrichment program is educationally sound, unique and complementary to your home educating.  Children meet for 3 full days in the classroom and are homeschooled for 2 days each week.

Every child over 7 in HIHCM’s home school academy must be a registered home educating child in their school district.  Parents of these students are responsible for attending a workshop that delineates subjects covered by our home school academy program and to understand the partnership between HIHCM and families.

Homeschool Academy – Elementary 3-Day Program (6-12 years old)

The HIHCM Homeschool Academy is an enrichment program for homeschooling families.  Families register their students 7 years and older with their own school district as homeschooling students.  (6-year-old children are welcome into our program, but are not legally required to be registered with their district.)  Parents/guardians are primarily responsible for overseeing the educational markers for their children, including any required annual evaluative/standardized tests.

Private Academy – Elementary 5-Day Program (6-12 years old)

Children 6 through 12 years of age may apply for admission in our 5-Day Private Academy on the Central, South and West campuses. Children who are enrolled in our Private Academy are registered in the respective school districts.   Students ages 6-9 are in our E1 classrooms (grades 1-3) and ages 9-12 are in E2 (grades 4-6).  State standards, licensing, and Montessori guidelines are followed as much as possible when they do not conflict with the values, missions, or vision of the Hand In Hand Christian Montessori Philosophy.

Registration/Enrollment

Hand In Hand has a non-discriminating policy relative to sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin with respect to the admission of students and the employment of faculty and staff. Hand In Hand considers all records to be confidential, only available to school administration, children’s teachers, school health consultant or school psychologists to be used for educational or health care purposes.

Upon enrollment, parents should be aware of and are asked to sign a statement of understanding to the following:

  • Hand In Hand is a Judeo-Christian educational institute.
  • We proclaim the message of Jesus and teach the lessons Jesus taught through the Bible, liturgy, and prayer.
  • A personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be encouraged for the students.
  • We nurture the whole child through body, mind, and spirit.
  • We affirm and teach God’s design for creation, salvation, restoration, marriage, family and sexual Identity. God’s design for these stated principles is found in God’s Word; Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:27, Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments), John 8:3-13, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 1:3-13, Ephesians 5:31, II Timothy 3:16-17.

A Montessori-style, constructivist classroom is the framework for the curriculum. Family Preschool parents are expected to attend the CMFE discussion groups and join their children for their music/movement class. Families with children in the Homeschool Academy who are ages 7 and older are required to register with their local school district as homeschooling families; and provide HIH with proof of district registration and yearly standardized test results.

Our educational model values collaboration between parents and educators.

To register, a parent must understand and agree to the above statements as the premise for our teachings and beliefs.

Registration and enrollment processes are handled through the TADS platform and overseen by HIHCM administrative staff.   Registration process deadlines for the upcoming school year are published annually in the late fall.  Campus office staff are available to discuss ongoing opportunities and openings in individual programs with families throughout the year.

We aim for a balance of ages and genders in each class whenever possible. Students will be enrolled in order of their application with this balance taken into consideration.  Returning students and families are given priority.

Known health, behavioral, and special learning needs of students must be disclosed during the registration process.  Most classroom situations cannot accommodate more than one on-site student assistant (PCA or nurse) while maintaining the integrity of the Montessori classroom.  Campus directors carefully consider space capacities and appropriate staffing ratios with student distributions among classrooms on a campus.

Contracts

Family contracts are made on the TADS platform.  Once a student is enrolled and a contract signed by the family for a school year, families are financially responsible to fulfill that contract.  Contracts include up to one week of unforeseen closures (snow days, for example).

Financial Aid

Hand In Hand does not have an outside-source-funded scholarship program.  Instead, the Board of Directors has committed 10% of tuition each year to be allocated towards needs-based financial assistance.   Financial Aid (FA) applications are due in early February and can be found on the HIH TADS website.  The TADS process requires financial documentation.  HIHCM is not able to consider late FA applications.  Both new and returning families are eligible to apply and are notified of FA awards prior to enrollment deadlines.  Detailed information is advertised annually with registration information and available upon request by emailing the campus office.

Licensing Policies

Minnesota legislation requires preschool and kindergarten programs (our Children’s House) to be licensed with the MN Department of Human Services (DHS).  If you have any questions or comments, the telephone number of DHS is 651-296-3971.

Central Campus preschool and kindergarten programs are accredited by NAEYC, which influences campus-wide HIHCM policies.

Our Elementary and Secondary Private Academy programs meets local school board and state standards.

While we believe parents/guardians are always the primary educators of their children, HIHCM takes on a larger role and responsibility in this educational partnership for the 5-day academy students than the 3-days homeschool academy students.  Some of the administrative policies and reporting requirements reflect this difference.

Required Documents

TADS–Online Student File

The TADS process collects required and important detailed information about the student.  Parents/guardians sign parent-school agreements and permission for emergency medical care.  Parents/guardians are able to authorized family and friends to pick up their children and be emergency contacts.

The following forms should be uploaded onto the TADS platform:

Immunization Form

Immunization forms must be uploaded into TADS current school year’s information for each child before the first day of school. If TADS already contains your child’s most current immunization record from a previous enrollment year, you need to copy that record into the current school year in TADS.

Updated immunization status/exemption forms are required for all Children’s House students prior to their first day in the classroom.  Children’s House students may not participate in programming without completed forms.

Private Academy (5-day) E1/E2 students are required to have updated immunization forms uploaded to TADS prior to their first day of school.

We recommend that Homeschool Academy (3-day) students upload immunizations annually.

Medical Exam Form

  1. Medical Exams must be uploaded into TADS current school year’s information for each child by October 1st or within 30 days of enrollment for those beginning after October 1stIf you child does not meet the criteria listed below as required to have a new form, and TADS already contains a Medical Exam Form from a previous enrollment year, you may copy that form into the current school year in TADS.
  2. The following students need to have a new Medical Exam Form completed by their healthcare provider:
    • Newly enrolled at HIH
    • Moving to NIDO Toddler from NIDO Infant
    • Moving to Children’s House from NIDO Toddler
    • Starting Kindergarten

We accept medical exams within the same calendar year to accommodate well-child insurance parameters.  The form must be filled out by an MD, DO, PA or NP.

Homeschool Registration—3-day homeschool students age 7 and older.

Forms for this are available through your local school district office and are due by October 1.  A copy should be uploaded to the child’s TADS file. Keeping with the widely understood practice of home educators in the State of Minnesota, the mention of HIHCM or any other cooperative or enrichment programs is not necessary on this district form.

Classroom Health Surveys

The Health Office distributes health surveys for parents to fill out prior to the school year or upon enrollment.  This is the primary opportunity for parents/guardians to communicate the health and behavior needs of their students to school staff.  The Health Office follows up with any situations that need clarity or care plans.

Behavioral or Learning Challenges (when applicable)

Families must disclose known behavioral and learning challenges during the registration process.  When applicable, Neuropsych Evaluations, Individual Education Plans (or comparable documents) are requested in a paper copy or via email upon enrollment.  Bring these to the campus main office, where it will be distributed to the appropriate staff.

DAILY LIFE

Building Access

Building entrances are secure.  Program-specific start-of-day and end-of-day protocols are in place for children entering and exiting buildings.

At any time, parents are invited to call or buzz the main campus offices to gain building access during school hours.  Office staff are available to assist parents with any needs.

Only students, staff and visitors/volunteers with visitor/volunteer badges should be in school areas designated for student use.

Drop-Off & Pick Up Guidelines for Parents

Each campus has protocols for dropping-off and picking up students that compliments the programs offered as well as the campus building and parking areas.  These are crafted with safety and convenience in mind.

Parents are given specific instructions on this process prior to the start of the school and on-going with new admissions.

Some programs invite parents to park and escort their children into/out of the building.  Please use the designated procedures to promote safety.  If you leave your car parked in the lot or on the street, remove all valuables from sight to discourage theft.   Do not leave young children unattended in your parked vehicle.

Other programs offer the opportunity to drop-off or pick-up your child at curbside.  There is NO PARKING in the drive-thru/pick-up lanes during designated curbside drop-off and pick up windows.

Programs may have specific drop-off and pick-up windows with staff members welcoming children into the building.   DO NOT drop your child off prior to this window or without a staff member present.  Retrieve your child during the designated pick-up window.  Late drop-off and early pick-up scenarios have specific procedures for families to follow and fees may be assessed.

We encourage grace-filled mornings without rushing children, while simultaneously discouraging patterns of lateness where classroom experiences may get missed.

Refrain from using cell phones in the parking lot or with curbside drop-off/pick-up options.

Teachers are typically not available for parent/teacher conversations before or after school without prior arrangement.  Emailing is a preferred way for parents to initially reach out to their child’s teachers with questions and concerns.

Call the HIH office in case of emergency.

Authorization to Pick Up Child (non-parent/guardian)

During our enrollment process, parents include the names and contact information of friends and relatives who have permission to retrieve their child.

If a person other than these authorized people is picking up a child, a parent must email the Campus Administrator.  Office staff will alert classroom staff. Anyone we don’t recognize will be asked to provide a photo ID in the office before retrieving children.

*Central Campus only – an alternative method for someone other than authorized pick-up people in TADS, is for parents to give the school issued green family number card to the new pick-up person. An email to the office of proof of identification are not necessary if the pick-up person has the school issued green family number card.

Reporting Absences and Tardiness

Classroom teachers take daily attendance.  If your child will be absent:

  • Central Campus: email the child’s teacher by 8:15 am
  • West Campus: use the HiMama App.
  • South Campus: email the health office and classroom teacher

This practice helps staff and parents collaborate to make sure all students are accounted for.  Students arriving after their program start time should use the office entrance for building access and check-in.  Children’s House students must be checked-in by a guardian at the office and are escorted to their classrooms by staff.

Repeated missed attendance and late arrivals without prior approval will be reviewed quarterly.  The Campus Director, Head of School and/or classroom teacher will request a conference with the parents/guardians to consider options regarding start times, missed programming and minimizing the classroom and student’s disruption of work cycles if needed.

When there are several consecutive days that a child is absent, reach out to the classroom teacher to accommodate missed lessons.

Food Guidelines

It is our desire at Hand In Hand to take a holistic approach to educating and caring for our children.  We want to nourish their minds and bodies with quality ingredients. HIH strives to partner with families to inspire our children to cultivate a taste for truly healthy food—food that is healthy for bodies and keeps minds clear for optimal learning.

Snacks

Hand In Hand will provide a healthy snack each day for all students. These will be—

  • Natural, and often organic
  • Plant-based: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit
  • Whole foods: unrefined and minimally processed
  • Free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oil

The provided snack is part of the practical life learning experience at Hand In Hand.  Snacks are offered to children during the children’s three-hour morning work cycle.

Certain foods are avoided or modified during both snack and lunch because of the imposed threat to younger children.   This includes the following: whole hot dogs, whole grapes, raw peas and carrots that are not cut into sticks.

Parents with additional preferences or whose children have food allergies may opt to send a snack from home that follows our food guidelines.

Lunch

Hot lunches are available at the Central and West campuses. 2% milk is provided with hot lunch. 2% and Soy Milk will be provided for all Children’s House students on all campuses.  Water is also a beverage option.

For families sending a lunch box to school, consider the nutritional value of what you are sending to enable a clear and teachable mind.

Food from home should be free of:

  • artificial colors and flavors
  • artificial sweeteners
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • peanut and nut free
    • Central Campus Only – Our elementary and secondary lunchroom provides a nut and peanut free table, so lunches eaten in the lunchroom can contain nuts and peanuts

Do not send candy or soda pop.  Avoid artificial puddings, artificial fruit snacks/juices and artificially processed lunchable-type products.

Daily protein and carb offerings balanced with fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are a best practice.  Whole foods are encouraged.

If you choose to send treats in your child’s lunch, consider homemade healthy treats or packaged organic/natural alternatives.  Natural fruit cups (no added sugar), yogurt, fruit leathers, fruit salsa, and nutrient-dense bars (granola/Lara) are acceptable.

Cold packs should be used to keep perishable food cool.

Campuses with kitchens are regulated by the Minnesota Health Department and our school cook/food specialists are licensed and certified.  The staff discards foods with expired dates, documents compliance with any corrections that have been made according to the Health Department, School Health Consultant/Nurse, Head of School and other applicable food safety standards.

Our Snack Options and Hot Lunch Menus are available in hard copy form or on-line and are regularly reviewed by our School Nurse and other nutritional experts.

While we are very consistent with the food policy in our daily practice, there are occasions during fall break and J-term when students might deviate from our standard policy to experience ethnic foods from other countries.  Classroom celebrations (2-3 occasions per school year) may also include sweet treats.

Food Allergies

A detailed allergy policy is available on our website under a separate tab.

Our Children’s House wing is always nuts and peanut free.

Our elementary and secondary classrooms are nut and peanut free.

Please be mindful of restrictions when preparing lunches for your child.

Family Events

Families are often invited to contribute to a community feast for our family events.  The tone of our policy—good, wholesome food—will apply to the food served at Hand In Hand Family Events although it will be more relaxed.

Homemade or healthier store-bought items such as banana muffins, zucchini breads, healthy granola cookies, and similar items will be part of these fun events. The idea is not to make unnecessary restrictions, but rather to provide an environment where we can all enjoy and be nourished with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and natural; families’ unique preferences will be respected.

Parent Only Events & Meetings

Food served at Parent-Only events and meetings carry the most relaxed guidelines. While we encourage healthy treats, this is the opportunity to share your favorite sweet treats if you wish to do so.

Health & Wellness Policies

Immunization Forms are required before a Children’s House child can attend class.  Each parent must submit a Medical Exam Form or health summary completed by an MD, PA, DO or NP within 30 days of admittance into the CH program.  Classroom health surveys are distributed and reviewed by the Health Office annually at the start of the year and on-going with new admissions.

Authorization for medical treatment and liability release are part of the registration and enrollment process.  Parents should disclose their children’s known health, learning and behavioral needs during the registration process and on the surveys.

Handwashing

Every effort is made to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. To promote such efforts, the staff, children and families will incorporate the following practices:

Children learn proper hygiene methods and hand-washing lessons. (Vigorously rubbing hands for 20 seconds with liquid soap and running water.  Drying with a paper towel.)

Hand washing is required by all staff, volunteers and children when it can reduce the risk of infection.  Staff will assist children with hand washing when necessary.  Hand sanitizer is used minimally in lieu of hand washing if a sink is not accessible.

Children and staff wash hands:

  • Upon arrival.
  • After toilet use.
  • After handling body fluids.
  • Before meals or snacks.
  • Before food preparation.
  • After playing in water.
  • After handling pets or other animal contamination.
  • When moving from one group to another.
  • After handling garbage.

Food Service personnel wash hands continuously throughout food prep and delivery.

Infectious Disease Guidelines

We ask that all children who are not feeling well be kept at home for the duration of the illness. Please notify the Hand in Hand Health Office (healthoffice@hihcm.org) about any communicable disease within 24 hours. Please notify the Hand in Hand Health Office (healthoffice@hihcm.org) if your child has ben potentially exposed to COVID-19 in the community or at home. We will contact you immediately if your child becomes ill while at Hand in Hand. The child will be kept comfortable until a parent or authorized contact person arrives. With possible exposure to a contagious illness the parent/guardians will be notified. To help prevent the spread of disease, the Minnesota Health Department sets these guidelines as reasons to keep your child at home.  Please reach out to the Health Office (healthoffice@hihcm.org) with any questions.

  • Fever of 100 degree or more in the last 24 hours
  • Recent loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Frequent cough
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  • Heavy, greenish or yellow nasal discharge
  • Undiagnosed rashes
  • Overly tired
  • Fussy, cranky, generally not self
  • Untreated live head lice
Medication Administration

Whenever possible, it is preferred that children take prescribed and over-the-counter medicines before and after school with parental supervision.  For medications that are necessary during school hours, the Health Office oversee medication administration at school.   If a student needs any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication, parents should go to the health office first, not their child’s teacher.  The Medication Administration Form (Forms and Documents Tab) has detailed instructions.  For the safety of every student, no CH, E1, or E2 student should be self-carrying/administering medication.  The school nurse or administrative staff review medications and consults with families and providers as needed.

Records of non-prescription/prescription medication that require a medication administration form are kept and filed.

First Aid/Ouch Reports/Serious Injuries

All CH staff, specialists and lead teachers in each E1/E2 classroom are trained in First Aid and Pediatric CPR.

With minor injuries, staff will write an ouch report that is sent home with the child at the end-of-day dismissal.

In the event of a more serious injury, parents are notified directly as soon as possible.  Staff may call the child’s health care provider or dentist directly if the parents are unreachable by phone or for medical advice or triage.  911 will be called in the event of a serious injury or medical situation.  If a child needs emergency transport to a hospital and a parent is not on site, a staff member will accompany the student.  A detailed injury report will be completed by appropriate staff members and given to the parents.  The Health Office/administration will be available for follow up with these concerns when indicated.

For Children’s House students who injury might need medical evaluation, a detailed injury report will be completed by appropriate staff members and given to the parents.  Any injury to a child at school that requires a physician’s treatment, and/or the use of any emergency medical service will be reported to the Minnesota Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Division of Licensing within 24 hours using the online reporting tool.   Parents should follow up with staff for any injury requiring medical treatment.  The Health Office/administration will be available for follow up with these concerns when indicated.

The directors, teachers, assistant teachers, substitutes, and unsupervised volunteers working in a child care center governed by Minnesota Rules, are trained in pediatric first aid and pediatric CPR within 90 days from the start of work and not unsupervised until this certification is complete.  HIH recognizes that at a minimum for initial licensure, there must be an individual trained in first aid present in the facility during all hours of operation as well as on field trips and when transporting children.  Within 90 days of the initial licensure of any new program, all lead teachers and assistant teachers must be trained.

Records accident and injuries, along with any first aid treatment are kept and filed accordingly.

Naps and Rest Policy

Children enrolled in an all-day preschool program are offered nap and rest time daily on a mat in space designated for a period of rest. Children who have completed a nap or rested quietly for 30 minutes are not be required to remain on their mats. Each child is provided with a napping mat which, embracing Montessori philosophy, the child can independently manipulate for the nap.  Mats are sanitized regularly by the staff.  Each child provides his or her own bedding, which is returned regularly (every 5-6 school days) for washing, or as needed when soiled or wet.

Before and After School Care

Before- and after- school care is available for children in Preschool through Elementary ages on the Central and West Campus.  Providers for this option are at least 16 years old, have passed a criminal background check, have some experience with children, and go through an orientation process.  Parents who wish to utilize this care are asked to register. Campus specific information regarding registration fees and billing are available upon request.

Personal digital devices are not permitted while in PlayCare.  The Health Office is only open during school hours, and medications will not be accessible during before and after school care.

Recess and Outdoor Clothing

Children should be prepared with necessary outdoor clothing to go outside for daily recess—snow, cold, wind, rain and sun.  Clothing for winter play should be layered and dry for warmth in cold weather.  Rain gear is requested for damp, wet weather.  In the spring, summer and fall months, parents are asked to consider sun-protective clothing for prolonged outdoor play.  We also give children the opportunity to play in shaded areas. For sunscreen and bug repellents, families should follow campus-specific protocols.

HIH staff refer to a National Recess Guide that utilizes the temperature and windshield to make a recommendation for the amount of time children spend outside on a given day.

Uniform Policy

Each campus has a uniform policy that students adhere to during school hours.  Detailed information is available on the campus webpage. 

COMMUNICATION

The S.N.A.P.

The S.N.A.P. (Special News and Potpourri) is a newsletter distributed campus-wide.  It contains information for all HIH families, but is also edited to provide campus-specific, need-to-know details about school.

The Handle

The Handles are regular emails from classroom staff to classroom families.  Sometimes these emails include important action-items for parents.  HIH-parent partnership is important in every classroom, and parents are asked to read these emails carefully.

Parent Visits to the Classroom—Observations

In keeping with our open-door policy, our deep belief that parents own primary responsibility in the care of their children, and DHS guidelines, parents are able to observe a classroom upon request.

Our preference, however, is to respect the integrity of the Montessori classroom and environment by inviting parents to engage a formal observation experience.  Observations can be wonderful opportunities for visitors to watch and discover the Montessori environment from a quiet observer’s chair in the classroom.  Individual children can be perceived within their classroom environment and the flow of Montessori work cycles.  Concentration is a primary goal of the Montessori classroom. To achieve this, children need consistency and order as much as possible.    We ask visitors to honor the child’s learning time and the quiet classroom and to avoid inadvertently impacting the teacher’s ability to teach properly and the student’s ability to learn.  Parents, grandparents, and other visitors must be mindful of this upon entering the classroom.

Observations can be arranged via campus offices, and guidelines are given at the time of your arrival to help focus your observations.  After an observation experience, if you have questions or wish to discuss your observation, you can directly contact the classroom teacher or campus director.

Parent/Teacher Connections

Meaningful educational connections are built on trust and understanding.   From the initial registration to graduation, HIHCM aspires to build connections between home and school.  Montessori environments work best with a mixed aged group of three-year age span, and every effort is made to keep children with the same teacher and assistant for three years.  Teaching staff provide ongoing personal contact with children and families, meaningful learning activities, supervision, and over-all protection of child’s well-being.  HIHCM has a 7:1 teacher/child ratio in our Family Programs; a 10:1 child/teacher ratio in our Children’s Houses; and a 13:1 child/teacher ratio in our Elementary programs.  We organize the days and work cycles so that the minimal transitions are experienced.

Specific procedures to help facilitate connection are the following:

  • Parent Orientation Meetings, Parent-Teacher-Child Welcome Meetings, Phase-In Week Experiences, Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Three-Year cycles of same teacher/same classmates/same room

CURRICULAR

Grading/Progress Reports

Children’s House (3-6 yrs old):  A written or digital assessment of the child’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional development is provided.

Elementary (6~12 yrs old):  No grades are given.  However, a mid-year and end-of year written or digital assessment is provided.  Progress is demonstrated through mastery of lessons and tasks.

If a family contract has an outstanding balance, progress reports will be released upon payment in full.

Conferences

Conferences are held in the fall and are offered upon request in the spring by the teacher or the parent.  HIH staff value cultivating a strong rapport with classroom families.  Please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher via email with questions and concerns or to set up an in-person meeting with them between the offered conference times.

Scope & Sequence

HIHCM has a Scope & Sequence that is shared with the elementary through high school parents.  It delineates the HIH curriculum that is offered in the classroom and the collaborative pieces that parents should anticipate completing at home in partnership with the Montessori classroom experience.

Standardized Testing

Every child, age 7 or older, must take a standardized test each year.

Homeschooling families: when answering the question regarding the standardized test on your initial district form, you may choose any test you would like to purchase, administered at the location of your choosing. Homeschooling families can sign up to take the Peabody (K-12th) and/or Stanford (4th-12th) test at HIH in the spring at an additional cost. Please submit the most recent test scores to your classroom teacher at the beginning of each year, during phase-in, to help facilitate your child’s educational goals.

Private Academy (5-Day) students will receive their standardize testing, which is included in their tuition, in the spring. All students (K-12th) take the Peabody. In addition, students 6th-12th take the Stanford test. (4th and 5th graders can take the Stanford for an additional fee).

If a family contract has an outstanding balance, standardized testing results will be released upon payment in full.

GENERAL

Behavior Redirection Policy

Our Christian Montessori philosophy emphasizes the need for children to have “inner discipline” and “normalized behavior.” Discipline comes from the root word “disciple,” which means “one who follows out of love.” Our basic behavior expectations consist of a simple “listen and obey.” Children are meant to be seen and heard and believed. They are encouraged to talk and move, and they can express their feelings and be understood.  Grace, understanding, and restoration are of utmost importance. We believe the child will do what the child can do.

It is our purpose to encourage each child in the unique way God has created him/her and seek to help a child to do what is appropriate.

We encourage and teach the following attitudes—

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Resourcefulness

We will not tolerate the following behaviors—

  • Disruptive
  • Destructive
  • Dangerous

We will redirect negative behavior and talk to children gently and positively. We teach by “teaching” not correcting.  Physical discipline is NEVER used.

With repeated offenses, we will notify guardians in writing or by phone.  A parent-teacher-campus director conference will be called as needed to discuss positive remedies.  More acute disruptive, destructive or dangerous behavior may require separation from other classroom students.   At the discretion of the staff and administration, these behaviors may result in an in- or out-of-school suspension.

If patterns continue, Handled With Care (our special needs program) may be an option.

Otherwise, mutual consent will determine whether Hand In Hand is the best fit for the child.  If dismissal occurs, fees will be pro-rated.

Educational Research & Experiments

These will not occur without the express written consent of the Parents/Guardian.

Environmental Health

Environmental hazards such as air pollution, lead, and asbestos are reduced or eliminated according to public health requirements, by maintaining the property and grounds, yearly inspections, and routine professional care.

Field Trip Policy

Hand In Hand occasionally sponsors field trips off premise.  Parents will be informed when students will be off campus.  Occasionally, additional fees may apply. Family Programs do not participate in Field Trips.   While Children’s House students are not transported in vehicles off-site, the classrooms might take a walking field trip, exploring areas near campus.

Grievance Policy/Internal Review Policy

If a parent has a grievance with any policy or employee of HIH, the parent should follow the dispute practice outlines in Scripture. The first attempt to settle the dispute should be done in person with the offending party. If the grievance is not resolved, the parent should take the matter to the next person in the chain of command.  A complaint should be given in writing.  A follow up response from HIH will be given. If the grievance is still not resolved, the matter will proceed to the Board of Directors of Hand In Hand. It is our deepest desire to live in peace with all people and act in a professional and peace-making manner.   There is a HIH Internal Review Policy in place to ensure truthful and open communication for all stakeholders.

Handle with Care—Special Needs

Handle With Care is a Hand In Hand program that works to maximize student success by offering support to students with the main goal for the student to be ready to return and reengage in the classroom.  Therefore, Hand In Hand welcomes and will admit a child with exceptions (either special needs and/or who is gifted & talented) on a case by case basis. We require consultation with our Handle With Care staff prior to admissions.

In addition, Hand In Hand requires families to share written assessments, pertinent medical history including prescriptions, medical conditions, a prior IEP or diagnosis prior to admission.

Some additional fees are assessed when appropriate so the child will receive extra support as well as the parent.  Unfortunately, not all children thrive in the Montessori environment when other needs are more pressing.  Therefore, when we are unable to meet a child’s needs, a parent-teacher-Head of School conference will be held. If dismissal occurs, tuition will be pro-rated.  Please refer to the Behavior Policies.

For students with PCAs in the classroom, we ask for a copy of a recent background check from their agency or ask the PCA to submit a background check application and copy of a current driver’s license.

Individual Care Plans & ICCPPs

Students in Children’s House with significant allergies, medical concerns, or acute behavioral diagnoses will have an Individual Child Care Program Plan (ICCPP) developed in collaboration with the Health Office, Handle with Care staff, and classroom teacher.

Students in Elementary with severe allergies, significant medical concerns or behavioral diagnoses may have an Individual/Emergency Health Plan or Individual Care Plan developed at the discretion of the Health Office or Handle with Care staff.

Staff are trained in these plans and the documents are updated annually or as needed.

Insurance Policy

HIH holds insurance policies under the authorization of the Board of Directors for General Liability, Workers Compensation and for Directors and Officers.  Individuals with questions regarding this insurance can reach out to the finance office for more details.

Library—Central Campus

The Christian Resource Library is Christian and Homeschooling library that is a separate ministry from Hand in Hand, located on the Central campus.  HIH students have access to library resources for use in the classroom.  All HIH families are also welcome to check out materials from the library for use at home and have their own patron ID number.  For more information on library borrowing policies and open hours, as well as a link to the library’s online catalogue, go to crclibrary.org.

Maltreatment Reporting Policy

If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

The MN Department of Human Services (DHS) also requires us to inform parents that any concern of suspected abuse or neglect within a facility should be reported to the Licensing Division’s Maltreatment Intake line at (651)431-6600.  All Children’s House families are given a copy of the DHS Maltreatment Policy during phase-in conferences and have access to the document at hihcm.org “Forms & Documents”.

For concerns occurring outside of campus facilities, county social services agencies should be contacted.

Peacemaking Policy (Anti-bully)

Beyond our redirection policies, we are intentional about helping children become peace makers, practice peace and become more peaceful even in the midst of trials and hardships. Dr. Montessori discussed this issue in light of her generation and troubles in the world.  She offers some unique principles, and the HIH staff continually seeks to develop school-wide strategies to encourage peacemaking in our community.

Bullying, using words or actions to intimidate, belittle, or exclude others, is behavior that is destructive.  As with other behavior that is not tolerated, staff will initially address this behavior verbally.  Guardians will be notified with repeated offenses in writing.  A campus director, staff, and parent conference will be called as needed to discuss positive remedies.  In or out-of-school suspensions may be considered.  If patterns continue, campus directors will determine whether HIH is the best fit for the child who is repeatedly demonstrating this behavior.

Bullying might happen with groups of students.  Classroom staff may gather students to practice peacemaking skills and reconciliation, as well as address these behaviors individually.

If your child shares that they are experiencing or witnessing problematic or bullying behavior, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher to alert them to the destructive dynamics.

Parent Communication

Parents in our HIH community are also asked to maintain respect and integrity in voicing questions and concerns and in all communication with other families and staff.  We practice “speaking the truth in love.”  In fellowship with each other, we invite adherence to the discipline of believing the best in others, even in confusion and disagreement.  We also invite our families to practice the discipline of repair and forgiveness work when there is offense.

Campus administration will address parents/guardians who are inappropriately intimidating, threatening or belittling in their communication (verbal, nonverbal or writing) with staff or other families.  Initial attempts at peaceful reconciliation will be pursued.  Persistent bullying behavior by parents and guardians may result in the dismissal of their student from HIH programming.  If dismissal occurs, tuition will be pro-rated.

Weapons

Because it is our intention to cultivate a peaceful and secure environment for the children in our community, HIH has a zero-tolerance policy for any toys resembling weapons, such as air soft guns.  Any items that fall into that category will be confiscated, and the student may be suspended for a determined length of time.

Pet Policy

Pets and plants may be a part of the HIH experience creating home-like connections and empathy practice. When we introduce a new pet or animal to the environments for educational purposes and enrichment activities, this should be cleared with the teacher of the environments first and families will be notified in our weekly HIH Notes. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  It is expected that visiting animals will show written proof that they have had all necessary shots and wear necessary tags. In addition, visiting pets would be allowed only in designated areas and would be expected to be properly leashed, supervised and/or caged. In the pre-planning process for pet visits, participants with allergies to animals would be informed and alternative arrangements for them would be made.

Public Use of Children’s Photos Policy

We will take pictures of the children in the classroom playing and working. These will be used for bulletin boards, newsletters, promotional flyers, Hand in Hand yearbooks, and websites. An opt-out option is available through TADS if the parent desires photos of their child/ren not to be published for media and marketing purposes.

Restrooms at HIH

Hand In Hand has designated bathrooms for each age group to comply with licensing policies and follows these practices to minimize the vulnerability of our children:

  • The multiple-use restrooms at HIH are designated for use by male persons only or female persons only.
  • “Sex” means an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth. An individual’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the individual’s sex.
  • No person shall enter a restroom that is designated for one sex unless they are a member of that sex with the following exceptions–
    • For custodial and maintenance purposes when the facility is not occupied by a member of the opposite sex.
    • To render medical assistance
    • During a natural disaster, emergency or when necessary to prevent a serious threat to good order or student safety.
    • A children’s house teacher to assist a children’s house student
    • A toddler-aged child to be with a parent/teacher during the Family Programs
  • Children’s House bathrooms are located inside the classroom. Students might also use the Children’s House wings bathrooms under staff supervision.
  • Staff have their own designated single stalled bathrooms for use.
  • Volunteers, professional partners (like PCAs) and visitors may use the staff single stalled facilities.
  • If a student in E1 or E2 desires greater privacy than available multi-stall bathrooms, the family may submit a request to the Campus Director to use single-stall staff restrooms.
Security and Safety

Entrances to the campus buildings are secure.  Campus administration will guide parents in building access protocols prior to the start of school or upon enrollment.  Visitors, volunteers and professional partners (paras, for example) are required to obtain a badge from the campus offices, acknowledging access to the classroom areas.  Background checks are also required from staff as well as regular volunteers and professional partners.

While all students are supervised, Children’s House students remain under the direct supervision of a staff member at all times.

Staff are trained in best practices for emergency situations.  Local law enforcement and emergency services prioritize schools.

In the event of an evacuation, each campus has a designated alternate safe shelter.

Serving/Giving

Hand in Hand’s educational environment depends on the support of parent volunteers and donors.  To help keep the costs of tuition and programming low, as well as to provide opportunity for community, service and ownership, we richly recommend a volunteer commitment from every family.  Thank you for your willingness to serve this school year.  Hand in Hand invites families to participate in a variety of fundraising events throughout the year.  Questions about fundraising should be directed to the Director of Development at HIH.

Staff and Faculty Policies

Upon being hired, the Teaching and Support Staff members are given details of their staff responsibilities, an extensive orientation, personnel policy training, and on-the-job training for their position.  Through-out the year, staff members are given continuing education opportunities, community resources, and staff development funds to foster growth both personally and professionally as incentives. Staff members are encouraged to work on teams defined by our four age levels: Family Programming; Children’s House; Elementary. The specialists also comprise a team. Through prayer and attention, staff members are “hand-picked” and plans and policies are offered to attract and maintain a consistently qualified, well-trained, well-equipped, and called-by-God staff.

All staff members who work directly with children must pass a criminal-record, background clearance check before being left alone with children; must be free from any history of substantiated child abuse or neglect; must have completed their high school diploma and be 18 years of age; have provided personal references; and have a current health assessment that attests to their ability to perform the tasks required to carry out the responsibilities of the position.

Volunteer/Professional Assistants Policies

All volunteers in our Children’s House level remain supervised and are not alone with children.  Unsupervised volunteers in our Elementary programs will be asked to submit a background check application and a copy of their driver’s license.

Professional assistants (an RN or PCA who is supporting a child) will submit a background check from their agency or through HIHCM.  Professional assistants will collaborate with lead teachers to facilitate the Montessori experience for the children in the classroom.  Please visit your campus Handle with Care program for more details.

Weather-related Closing Criteria at HIH

Our current weather-related policies reflect the independent transportation practices and challenges of our own community.  We will be looking at information provided by the National Weather Service (NWS). Campus directors will decide whether to call a snow day or more commonly a late start based on predicted frigid cold temperatures or snow accumulation.  In the event of a late start, individual families will have the option of taking a snow day, if conditions are deemed unsafe for their family.

Closings Communication

If Hand In Hand closes or issues a late start, the information is communicated by:

Updated 1/2022

CREO CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CODE 

Hand in Hand CREO is a Christ-centered community of students, faculty and parents engaged in preparing students to be disciples of Christ in the world today. In order for the community to function effectively, a common set of expectations and guidelines are necessary. The following code identifies these expectations that flow naturally from our school-wide philosophy and goals. While total agreement about each guideline is impossible, consistent application can be expected as we seek to establish a constructive school climate where all students can grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially and academically.  

 

Our Mission: 

Our mission is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian Montessori by educating infants through adolescents to love, learn and lead; we offer individual, innovative, inspirational lessons through which learners can experience purpose for today and be prepared for tomorrow. 

 

Our Core Values: 

 

Christ Centered – Our behavior towards ourselves and each other will be Christ-centered and Christ-pleasing in all aspects, in person and on-line. 

 

Constructivist  Our learning is an active and constructive process in which we undertake. We will engage with our education with hands-on involvement, critical thinking, problem solving, and innovative collaboration. 

 

Collaboration - Our mentors and parents are for us and not against us, working alongside us to navigate difficult experiences, learning with us as we tackle new subjects and ways of thinking. 

 

THE 3 R’s of Education: 

We will be RESPONSIBLE to follow all of Hand in Hand’s behavior expectations in regards to relationships and school work. 

 

We will be RESOURCEFUL to find new ways of solving problems in all areas of our lives as well as seeing where there is a need and finding a way to fill it. 

 

We will RESPECTFUL to ourselves, each other and our environment accepting correction when we are acting in a dangerous, disruptive or destructive manner. 

 

The 3 I’s of Education: 

 

We will refrain from acting in a way that is immoral, illegal, or illicit: 

 

Immoral: We will follow the guidelines as laid out in the 10 commandments that we might not sin against Him. (Psalm 119:11) 

 

Illegal: We will follow the laws as laid out in the Great State of Minnesota’s statutes. (Romans 13:1) 

 

Illicit: We will follow the counsel and protocols as laid out by Hand in Hand Christian Montessori, including those that follow in this handbook. (Luke 16:10) 

 

Our Goals: 

Education towards whole human growth and development 

Engaging in how Knowledge builds to Understanding and leads to Wisdom 

A community of healthy young adults committed to a lifetime of loving, learning and leading 

 

Our Motto: 

The World is our Classroom  

 

ADMINISTRATIVE 

CREO Programming 

Private Academy –  5-Day Program (12 -18+ years old)  

Children 12 years of age and old may apply for admission in our 5-Day Private Academy on the Central campus. Children who are enrolled in our Private Academy are registered in the respective school districts.   State standards, licensing, and Montessori guidelines are followed as much as possible when they do not conflict with the values, missions, or vision of the Hand In Hand Christian Montessori Philosophy.  

Homeschool Academy – 3 or 4 Day (12 – 18+ years) 

Children 12 years of age or older may apply to be part of our Homeschool partnership. This option is for home school families that also want deep engagement from teachers who are passionate about their discipline and a positive social learning environment. Core classes of Bible, Math, Science, History, and Language are offered on Tuesday through Thursday. An additional Arts or Occupations specialist day is available creating a 4-day option. These students will need to be registered by their parents in their home district as home school students. All standardized testing and reporting should be completed by the family directly to the school district. 

PSEO Partnership (16+ Years) 

For our 11th and 12th grade students, we offer college courses that are integrated with our high school curriculum. PSEO students can also take additional online college courses in their area of interest and utilize our teacher supported PSEO study café. CREO PSEO students receive support, accountability, and community as they start earning free college credit. 

 

Registration/Enrollment 

Hand In Hand has a non-discriminating policy relative to sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin with respect to the admission of students and the employment of faculty and staff. Hand In Hand considers all records to be confidential, only available to school administration, children’s teachers, school health consultant or school psychologists to be used for educational or health care purposes. 

 

Upon enrollment, parents should be aware of and are asked to sign a statement of understanding to the following: 

 

  • Hand In Hand is a Judeo-Christian educational institute. 
  • We proclaim the message of Jesus and teach the lessons Jesus taught through the Bible, liturgy, and prayer. 
  • A personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be encouraged for the students. 
  • We nurture the whole child through body, mind, and spirit. 
  • We affirm and teach God’s design for creation, salvation, restoration, marriage, family and sexual Identity. God’s design for these stated principles is found in God’s Word; Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:27, Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments), John 8:3-13, I Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 1:3-13, Ephesians 5:31, II Timothy 3:16-17. 

 

A Montessori-style, constructivist classroom is the framework for the curriculum. Families with children in the Homeschool Academy are required to register with their local school district as homeschooling families; and provide HIH with proof of district registration and yearly standardized test results. 

 

Our educational model values collaboration between parents and educators. 

 

To register, a parent must understand and agree to the above statements as the premise for our teachings and beliefs. 

 

Registration and enrollment processes are handled through the TADS platform and overseen by HIHCM administrative staff.   Registration process deadlines for the upcoming school year are published annually. Campus office staff are available to discuss ongoing opportunities and openings in individual programs with families throughout the year. 

 

We aim for a balance of ages and genders in each class whenever possible. Students will be enrolled in order of their application with this balance taken into consideration.  Returning students and families are given priority. 

 

Known health, behavioral, and special learning needs of students must be disclosed during the registration process.  Most classroom situations cannot accommodate more than one on-site student assistant (PCA or nurse) while maintaining the integrity of the Montessori classroom.  Campus directors carefully consider space capacities and appropriate staffing ratios with student distributions among classrooms on a campus. 

 

Contracts 

Family contracts are made on the TADS platform.  Once a student is enrolled and a contract signed by the family for a school year, families are financially responsible to fulfill that contract.  Contracts include up to one week of unforeseen closures (snow days, for example).  

Financial Aid 

Hand In Hand does not have an outside-source-funded scholarship program.  Instead, the Board of Directors has committed 10% of tuition each year to be allocated towards needs-based financial assistance.   Financial Aid (FA) applications are due in early February and can be found on the HIH TADS website.  The TADS process requires financial documentation.  HIHCM is not able to consider late FA applications.  Both new and returning families are eligible to apply and are notified of FA awards prior to enrollment deadlines.  Detailed information is advertised annually with registration information and available upon request by emailing the campus office.   

Licensing Policies 

Our Secondary Private Academy programs meets local school board and state standards.   

While we believe parents/guardians are always the primary educators of their children, HIHCM takes on a larger role and responsibility in this educational partnership for the 5-day academy students than the 3-days homeschool academy students.  Some of the administrative policies and reporting requirements reflect this difference.   

Required Documents 

TADS–Online Student File: 

The TADS process collects required and important detailed information about the student.  Parents/guardians sign parent-school agreements and permission for emergency medical care.  Parents/guardians are able to authorize family and friends to pick up their children and be emergency contacts.   

The following forms should be uploaded onto the TADS platform: 

Immunization Form: 

Immunization forms must be uploaded into TADS current school year’s information for each child before the first day of school.  

If TADS already contains your child’s most current immunization record from a previous enrollment year, you need to copy that record into the current school year in TADS. 

Private Academy (5-day) CREO students are required to have updated immunization forms uploaded to TADS prior to their first day of school.  

We recommend that Homeschool Academy (3 or 4-day) students upload immunizations annually. 

Medical Exam Form: 

  1. Medical Exams must be uploaded into TADS current school year’s information for each child by October 1st or within 30 days of enrollment for those beginning after October 1st. If you child does not meet the criteria listed below as required to have a new form, and TADS already contains a Medical Exam Form from a previous enrollment year, you may copy that form into the current school year in TADS. 
  1. The following students need to have a new Medical Exam Form completed by their healthcare provider:  
  • Newly enrolled at HIH  
  • Entering 7th and 12th Grade 

We accept medical exams within the same calendar year to accommodate well-child insurance parameters.  The form must be filled out by an MD, DO, PA or NP.   

 

Homeschool Registration—3-day homeschool students age 7 and older:   

Forms for this are available through your local school district office and are due by October 1.  A copy should be uploaded to the child’s TADS file. Keeping with the widely understood practice of home educators in the State of Minnesota, the mention of HIHCM or any other cooperative or enrichment programs is not necessary on this district form. 

Classroom Health Surveys: 

The Health Office distributes health surveys for parents to fill out prior to the school year or upon enrollment.  This is the primary opportunity for parents/guardians to communicate the health and behavior needs of their students to school staff.  The Health Office follows up with any situations that need clarity or care plans.  

IEP’s/Behavioral or Learning Challenges (when applicable): 

Families must disclose known behavioral and learning challenges during the registration process.  When applicable, Neuropsych Evaluations, Individual Education Plans (or comparable documents) are requested in a paper copy or via email upon enrollment.  Bring these to the campus main office, where it will be distributed to the appropriate staff.   

 

DAILY LIFE 

Attendance 

Our policy encourages punctuality and regular attendance by all students. We believe this is important for these reasons:  

  1. Students cannot achieve their full potential by receiving the benefit of only part of an assignment or discussion. Research clearly demonstrates that regular attendance is the single greatest predictor of academic success.  
  1. Regular attendance and punctuality demonstrate respect and commitment to teachers and fellow students and contribute to a strong sense of community.  
  1. Good work and attendance habits, cultivated in school, will help students be prepared for lifetime work and higher education.  
  1. Attendance is part of a student’s permanent school record: college admissions’ counselors and prospective employers invariably inquire about a student’s attendance record.  

 

Guidelines for Student: 

  1. Once a student is at school, they are required to be signed out by a parent or authorized adult in the office before leaving school. A staff member will then get the student from the classroom and escort the student to the parent or authorized adult.  Students who drive themselves to school must have a parent notify the office to be released from school before the end of the school day. At the time the parent has stated, a staff member will retrieve the student from class and the student must sign themselves out in the office before leaving school grounds.    
  1. Students are responsible for checking the online gradebook and contacting teachers to get any work they have missed. 

 

Reporting Absences and Tardiness:  

Classroom teachers take daily attendance.  If your child will be absent, email the Dean of Students and Academic Dean by 8:30 a.m. 

 

Excused Absences:  

Any absence reported by a parent or guardian to the school will be considered an excused absence.   

 

Unexcused Absences: 

Any absence not reported by a parent or guardian to the school will be considered an unexcused absence.  Unexcused absences will be dealt with on a case by case basis with the parents and Dean of Students.  

 

Total Absences:  

Hand in Hand offers 163 days of school per year for the 5 day academy.  The total number of instruction hours is 1,304 hours annually.  10 days of absences are allowable per year without prior approval.  Once 10 absences have been exceeded, a meeting with administration, the student, and parents may be scheduled.  

 

Late Arrivals:  

Promptness to class contributes to a respectful and organized learning environment. It is the expectation that students are committed to being in class on time and prepared with the materials required. The following is our late arrival policy:  

  • If students arrive late to school in the morning, they must first report to the office for and they will be given a late slip to bring to a CREO dean to have their attendance changed from absent to tardy. They should quietly and respectfully wait at the classroom door to be let into the class by their teacher. They should enter the room mindful not to disrupt the class in progress.  
  • If students are late to class during the day, they should quietly and respectfully enter class mindful not to disrupt the class in progress.  
  • A pattern of tardiness will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the classroom teacher and the CREO Dean of Students in consultation with parents.   

 

Books 

Books will be distributed in classrooms as needed. Books need to be returned at the end of the semester in good condition. If a book is damaged and/or not returned, the student will be assessed the cost of replacing the book.   

 

Certain books may be put on the supply list so that students can annotate in the book and have their own personal copy. These books are the student’s property and will be theirs to take home at the end of the school year. 

 

Building Access 

Building entrances are secure.  Program-specific start-of-day and end-of-day protocols are in place for children entering and exiting buildings.   

At any time, parents are invited to call or buzz the main campus offices to gain building access during school hours.  Office staff are available to assist parents. 

Only students, staff and visitors/volunteers with visitor/volunteer badges should be in school areas designated for student use. 

Chapel 

As a school community we meet one time per month for chapel. CREO meets an additional time each month for their own CREO chapel. Each chapel is designed to give students and staff and opportunity to express their individual faith in a corporate setting. We also believe that chapel is formative. That in our regular attention to the rhythms of the liturgies of life that we learn a life of worship. As it is part of the school day, students and staff are required to attend, be on time, and sit in their assigned class area. 

 

Daily Schedule 

On Core Curriculum Days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays) the following daily schedule is used: 

 

8:35 – 8:45  Huddle 
8:45 – 9:40  Period 1 
9:45 – 10:40  Period 2 
10:45 – 1:00  Open Classroom (Apologetics, Lunch, Leisure) 
1:00 – 1:55  Period 3 
2:00 – 3:00  Period 4 
3:00 – 3:15  Cleaning and Closing 

 

* There is a 5-minute passing time between classes for students to use the bathroom, gather materials for their next class, and get snack or water. 

**This schedule is subject to change for chapel or other community events. 

** An alternative schedule is used on Mondays and Fridays. 

 

 

Drop-Off & Pick Up Guidelines for Parents 

Students should be dropped off at the designated CREO door between 8:15 – 8:30. Students will be checked in and proceed to prepare for their first class.  

CREO students are excused at 3:15. They will then go to their locker and proceed to exit the building. We recommend having a designated meeting spot with your child.  

After School:  

After students have been dismissed from class at 3:15pm students. Students may meet with teachers in their classroom upon request. As staff leave, classrooms will be closed to student use. Digital devices are not to be used during this time except to communicate with parents and coordinate pick up.  

 

Authorization to Pick Up Child (non-parent/guardian): 

End of the day CREO pick-ups are not verified with a list of approved people. If a mid-day pick-up is needed, the person picking up the child must be on the authorized pick-up list on TADS.  

 

During our enrollment process, parents include the names and contact information of friends and relatives who have permission to retrieve their child.    

If a person other than these authorized people is picking up a child, a parent must email the Campus Administrator.  Office staff will alert classroom staff. Anyone we don’t recognize will be asked to provide a photo ID in the office before retrieving children. 

 

Food Guidelines 

It is our desire at Hand In Hand to take a holistic approach to educating and caring for our children.  We want to nourish their minds and bodies with quality ingredients. HIH strives to partner with families to inspire our children to cultivate a taste for truly healthy food—food that is healthy for bodies and keeps minds clear for optimal learning. 

Snacks: 

Hand In Hand will provide a healthy snack each day for all students. These will be— 

  • Natural, and often organic 
  • Plant-based: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit 
  • Whole foods: unrefined and minimally processed 
  • Free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oil 

Parents with additional preferences or whose children have food allergies may opt to send a snack from home that follows our food guidelines.   In addition, if a child needs more than the one snack provided, they need to provide that snack from home. 

Lunch: 

Hot lunches are available. 2% milk is provided with hot lunch. Water is also a beverage option. 

Our lunchroom provides a nut and peanut free table, so lunches eaten in the lunchroom can contain nuts and peanuts. 

For families sending a lunch box to school, consider the nutritional value of what you are sending to enable a clear and teachable mind.   

Food from home should:  

  • Be free of artificial colors and flavors. 
  • Be free of artificial sweeteners. 
  • Be free of high fructose corn syrup. 
  • Do not send candy or soda pop. 
  • Avoid artificial puddings, artificial fruit snacks/juices and artificially processed lunchable-type products.  
  • Daily protein and carb offerings balanced with fresh vegetables and fresh fruits are a best practice.  Whole foods are encouraged.   
  • If you choose to send treats in your child’s lunch, consider homemade healthy treats or packaged organic/natural alternatives.  Natural fruit cups (no added sugar), yogurt, fruit leathers, fruit salsa, and nutrient-dense bars (granola/Lara) are acceptable.   
  • Cold packs should be used to keep perishable food cool.  

The Hand in Hand kitchen is regulated by the Minnesota Health Department and our school cook/food specialists are licensed and certified.  The staff discards foods with expired dates, documents compliance with any corrections that have been made according to the Health Department, School Health Consultant/Nurse, Head of School and other applicable food safety standards. 

Our Snack Options and Hot Lunch Menus are available in hard copy forms on-line and are regularly reviewed by our School Nurse and other nutritional experts. 

While we are very consistent with the food policy in our daily practice, there are occasions during fall break and J-term when students might deviate from our standard policy to experience ethnic foods from other countries.  Classroom celebrations (2-3 occasions per school year) may also include sweet treats. 

Closed Campus Lunch: 

Hand in Hand operates as a closed campus. Students are not allowed to leave the grounds, especially during their lunch period, without the permission of a parent and office staff. Parents who want to take only their student(s) out for lunch must personally check them out in the office. Youth leaders or older siblings (out of high school) may also sign them out with parent permission. Anyone besides enrolled students, staff or a ‘shadow’ student is not allowed to join lunch, recreation times or classes without prior consent from one of the Deans and a visitor badge.  

 

Food Allergies: 

A detailed allergy policy is available on our website under a separate tab.   

Our CREO classrooms are nut and peanut free. 

Please be mindful of restrictions when preparing lunches for your child.  

 

CREO Family Events: 

Families are often invited to contribute to a community feast for our family events.  The tone of our policy—good, wholesome food—will apply to the food served at Hand In Hand Family Events although it will be more relaxed. 

Homemade or healthier store-bought items such as banana muffins, zucchini breads, healthy granola cookies, and similar items will be part of these fun events. The idea is not to make unnecessary restrictions, but rather to provide an environment where we can all enjoy and be nourished with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and natural; families’ unique preferences will be respected. 

Hallways 

To show courtesy to others, we expect students to refrain from running, pushing, shoving, shouting, or causing congestion in the halls.   

 

Health & Wellness 

Authorization for medical treatment and liability release are part of the registration and enrollment process.  Parents should disclose their children’s known health, learning and behavioral needs during the registration process and on the Annual Health Surveys.   

Handwashing: 

Every effort is made to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. To promote such efforts, the staff, children and families will incorporate the following practices: 

Children learn proper hygiene methods and hand-washing lessons. (Vigorously rubbing hands for 20 seconds with liquid soap and running water.  Drying with a paper towel.) 

Hand washing is required by all staff, volunteers, and children when it can reduce the risk of infection.  Hand sanitizer is used minimally in lieu of hand washing if a sink is not accessible. 

 

Children and staff wash hands: 

  • Upon arrival. 
  • After toilet use. 
  • After handling body fluids. 
  • Before meals or snacks. 
  • Before food preparation. 
  • After handling pets or other animal contamination. 
  • When moving from one group to another. 
  • After handling garbage. 

Food Service personnel wash hands continuously throughout food prep and delivery. 

Infectious Disease Guidelines: 

We ask that all children who are not feeling well be kept at home for the duration of the illness. Please notify Hand in Hand Health Office (healthoffice@hihcm.org) about any communicable disease within 24 hours. Please also notify healthoffice@hihcm.org if your child has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in the community or at home. We will contact you immediately if your child becomes ill while at Hand in Hand. The child will be kept comfortable until a parent or authorized contact person arrives. With possible exposure to a contagious illness the parent/guardians will be notified. To help prevent the spread of disease, the Minnesota Health Department sets these guidelines as reasons to keep your child at home.  Please reach out to the Health Office (healthoffice@hihcm.org) with any questions. 

  • Fever of 100 degree or more in the last 24 hours 
  • Frequent cough 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours 
  • Heavy, greenish or yellow nasal discharge 
  • Undiagnosed rashes  
  • Overly tired 
  • Fussy, cranky, generally not self 
  • Untreated live head lice 
  • New loss of taste or smell 

Medication Administration: 

Whenever possible, it is preferred that children take prescribed and over-the-counter medicines before and after school with parental supervision.  For medications that are necessary during school hours, the Health Office oversees medication administration at school.   If a student needs any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication, parents should go to the health office first, not their child’s teacher.  The Medication Administration Form (Forms and Documents Tab) has detailed instructions.  For the safety of every student, no CREO student should be self-carrying/administering medication.  The school nurse or administrative staff review medications and consult with families and providers as needed. 

Records of non-prescription/prescription medication that require a medication administration form are kept and filed.   

Stock Medicines: 

Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are available in the nurse’s office. In order to administer these medications to students, a medication form needs to be on file with the school.  The medication form can be found here. 

 

First Aid/ Reports/Serious Injuries: 

All CREO staff, specialists and lead teachers in each CREO classroom are trained in First Aid and CPR.   

With minor injuries, staff will write an e-mail  or Ouch Report that is sent home. 

In the event of a more serious injury, parents are notified directly as soon as possible.  Staff may call the child’s health care provider or dentist directly if the parents are unreachable by phone or for medical advice or triage.  911 will be called in the event of a serious injury or medical situation.  If a child needs emergency transport to a hospital and a parent is not on site, a staff member will accompany the student.  A detailed injury report will be completed by appropriate staff members and given to the parents.  The Health Office/administration will be available for follow up with these concerns when indicated.  

Records of accidents and injuries, along with any first aid treatment are kept and filed accordingly. 

Lockers 

Each student has been assigned a locker. Students may provide their own lock for their locker but must provide the combination to the Dean of Students.  Students must use their assigned locker for the school year. Students may decorate the inside of their locker if it is done tastefully, and items are hung with magnets only. Any damage to lockers may result in a fine to cover repair. Lockers may be searched or entered by School Administrators or CREO staff at any time. 

 

Lost/Stolen Items 

Hand in Hand Christian Montessori is not responsible for loss, damage or theft, of cash, jewelry, clothing or other valuables, both on campus and on any field trips. 

 

Relationships 

Though it is natural and consistent with human development that students experience sexual attraction during adolescence, we discourage the formation of exclusive relationships between students. The decision whether to allow children to date is left to the parents, but we ask students not to be exclusive or give evidence of their dating relationships while at school. 

COMMUNICATION 

The S.N.A.P. 

The S.N.A.P. (Special News and Potpourri) is a newsletter distributed campus-wide.  It contains information for all HIH families, but is also edited to provide campus-specific, need-to-know details about school.   

The Handle 

The Handles are regular emails from CREO staff.  Sometimes these emails include important action-items for parents.  HIH-parent partnership is important, and parents are asked to read these emails carefully. 

Parent/Teacher Connections 

Meaningful educational connections are built on trust and understanding.   From the initial registration to graduation, HIHCM aspires to build connections between home and school.  Teaching staff provide ongoing personal contact with children and families, meaningful learning activities, supervision, and over-all protection of child’s well-being.  HIHCM has a 15:1 child/teacher ratio in our CREO programs.   

Specific procedures to help facilitate connection are the following: Parent Orientation Meetings, Parent-Teacher-Child Welcome Meetings, Phase-In Week Experiences, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Student-Lead Portfolio Conferences, CREO Parents Group 

Conferences  

Conferences are held in the fall and are offered upon request in the spring by the teacher or the parent.  HIH staff value cultivating a strong rapport with classroom families.  Please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher via email with questions and concerns or to set up an in-person meeting with them between the offered conference times. 

In January, CREO students will host a portfolio conference, sharing work from their 1st semester. This is a required conference and the student along with at least one parent or guardian must attend. 

 

Parent Visits to the Classroom—Observations 

In keeping with our open-door policy, our deep belief that parents own primary responsibility in the care of their children, parents are able to observe a classroom upon request.   

Our preference, however, is to respect the integrity of the Montessori classroom and environment by inviting parents to engage a formal observation experience.  Observations can be wonderful opportunities for visitors to watch and discover the Montessori environment from a quiet observer’s chair in the classroom.  We ask visitors to honor the child’s learning time and the quiet classroom and to avoid inadvertently impacting the teacher’s ability to teach properly and the student’s ability to learn.  Parents, grandparents, and other visitors must be mindful of this upon entering the classroom.    

Observations can be arranged via campus offices, and guidelines are given at the time of your arrival to help focus your observations.  After an observation experience, if you have questions or wish to discuss your observation, you can directly contact the CREO Academic Dean or Dean of Students. 

 

CURRICULAR 

Absent Students 

 

Students are responsible for all class work and homework assigned when absent. It is the student’s duty to check Thinkwave, ask a friend, and talk to their teacher to find out assignments they have missed. In most cases work assigned when a student is absent is due one to two days after the student returns to school. 

 

Cheating and Plagiarism 

Hand in Hand CREO values honesty and integrity in student work. As a Christian community, we will operate with academic integrity in daily work and on any assessment/paper being completed. Cheating or plagiarism on any assignment or evaluation is not only an academic infraction, but also a violation of our community standards as a Christian School. Cheating and plagiarism will be taken seriously by all teachers and administrators at CREO. Cheating and Plagiarism are defined as:  

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own  
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source  
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.  

There must be clear evidence of cheating/plagiarism for this policy to be used. In each case of cheating/plagiarism the teacher will notify the student, parent and the Academic Dean to communicate the offense as well as the consequence.  

*Please note that both the person sharing and the person receiving the material in question will face consequences.  

Students who cheat or plagiarize will receive a zero on the work in question. Students may be allowed to make up the work for reduced credit. Repeated offenses will result in further disciplinary actions including up to losing credit for the class and/or suspension or expulsion.   

 

Class Load Requirements for Full-Time Students 

Full Time Students attend school 5 days a week and have 3 days of core lessons, 1 day of Fine Arts electives and 1 day of Career focused electives.   

 

Common Grading Scale 

CREO uses a common grading scale to convert percentage grades into letter grades in grades 9-12. The following chart illustrates this grading scale. The percentage in the first column is the lowest percentage that would still earn that letter grade. For example, any grade less than 87% but greater than or equal to 83% would be converted to a “B” letter grade. 

Percentage Letter Grade  GPA Equivalent  

93 A 4.000  

90 A- 3.667  

87 B+ 3.333  

83 B 3.000  

80 B- 2.667  

77 C+ 2.333  

73 C 2.000  

70 C- 1.667  

67 D+ 1.333  

63 D 1.000  

60 D- 0.667  

0 F 0  

Diploma Requirements 

Full Time Academy Graduate: Our 5 Day academy has the following graduation requirements: 

A minimum of 22 required and elective course credits must be completed in grades 9 -12. 

 

9i  CREO Requirement​​  State Requirement​​ 
Language Arts​​  4​​  4​​ 
Social Studies​​  4​​  3.5​​ 
Math  4​​  3​​ 
Science​​  4​​  3​​ 
Phy Ed​​  1.5​​  1​​ 
Electives​​  7​​  7​​ 
Total​​  24.5​​  21.5​​ 

Home School Graduate: Our home-school students have the choice of two different diplomas. If a home-schooled student meets the CREO graduation credit requirements, with a combination of CREO and homeschool credits, their diploma will be co-signed by CREO and their homeschool. If a homeschool student does not meet CREO credit requirements, their diploma is signed by their homeschool only. 

 

All three diploma options are celebrated at our graduation ceremony at the end of the school year.   

 

Dropping of Classes 

Since we wish to encourage students to attempt courses that challenge or intrigue them, we have a policy that enables them to do so without great risk of being stuck in a failing situation. A student who drops a class may join a study hall or another class within 10 school days of that new semester (with teacher and parent approval). A student who drops a class after the 10 day period may take a study hall. If the class is dropped on or before the end of the 6th week of school, the grade will not be calculated into their GPA. If the drop takes place after the 6th week, the grade is recorded as an “F”, becomes a part of the permanent record and will affect student eligibility.  

 

Executive Functions Approach 

We seek to provide support in the Executive Function development of each child by providing routines, organization, and tools across disciplines.   

 

 

Every CREO student is supported and expected to use: 

  • CREO Planner 
  • Follow-Up Work Binder 
  • Thinkwave 
  • Open Classrooms 
  • Lockers, Cubbies, and other personal assigned spaces 

 

Grading/Progress Reports 

At the end of 1st and 3rd quarter, student progress reports will be e-mailed home. At the end of 2nd and 4th quarter, a report card will be sent home with teacher narration on progress in the course. All school tuition and fees must be paid before any records will be released.  

 

If a family contract has an outstanding balance, progress reports will be released upon payment in full. 

J-Term 

Our J-term (approximately the 1st 3 weeks of January) will be used for guided research and project development, mentored by a CREO guide.  Students will have 2 weeks of on-campus lessons, workshops, and going-outs to prepare them for their 3rd week of work at home. We will have a culminating showcase of student projects at the end of J-term. 

 

Montessori Grade Scale 

In grades 7 and 8, we use a Montessori grading scale to report student progress. The Montessori scale uses the numbers 1-4 to represent the student’s engagement with the follow-up work and understanding of the material.  

1- Follow Up Work is incomplete and needs revision  

2- Working On/Progressing In  

3- Met Expectations  

4- Mastered and Excelled (shows extended learning or engagement)  

 

Grade Point Average/Granting of Credit 

Student progress reports can be viewed any time on Thinkwave. The current grade in Thinkwave reflects the cumulative result of all work done since the beginning of the semester. Grades for individual assignments and test can also be viewed on Thinkwave. Grade point average is calculated from core classes and PSEO courses. One semester of a core class is worth .5 credits; a full year of any class is worth 1.0 credits.  Elective courses are .25 credits a semester; .5 credits for the year. When a student repeats a class that has been failed previously, both courses will appear on the final transcript. However, only the second grade will be used in calculating the grade point average. A 1-2 credit semester PSEO course is .5 CREO credits and a 3-4 credit semester class earns 1 CREO credit for the semester. 

 

Incompletes 

All incompletes must be made up within the first two weeks following the conclusion of a marking period. If the work has not been completed, a zero(s) will be assigned for the incomplete work and final grade calculated appropriately. Any exceptions to this policy must be worked out in advance with the individual classroom teacher. 

 

 

Independent Study 

Independent study is an option for course work in which a student determines an area of concentration in consultation with a faculty member. The program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore a particular curricular interest in depth and at his/her own pace. A personal contract and arrangements need to be made with the Academic Dean to participate in Independent Study.   

 

Open Classroom and Office Hours 

On core academic days, there is a 1.5 -3 hour work cycle built into the day. This block of time is built in the schedule to allow students time to work in the discipline of their choice with access to the teacher and classroom resources. This is not to be considered free time. A list of expectations and requirements will be drafted and agreed upon by the staff and students and the initial Phase-In Retreat.  

 

Standardized Testing  

We provide two Standardized tests each school year. In February, students participate in the Peabody test. In May, the Iowa Assessments test is administered. While we do not use tests as the only measure of learning and progress, we do like to use the standardized tests as the opportunity to practice taking tests and to mark progress. Test scores are not part of graduation requirements. The PACT may be offered in the Spring to those that would like to take it. 

 

If a family contract has an outstanding balance, standardized testing results will be released upon payment in full. 

 

Transcripts 

Each Hand in Hand CREO student will have transcripts sent to the college or university of the student’s choice for no fee. A final transcript will be sent to the college of your choice but must be requested in writing by the student before graduation. All school tuition and fees must be paid before any records will be released.   

 

Work Based Learning 

Students may obtain permission for a work based learning credit.  Approval will be deemed from the Academic Dean.  A detailed plan and contract must be signed by the student, supervisor, parents, and Academic Dean. 

 

GENERAL 

 

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND PROCEDURES 

All minor behavioral issues will be addressed by the relevant teacher with a direct restorative approach. Continued behavior will be addressed outside of school hours in conjunction with the Dean of Students. In more serious situations a student may be asked to remain home from school until a restorative justice meeting can be scheduled with parents or guardians. In some circumstances a part of the restorative process may include a period of time away from school or restricted attendance. The refusal to participate in the restorative process may result in the termination of enrollment.  

 

SUSPENSION 

In-school or out of school suspension may be used by the administration as discipline for more serious offenses such as fighting, vandalism, stealing, the use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco, repeated skipping of classes, and other offenses which violate the spirit of Christian community. A student may be suspended for one to three days. The parents will be informed of any suspension. In addition:  

  • Students who are suspended must complete all schoolwork that they have missed during the suspension period and are expected to turn in completed assignments and take missed tests and quizzes immediately upon their return to school.  
  • Students are always ineligible to participate in or attend any curricular or extracurricular activity during a period of suspension. This would include all school activities and events.  

 

Probation 

Probation status means a student is placed in a more tentative category with regard to enrollment, and there will be closer monitoring of behavior and closer counseling/support for the student. However, there will also be some restrictions for a student who is on probation. Probation indicates a student will not be able to represent Hand in Hand CREO at public performances or athletic contests and will need to forfeit membership in student activities and organizations. A student will be put on probation for major offenses where a repetition would be considered a serious violation of Christian principles and school philosophy. A letter stating terms of the probation will be sent to the parents with a copy on file in the superintendent’s office.  

 

Expulsion 

A student can only be expelled by the Board of Directors, upon recommendation by the Campus Director or Dean. A meeting will be held with the student, parents, school administration, and representative from the Board of Directors. 

 

Educational Research & Experiments 

These will not occur without the express written consent of the Parents/Guardian. 

Environmental Health 

Environmental hazards such as air pollution, lead, and asbestos are reduced or eliminated according to public health requirements, by maintaining the property and grounds, yearly inspections, and routine professional care. 

Field Trip Policy 

CREO students are often taken off campus to deepen and support their learning.  Parents will be informed when students will be off campus.  Additional fees may apply. Permission has been granted within the TADS application. 

Students are allowed to drive their own car for a school educational trip provided that parents/guardians have notified school administration and prior arrangements have been made. Students who do not have a signed permission slip must ride in transportation provided by the school. Students are not allowed to transport other students, except siblings, during the school day.  

 

Transportation will be provided by CREO teachers (faculty), HIH staff, or volunteer CREO parents.  Driver’s need to provide a current Driver’s License and proof of insurance. 

 

Grievance Policy/Internal Review Policy 

If a parent has a grievance with any policy or employee of HIH, the parent should follow the dispute practice outlined in Scripture. The first attempt to settle the dispute should be done in person with the offending party. If the grievance is not resolved, the parent should take the matter to the next person in the chain of command.  A complaint should be given in writing.  A follow up response from HIH will be given. If the grievance is still not resolved, the matter will proceed to the Board of Directors of Hand In Hand. It is our deepest desire to live in peace with all people and act in a professional and peace-making manner.   There is a HIH Internal Review Policy in place to ensure truthful and open communication for all stakeholders.   

Handle with Care—Special Needs 

Handle with Care is a Hand In Hand program that works to maximize student success by offering support to students with the main goal for the student to be ready to return and reengage in the classroom.  Therefore, Hand In Hand welcomes and will admit a child with exceptions (either special needs and/or who is gifted & talented) on a case by case basis. We require consultation with our Handle with Care staff prior to admissions.  

In addition, Hand In Hand requires families to share written assessments, pertinent medical history including prescriptions, medical conditions, a prior IEP or diagnosis prior to admission.  

Some additional fees are assessed when appropriate so the child will receive extra support as well as the parent.  Unfortunately, not all children thrive in the Montessori environment when other needs are more pressing.  Therefore, when we are unable to meet a child’s needs, a parent-teacher-administrator conference will be held. If dismissal occurs, tuition will be pro-rated.  Please refer to the Behavior Policies. 

For students with PCAs in the classroom, our Handled With Care department will verify a background check has been cleard or will request a background check application and copy of current driver’s license to complete a background check.  PCAs may also be required to sign our Volunteer Policies.Individual Care Plans 

Students in CREO with severe allergies, significant medical concerns or behavioral diagnoses may have an Individual/Emergency Health Plan or Individual Care Plan developed at the discretion of the Health Office or Handle with Care staff.   

Staff are trained in these plans and the documents are updated annually or as needed. 

Insurance Policy 

HIH holds insurance policies under the authorization of the Board of Directors for General Liability, Workers Compensation and for Directors and Officers.  Individuals with questions regarding this insurance can reach out to the finance office for more details. 

Library 

The Christian Resource Library is a Christian and Homeschooling library that is a separate ministry from Hand in Hand, located on the Central campus.  HIH students have access to library resources for use in the classroom.  All HIH families are also welcome to check out materials from the library for use at home and have their own patron ID number.  For more information on library borrowing policies and open hours, as well as a link to the library’s online catalogue, go to crclibrary.org.  

Maltreatment Reporting Policy  

If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger, call 911.   

The MN Department of Human Services (DHS) also requires us to inform parents that any concern of suspected abuse or neglect within a facility should be reported to the Licensing Division’s Maltreatment Intake line at (651)431-6600.   

For concerns occurring outside of campus facilities, county social services agencies should be contacted.   

Peacemaking Policy (Anti-bully) 

Beyond our redirection policies, we are intentional about helping children become peace makers, practice peace and become more peaceful even in the midst of trials and hardships. Dr. Montessori discussed this issue in light of her generation and troubles in the world.  She offers some unique principles, and the HIH staff continually seeks to develop school-wide strategies to encourage peacemaking in our community.  

Bullying, using words or actions to intimidate, belittle, or exclude others, is behavior that is destructive.  As with other behavior that is not tolerated, staff will initially address this behavior verbally.  Guardians will be notified with repeated offenses in writing.  A Campus Director, staff, and parent conference will be called as needed to discuss positive remedies.  In or out-of-school suspensions may be considered.  If patterns continue, campus directors will determine whether HIH is the best fit for the child who is repeatedly demonstrating this behavior. 

Bullying might happen with groups of students.  Classroom staff may gather students to practice peacemaking skills and reconciliation, as well as address these behaviors individually. 

If your child shares that they are experiencing or witnessing problematic or bullying behavior, please reach out to the Dean of Students to alert them to the destructive dynamics. 

Parent Communication 

Parents in our HIH community are also asked to maintain respect and integrity in voicing questions and concerns and in all communication with other families and staff.  We practice “speaking the truth in love.”  In fellowship with each other, we invite adherence to the discipline of believing the best in others, even in confusion and disagreement.  We also invite our families to practice the discipline of repair and forgiveness work when there is offense 

Campus administration will address parents/guardians who are inappropriately intimidating, threatening or belittling in their communication (verbal, nonverbal or writing) with staff or other families.  Initial attempts at peaceful reconciliation will be pursued.  Persistent bullying behavior by parents and guardians may result in the dismissal of their student from HIH programming.  If dismissal occurs, tuition will be pro-rated. 

 

 

Pet Policy 

Pets and plants may be a part of the HIH experience creating home-like connections and empathy practice. When we introduce a new pet or animal to the environments for educational purposes and enrichment activities, this should be cleared with the teacher of the environments first and families will be notified. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  It is expected that visiting animals will show written proof that they have had all necessary shots and wear necessary tags. In addition, visiting pets would be allowed only in designated areas and would be expected to be properly leashed, supervised and/or caged. In the pre-planning process for pet visits, participants with allergies to animals would be informed and alternative arrangements for them would be made. 

Public Use of Children’s Photos Policy 

We will take pictures of the children in the classroom playing and working. These will be used for bulletin boards, newsletters, promotional flyers, Hand in Hand yearbooks, and websites. An opt-out option is available through TADS if the parent desires photos of their child/ren not to be published for media and marketing purposes.   

Restrooms at Hand in Hand 

Hand In Hand has designated bathrooms for each age group to comply with licensing policies and follows these practices to minimize the vulnerability of our children:  

  • The multiple-use restrooms at HIH are designated for use by male persons only or female persons only. 
  • “Sex” means an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth. An individual’s original birth certificate may be relied upon as definitive evidence of the individual’s sex. 
  • No person shall enter a restroom that is designated for one sex unless they are a member of that sex with the following exceptions– 
  • For custodial and maintenance purposes when the facility is not occupied by a member of the opposite sex. 
  • To render medical assistance 
  • During a natural disaster, emergency or when necessary to prevent a serious threat to good order or student safety. 
  • A children’s house teacher to assist a Children’s House student 
  • A toddler-aged child to be with a parent/teacher during the Family Programs 
  • The school prohibits the use of any video device in any bathroom, locker room or other location where students and staff “have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” A student improperly using any device to take or transmit images will face disciplinary action up to and including suspension, loss of privileges, and may be recommended for expulsion. Phones are prohibited in restrooms at all times. 
  • Staff have their own designated single stalled bathrooms for use. 
  • Volunteers, professional partners (like PCAs) and visitors may use the staff single stalled facilities. 
  • If a CREO student desires greater privacy than available multi-stall bathrooms, the family may submit a request to the CREO Dean to use single-stall staff restrooms. 

Security and Safety 

Entrances to the campus buildings are secure.  Campus administration will guide parents in building access protocols prior to the start of school or upon enrollment.  Visitors, volunteers and professional partners (paras, for example) are required to obtain a badge from the campus offices, acknowledging access to the classroom areas.  Background checks are also required from staff as well as regular volunteers and professional partners. 

Staff are trained in best practices for emergency situations.  Local law enforcement and emergency services prioritize schools.   

In the event of an evacuation, each campus has a designated alternate safe shelter.   

Serving/Giving 

Hand in Hand’s educational environment depends on the support of parent volunteers and donors.  To help keep the costs of tuition and programming low, as well as to provide opportunity for community, service and ownership, we richly recommend a volunteer commitment from every family.  Thank you for your willingness to serve this school year.  Hand in Hand invites families to participate in a variety of fundraising events throughout the year.  Questions about fundraising should be directed to the Director of Advancement HIH. 

Staff and Faculty Policies 

Upon being hired, the Teaching and Support Staff members are given details of their staff responsibilities, an extensive orientation, personnel policy training, and on-the-job training for their position.  Through-out the year, staff members are given continuing education opportunities, community resources, and staff development funds to foster growth both personally and professionally as incentives. Through prayer and attention, staff members are “hand-picked” and plans and policies are offered to attract and maintain a consistently qualified, well-trained, well-equipped, and called-by-God staff.   

All staff members who work directly with children must pass a criminal-record, background check before being left alone with children; must be free from any history of substantiated child abuse or neglect; must have completed their high school diploma and be 18 years of age; have provided personal references; and have the ability to perform the tasks required to carry out the responsibilities of the position. 

Stealing 

Occasionally students will report missing textbooks, calculators, or other personal items. It is important to realize that the CREO community regards stealing as a serious offense. Any student who takes or receives property that does not belong to him/her will be required to make restitution and may be subject to further disciplinary action as determined by the administration. Students caught stealing may be subject to criminal prosecution.   

Hand in Hand Christian Montessori and the CREO program is not responsible for loss, damage or theft, of cash, jewelry, clothing or other valuables. 

 

Substance Abuse Policy 

CREO is committed to maintaining a drug and alcohol free campus. As a Christian school, we want our students and families to know the dangers of even occasional use and the potential for addiction. Conversations that glorify or trivialize the abuse of drugs or alcohol is not allowed and will be addressed according to our discipline and restorative justice policy. To ensure a safe place of learning, we reserve the right to search at anytime all vehicles, lockers, bags and persons for drugs/alcohol and contraband of all types. The suspected use, or possession of alcohol or any controlled substance or paraphernalia will be subject to both the CREO discipline policy and Minnesota and US Federal laws. Staff will address situations in a case by case basis in consultation with parents and will be handled with the utmost care desire for the restoration of individuals and relationships.  

  

Technology Policy 

While at school students may only use computers and other digital devices for approved school work. Before and after school digital devices are only to be used as needed to communicate with parents. During class, some projects and assignments will require the use of computers. Staff will instruct students when and where they are allowed to use computers. Students are encouraged to bring their own computer for school use. CREO provides a limited number of laptop computers for students to check out. The use of computers during open classroom time requires that students 

  • Ask the supervising teacher 
  • Inform the teacher what they will be working on and remain on that work 
  • Sit so that the screen faces the teacher in that room 
  • Return and plug in the computer when finished 

High school students (9th – 12th grade) are allowed to request to listen to music on headphones during open classroom time and PSEO sessions. Music must be accessed from students’ personal laptops only. Students are encouraged to identify music that is appropriate and increases focus. Video sites are not to be used for music (YouTube etc.).   

CREO students are welcome to bring their own devices (e.g. cell phones) from home at their own risk.  Devices will be turned off and secured during the day in the students’ locker and will not be available to use.  Devices should only be used before and after school on an “as needed” basis. While on campus, we ask that any technology is strictly used for educational purposes, including before and after school. Gaming and social media are not allowed.  Parents should not contact children during the school day.  Messages can be sent via the office.  

The misuse of computers and other digital technology will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the CREO Dean of Students. Parents will be included when deemed necessary. The school reserves the right to inspect electronic devices if a student is suspected of or violates school policy of proper use.   

Uniform Policy 

In keeping with the mission of CREO, the CREO community recognizes the important impact of student dress on the learning environment. The CREO uniform policy is as follows.  

 

 CREO Uniform Policies  
  Boys  Girls 
 

 

7th - 8th 

Grade 

 

 

Regular Uniform- Worn on 

Monday - Thursday 

Light Blue or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)  

 

Khaki or Navy Pants (No Jeans) 

Or Knee Length Shorts 

 

CREO Monogrammed Jacket   

Light Blue or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)  

 

Khaki or Navy Pants (no jeans), Shorts, Capris, Skorts, and Skirts (Length: past fingertips) 

 

CREO Monogrammed Jacket   

 

(Any color legging or tights can be worn under skorts or skirts) 

 

 

9th - 12th 

Grade 

 

Regular Uniform-  Worn on 

Monday – Thursday 

Black or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)  

 

Khaki, Black, or Dark Grey Pants or Knee Length Shorts (no jeans)  

 

Senior High CREO Jacket  

Black or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)  

 

Khaki, Black, or Dark Grey Pants, Shorts, Capris, Skorts, and Skirts (Length: past fingertips) 

 

Senior High CREO Jacket  

 

 

All 

Fan Wear 

Fridays: 

Regular Uniform according to grade, as listed above 

 

Denim Jeans without embellishments or holes 

 

Solid colored black  

or navy blue athletic pants (no logos, stripes, or varied colors)  

 

CREO T-Shirt or any Hand in Hand or CREO branded clothing 

 

CREO Jacket 

 

Regular Uniform according to grade, as listed above 

 

Denim Jeans, Shorts, or Skirts without embellishments or holes (Length: past fingertips) 

 

solid colored black  

or navy blue athletic pants (No leggings, logos, stripes, or varied colors)  

 

CREO T-Shirt or any Hand in Hand or CREO branded clothing 

 

CREO Jacket 

 

 

 

 

All 

 

 

 

Extras:  

Appropriate outdoor gear for farming, exploring, and working outdoors. This includes mud boots, snow pants, boots, heavy duty work gloves, hats, and warm gloves.  

 

One pair of INDOOR ONLY shoes or slippers.  

 

Leggings, tights, socks, and shoes have no specific colors or styles.  

 

Vandalism Policy 

Any student found in or around our buildings or at school events who are, vandalizing, setting fires, throwing firecrackers, emptying fire extinguishers, pulling fire alarms, or damaging buildings, grounds, or contents in any way will be suspended from school for up to three (3) days and may be prosecuted subsequent to a police investigation and may be subject to expulsion.  

A fifty-dollar ($50) fine plus expenses (to include cleanup and repair of damage) will be imposed which must be paid before the student is readmitted to the school.   

NOTES: 

  1. Any malicious activity at school that is deemed to be a “computer hacking” offense will be subject to the terms of the vandalism policy.  
  1. The vandalism policy also pertains to any negative student actions taken against faculty and staff homes or their private property  

Volunteer/Professional Assistants Policies 

Unsupervised volunteers in our CREO programs will be asked to submit a background check application and a copy of their driver’s license.   

Professional assistants (an RN or PCA who is supporting a child) will submit a background check from their agency or through HIHCM.  Professional assistants will collaborate with lead teachers to facilitate the Montessori experience for the children in the classroom.  Please visit your campus Handle with Care program for more details. 

Weather-related Closing Criteria 

Our current weather-related policies reflect the independent transportation practices and challenges of our own community.  We will be looking at information provided by the National Weather Service (NWS). Campus directors will decide whether to call a snow day or more commonly a late start based on predicted frigid cold temperatures or snow accumulation.  In the event of a late start, individual families will have the option of taking a snow day, if conditions are deemed unsafe for their family. 

Closings Communication: 

If Hand In Hand closes or issues a late start, the information is communicated by: 

  • all-school email blast 

Weapons 

Because it is our intention to cultivate a peaceful and secure environment for the children in our community, HIH has a zero-tolerance policy for any weapons or toys resembling weapons, such as air soft guns.  Any items that fall into that category will be confiscated, and the student may be suspended for a determined length of time. 

UNIFORM POLICIES

Our simple uniforms are a benefit to families because they:

  • Promote cohesiveness in the student body
  • Provide an appropriate standard of dress
  • Reduce the costs of “school clothes”
  • Allow the children the opportunity for independence by dressing themselves

Hand In Hand has an affiliation with two uniform providers:

Donald’s is the largest uniform store in St. Paul, servicing many private and parochial schools. Their friendly staff is ready to serve you at your convenience. Simply mention Hand In Hand, and they will direct you to all pre-selected choices. At this location, monogramming is available.

Lands’ End comes with over 40 years of experience in providing quality school apparel. You may order from them over the phone or online. Hand In Hand does receive a 3% donation on all Lands’ End orders.

Other local retailers that provide school uniforms include Sears, J.C. Penney, Target, Kohls and Old Navy, but monograms are not available through these vendors. Monogramming is optional and not required. Hand in Hand also offers gently used items in the entryway for a small fee.

The colors are navy blue, white, pastel yellow and khaki. Tartan plaid (Green/Navy/Yellow/ Red) is also a choice. You may purchase as much or as little as you would like, keeping in mind that the children must be in uniform each program day.. Non-uniform clothes like various sweatshirts, t-shirts, striped shirts, and multi-colored fabrics are not permitted. Family Preschool children may wear coordinating items with their jumpers and navy monogrammed vests. Preschool through Grade 6 children and Jr./Sr. High School must wear the prescribed color choices as described on the following table.

Indoor and outdoor footwear is required.  Tennis shoes are also needed for gym class.  Clean tennis shoes can double for recess and gym or indoor footwear and gym.  Boots are appropriate for seasonal outdoor footwear.  Soled slippers are an indoor option for E1, E2 and CREO students.

On Fanware Fridays, nice jeans or blue sweatpants with a HIH sweatshirt, t-shirt or other uniform top is welcome for E1, E2 and CREO students and all staff.

Family Preschool

Navy Vest with or without monogram (boys)

Navy Jumper with or without monogram (girls)

Boys

Children’s House (Preschool/ Kindergarten)
and Elementary Programs

Navy or Khaki Shorts

Navy or Khaki Pants/Cords

Oxford Shirts (Roseville-white or pastel yellow/Bloomington-white or red)

Turtleneck Shirts (Roseville-white, pastel yellow, navy/Bloomington-white or red)

Knit Polo Shirts (Roseville-white, pastel yellow, navy/Bloomington-white or red)

Navy Sweaters or Vests with or without monogram

Navy Pullover or Cardigan with or without monogram

Navy Blue Polar Fleece or Performance Fleece (Pullover or Zip-up) with or without monogram

Indoor Shoes (Soled slippers are an option for E1/E2)

Outdoor Shoes/Gym shoes

Girls

Children’s House (Preschool / Kindergarten)
and Elementary Programs

Navy Jumper with or without monogram

Navy or Khaki Skorts

E2 Girls Only –Khaki or Navy Pants

Tartan Jumper

Peter Pan Blouses (Roseville-white, pastel yellow, navy/Bloomington-white or red)

Oxford Shirts (Roseville-white or pastel yellow/Bloomington-white or red)

Turtleneck Shirts (Roseville-white, pastel yellow, navy/Bloomington-white or red)

Knit Polo Shirts (Roseville-white, pastel yellow, navy/Bloomington-white or red)

Navy Blue Polar Fleece or Performance Fleece (Pullover or Zip-up) with or without monogram

Navy Cardigans or Sweaters with or without monogram

Socks, Tights, Headbands, etc.

Indoor Shoes (Soled slippers are an option for E1/E2)

Outdoor Shoes/Gym shoes

CREO 7/8 Grade:                                    Regular Uniform-                                        Worn on Mondays – Thursday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREO 9-12 Grade:                                  Regular Uniform-                                     Worn on Mondays – Thursday

 

 

 

 

ALL: Fan Wear Fridays:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL: Extras:

Boys: Light Blue or White Polos or Oxfords (buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)

Khaki or navy pants (no jeans) or knee length shorts

CREO Monogrammed Jacket

Girls: Light Blue or White Polos or Oxfords (buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)

Khaki or navy pants (no jeans) capris, skorts, shorts and skirts (length: past fingertips)

*Any color legging or tights can be worn under skorts or skirts

Boys: Black or white polos or oxfords (buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)

Khaki, black, or dark grey pants or knee length shorts (no jeans)

Senior High CREO Jacket

Girls: Black or white polos or oxfords (buttons and collar required, short or long sleeved)

Khaki, black, or dark grey pants, shorts, capris, skorts and skirts (Length: past fingertips)

Senior High CREO Jacket

Boys: Regular Uniform according to grade as listed above

Denim jeans without holes or embellishments

Solid colored black or navy blue athletic pants (no logos, stripes, or varied colors)

CREO T-shirt or any Hand In Hand or CREO branded clothing

CREO jacket

Girls: Regular Uniform according to grade as listed above

Denim jeans, shorts or skirts without holes or embellishments (Length: past fingertips)

Solid colored black or navy blue athletic pants (no leggings, logos, stripes, or varied colors)

CREO T-shirt or any Hand In Hand or CREO branded clothing

CREO jacket

Appropriate outdoor gear for farming, exploring, and working outdoors. This includes mud boots, snow pants, boots, heavy duty work gloves, hats, and warm gloves.

One pair of INDOOR ONLY shoes or slippers.

Leggings, tights, socks, and shoes do not need to be specific colors or styles.

Food Policy

Nurturing the growth and development of our children is what Hand In Hand is all about! It is our desire at Hand In Hand to take a holistic approach to educating and caring for our children.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own.” Our body is a gift from God and a vehicle to use in service to Him. He wants us to nourish ourselves in the best way possible. We endeavor to feed the minds and bodies of our students with quality “ingredients.”

One project from Appleton, WI, demonstrates a strong correlation between good nutrition and learning. About a decade ago, administrators decided to experiment with removing unhealthy foods and drinks from an alternative school and offering nutritious, whole-foods, meals instead, along with regular exercise. Teachers and staff started noticing a marked decrease in difficult behavioral issues and a corresponding increase in the students’ ability to concentrate and learn. The results were so compelling that shortly thereafter, the whole district implemented the policy. 1,2

Snacks

Hand In Hand will provide a healthy snack each day for all students. The snacks are—

  • Natural, and often organic
  • Plant-based: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit
  • Whole foods: unrefined and minimally processed
  • Free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oil.

 

The provided snack is part of the learning experience at Hand In Hand. Snacks are served to children between 9:00 am and noon during the children’s three-hour work cycle. Parents are asked to off-set this expense. Families whose children have food allergies or sensitivities have the option of providing their own snacks from home.

Foods that are avoided during both snack and lunch, because of the possible risks to younger children, include the following: whole hot dogs, whole grapes, whole nuts, peanut butter, raw peas and carrots that are not cut into sticks.

Lunch Parameters

Parents are responsible for sending a lunch with their child each day OR signing up for the “all- natural” hot lunch program. Hand In Hand strives to inspire our children to develop a taste for truly healthy food—food that is healthy for our bodies and clears our minds for optimal learning.

  • We ask that parents not send sugary treats, candy, or soda pop. Avoid colored Jell-O, artificial sugar-packed puddings, and artificially processed lunchable-type snacks.
  • As an alternative, consider sending individual apple sauce cups, natural fruit cups, yogurt, fruit leathers, carrots and celery (“ants on a log” or just “logs!”). Fresh fruit, fruit salsa, or trail mix (raisins, nuts, and cereal) are also welcome. If you choose to send treats in your child’s lunch, bring homemade healthy treats or packaged organic/natural alternatives.
  • A cold pack can be used to keep food cool.
  • 1% Milk and Soy Milk as well as water will be provided at lunchtime for all students.
  • Lunch is served between 12:00 and 1:00 pm. (Snacks and meals are spaced so that they are at least two hours apart but not more than three hours apart.)

Our Hot Lunch Menus are available in hard copy form or on-line, change quarterly and are reviewed by our school’s health consultant and other nutritional experts.

Our kitchen is regulated by the Minnesota Health Department and our school cook/food specialist is licensed and certified. The staff discards foods with expired dates, documents compliance with any corrections that have been made according to the Health Department, School Health Consultant, Head of School and other applicable food safety standards.

Family Events

Many of our family events include food provided by families. The tone of our policy—good, wholesome food—will apply to the food served at Hand In Hand Family Events, although it will be more relaxed.

Homemade or natural store-bought items such as banana muffins, zucchini breads, healthy granola cookies, and similar items will be part of these fun events. The idea is not to make unnecessary restrictions, but rather to provide an environment where we can all enjoy and be nourished with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and natural; families’ unique preferences will be respected.

Parent Only Events & Meetings

Food served at Parent-Only events and meetings will carry the most relaxed policies. While we encourage healthy treats, this is the opportunity to share your favorite “cookies or brownies” if you wish to do so.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYG4V_hogzI

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWYPjjpBSgQ

Allergy Policies and Procedures

Overview

  • All parents will fill out a Health in the Classroom Survey or Form and notify Hand In Hand upon enrollment of any known allergies, sensitivities or intolerances.
  • Forms are updated annually and discussed with the child’s classroom staff at parent conferences during phase-in.
  • Parents are required to notify Hand In Hand and fill out corresponding documentation if a new allergy is diagnosed.

 

Sensitivities and Dietary Preferences

  • If your child does not have an allergy that requires medications, their name and intolerance/sensitivity will be on a list distributed to staff in the cafeteria and in your child’s classroom and posted discreetly.
  • We also try to honor family dietary preferences as requested by parents.
  • Staff will be aware of your child’s needs, but no individualized care plan is created.
  • You may choose to pack lunches and snacks from home for your child.

 

Allergies

  • An ICCPP (Individual Care Center Program Plan) will be completed for each child with known allergies. This form will include a description of the allergy, specific triggers, avoidance techniques (if any), symptoms of allergies and procedures for responding to allergies including medications, dosage and doctors’ contact information.
  • All staff are trained in preventing and responding to allergies during their orientation and annually at the start of school. The training is documented in staff personnel files.
  • Children with severe allergies are on medical awareness sheets distributed to all staff and posted in discreet locations, usually in a binder.
  • Staff, who care for a child with an ICCPP, review that child’s ICCPP and document that they understand the protocols for each individual child. Hand In Hand ensures that ICCPPs are followed.
  • ICCPPs are readily available and posted in the cafeteria and in child’s classroom in a Medical Alert/Allergy Binder. Emergency medication is accessible to staff.
  • The child’s parent/guardian will be contacted as soon as possible in any instance of exposure or reaction that requires medication or medical intervention.

 

Food/Cafeteria

  • Vegan snacks are provided daily in the classrooms. Drink options for lunch include rice milk.
  • No peanuts or tree nuts are used as an ingredient in hot lunches or snacks provided by Hand In Hand.
  • We can not eliminate possible cross contamination from packaged foods that are processed in a facility that also processes peanuts or tree nuts. If cross contamination is a concern, you may opt to pack lunches and snacks from home (and opt out of the snack fee).
  • A cafeteria peanut-free area is provided. Children who eat at this table must bring a peanut-free lunch from home.

 

Classroom

The following safety measures are practiced in classrooms that have children with significant allergic responses to food:

  • Classrooms are made peanut- and tree-nut-free when there are students with these allergies in the classroom.
  • All students wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer upon entry into the classroom and before and after lunch/snack.
  • Tables are wiped with cleanser and a cloth or disposable wipes.
  • A separate chowki or table for eating snacks is provided if needed to minimize risk of exposure.

If your child has a severe allergy that requires emergency medication, bring the following to school prior to the start date for your child:

  1. Allergy Emergency Care Plan completed and signed by your health care provider. Most families use the FARE form https://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/food-allergy-anaphylaxis-emergency-care-plan 
  2. OTC Allergy Medications 
  3. If prescribed, 2 doses of epinephrine/antihistamine in the original packaging. Please request 2 labels from your pharmacy, so that there will be a pharmacy label on each dose. 
  4. “Fanny pack” type of bag to carry one dose of Emergency Medication with your child or your child’s teacher. The other dose will be kept in the pack or office as a back-up. 
  5. Four small photos of your child to be placed on the ECP and medications.

Medication Reminders

Consider expiration dates on your child’s medication. If possible, send medication that will be good for the whole school year. For antihistamines (Benadryl), the liquid, pre-measured doses are best and work the fastest.

Please reach out to your HIH campus school nurse to discuss your child’s needs and develop an ICCPP for your child. 

Thank you for your help in ensuring a safe, healthy school year for everyone at Hand In Hand.

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