Policies | Roseville Central Campus
PARENT POLICIES & PROCEDURES
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Hand in Hand Health Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 Health Office (email@example.com) 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
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.
Each campus has a uniform policy that students adhere to during school hours. Detailed information is available on the campus webpage.
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 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.
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
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 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.
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. HIHCM has a Scope & Sequence that is shared with 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.
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.
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—
We will not tollerate the following behaviors—
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If Hand In Hand closes or issues a late start, the information is communicated by:
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 Uniform; St. Paul & Eden Prarie; http://www.donaldsuniform.com
- Lands’ End School Line (via catalog and online); https://www.landsend.com/co/account/school-uniforms
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.
Navy Vest with or without monogram (boys)
Navy Jumper with or without monogram (girls)
Children’s House (Preschool/ Kindergarten)
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
Children’s House (Preschool / Kindergarten)
Navy Jumper with or without monogram
Navy or Khaki Skorts
E2 Girls Only –Khaki or Navy Pants
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:
|Light Blue or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons required)
Khaki or Navy Bottoms (no jeans or leggings)
CREO Monogrammed Jacket
Black or White Polos or Oxfords (Buttons required)
Khaki, Black, or Dark Grey Bottoms (no jeans or leggings)
Senior High CREO Jacket
Regular Uniform according to grade (including jeans)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Allergy Policies and Procedures
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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
- OTC Allergy Medications
- 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.
- “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.
- Four small photos of your child to be placed on the ECP and medications.
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.