Parent Policies & Procedures
Family Musik Time, Family Nursery & Family Preschool
Children can be between 0 months and 48 months on September 1 of the school year for which the child plans to attend. Because the parents are always on the premises, and the class meets less than 30 times in one calendar year, our Family Programs are exempt from restrictions and regulations of the Human Services Department of the State of Minnesota (e.g., we are able to accept children who are not fully toilet trained since the parent is present). The Family Preschool meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:45 a.m. Nursery is also available for siblings and birth–2-year-olds. Our Family Musik Time classes also meets on Thursday mornings from 11:00 to 11:45 and is open to children three and younger.
Preschool & Kindergarten (Children’s House)
Children must be between the ages of 33 months and 69 months on September 1 of the school year for which the child plans to attend, following the guideline range of ages dictated by the State of Minnesota. They must also be toilet trained, able to communicate coherently and to follow simple directions. 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. The Morning Preschool Programs meet on Mondays through Fridays from 8:45a.m. to noon. The All-Day Preschool and Extended Day/Kindergarten program meets on Mondays to Fridays from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Total # Licensed Roseville Campus–48. Total # Licensed Bethany Campus–24.
Home School Academy– 3 Day Program
Children must be between the ages of 7 and 15 and registered as “home educating children” with their school district. A copy of the registration with the district is required for the child’s file. The cooperative classroom is viewed as enrichment/supplemental education to the core curriculum the parents choose. Keeping with the widely understood practice of home educators in the State of Minnesota (and affirmed by District representatives), the mention of “Hand In Hand” or any other cooperative or enrichment programs is not necessary on this district form. The Elementary program meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Every child who is enrolled in our Home School Academy Elementary & HIgH program must be a registered home educating child in their school district. Forms for this are available through your local school district office and are due by October 1. Hand In Hand is an educational resource for home schooling children for a portion of the school year. We provide support in all subjects. Our program does not function like a “traditional co-op” where parents share teaching responsibilities or influence the overall direction of the curriculum. Our part-time enrichment program is educationally sound, unique and complementary to your home educating.
Private Academy – 5 Day Program
Children 7 through 15 years of age may apply for admission in our 5-Day Private Academy. Every child who is enrolled in our Private Academy Elementary & HIgH program will be a registered in the Roseville school district. State standards, Licensing, and Montessori guidelines are followed as much as possible – when it doesn’t conflict with the values, missions, or vision of the Hand In Hand Christian Montessori Philosophy.
Arrival and Departure Policies
The teachers and assistants will arrive early before each session to prepare the environment for the children. Immediately following the session they need time to journal, record keep, and restore order to the classroom before leaving for the day. The doors to the classrooms will remain closed until the teachers are ready to greet the children. Children remain in the hall outside their classrooms, supervised by staff. Early drop-off and late pick-up of children is not allowed. Please adhere to the 8:30 a.m. drop-off time and noon/ 3:15 p.m. pick-up time. (The Family Preschool students will wait outside the classroom at 9:00 a.m. for the doorkeeper to open the door for the start of the Godly Play Lesson.) At the close of the day, the children are escorted by staff to a waiting area to meet or be picked-up by their parents.
Parents are welcome to park and escort their children into/out of the building. Please use the designated cross-walk to promote safety. If you leave your car parked in the parking lot, remove all valuables from sight to discourage theft. Do not leave young children unattended in your parked vehicle. In addition, Hand in Hand offers the opportunity to drop-off or pick-up your child at curbside. There is NO PARKING in the drive-thru/pick-up lane prior to 9 am and before 2:45 pm.
Call the HIH office in case of emergency. The most important thing is to drive carefully, use seat belts, refrain from using cell phones while driving in the parking lot and lock your doors. Cross the parking lot with caution, especially when children are with you. Do not rush and hurry, walk at the child’s pace because “life is more precious than time.”
HIH offers before- and after- school care—Playcare—available for children in Kindergarten and older (school age). School-aged children who arrive prior to 8:30 am without an adult and/or parents who are not present by 3:30 pm to pick up their child will be charged a Playcare fee per session. A family may also choose to utilize Playcare from 4:30-5:00 pm and be billed as follows.
8:00-8:45 am — $4
3:30-4:30 pm — $4
3:30-5:00 pm — $8
Playcare ends promptly at 5:00 pm. Fees are billed at the end of each quarter. Playcare providers are at least 16 years old, have passed a criminal background check, have some experience with children, and go through an orientation process.
Drop-Off & Pick-Up Policies
Our goal of drop-off and pick-up is safety and convenience. We can begin receiving the children at 8:30 until 8:45 am at the curbside of the school building. The front door of the school will be opened by a staff member at 8:30 am to welcome students. This is the sign that your children can be welcomed into the school building. Please do not drop your children off prior to the open front door. If you arrive past 8:45 am, please park and escort your child to their classroom. You may be asked to wait in the hallway if you are late as to not interrupt the classroom flow. We discourage patterns of lateness.
Classes dismiss at 3:15 pm. Children will be escorted to their cars, waiting at the curb, from 3:15-3:20. Children’s House/Preschoolers need to be picked up promptly at 12:00 noon from their classrooms. Family Preschool parents need to escort their children to and from class each Tuesday. If a person, other than those indicated on your registration form, is picking up your child(ren), please inform the office by filling out the “Transportation Permission Slip” so that it can be placed in your child(ren)s file for record. This form can be obtained from an office staff member. Any changes in transportation must be in writing. An email or text to the office staff from the parent is required for last minute changes. Anyone we don’t recognize will be asked to provide a photo ID in the office before retrieving children.
Early pick-up—A parent is able to pick up children from school early prior to 3:05 pm. Office staff will retrieve children from their classroom for an early dismissal after the parent comes into the office to request his/her child/ren. After 3:05 pm, standard pick-up procedures apply. Parents may not call ahead requesting children to wait for them in the Gathering Area or outside. This facilitates the smooth operation of the school and safety for our children.
Behavior Redirection Policy
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.” 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 tolerate the following behaviors:|
On a first offense, we will redirect negative behavior and talk to the child gently and positively. We teach by “teaching” not correcting. Physical discipline is NEVER used. On a second repeated offense, we will notify the parent in writing at the end of the day. On the third repeated offense, a parent-teacher-dean conference will be called to discuss positive remedies. If the pattern continues, Handled With Care (our special needs program) may be an option. Otherwise, mutual consent will determine Hand In Hand is not the best fit for the child. If dismissal occurs, fees will be pro-rated.
Child/Teacher Connection Policies
Meaningful educational connections are built on trust and understanding. Hand In Hand makes every effort, from the initial registration to graduation, to build connections between home and school. Because Montessori environments work best with a mixed aged group of three-year age span, every effort is made to keep children with the same teacher and assistant for three years. Teaching staff provides ongoing personal contact with children and families, meaningful learning activities, supervision, and over-all protection of child’s well-being. Hand In Hand has a 7:1 teacher/child ratio in our Family Programs; a 10:1 child/teacher ratio in our Children’s Houses; and a 15:1 child/teacher ratios in our Elementary and HIgH programs. These ratios are maintained throughout the classrooms and also with specialists, recess, and lunch. We organize the days and work cycles so that the minimal transitions are experienced. Specific procedures to help children with connection are:
- Welcome Week, Parent-Teacher Initial Conferences, Phase-In Week experiences
- Small Ratios for Classrooms
- Three-Year cycles of same teacher/same classmates/same room
- Montessori Round-up – when the 3,6, 9, and 12 year olds all visit the “next” level/classroom
Classroom Pet Policy
When a teacher, parent or child would like to introduce his/her classroom children to a pet or animal for educational purposes and enrichment activities, these matters must be cleared with the Dean. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Educational Research & Experiments
These will not occur without the express written consent of the Parents or Guardian.
Field Trip Policy
Hand In Hand occasionally sponsors field trips off premise. Parents and children who would like to participate in a cooperative field trip will do so voluntarily and without obligation on a non-school day, providing the transportation and fees for the event personally and assisting with our Montessori “Going Out” program. Children’s Houses and Family Programs do not participate in Field Trips and children are never taken off premise.
Hand In Hand does not have an outside source funded scholarship program per se. Instead, the Board of Directors has committed 10% of tuition each year to be allocated towards families of need. Scholarship requests are processed by April 15th each year and require an application as well as a year-end tax form. Each scholarship family is asked to contribute to HIH. This enables Hand In Hand to continue to function, keep its costs down, and provide an opportunity for all economic levels.
Special Financial Arrangements are also offered for professional parents who contribute to the work of Hand in Hand. These arrangements are agreed upon prior to the beginning of the school year and authorized through the Board of Directors, the Student Financial Manager and the Dean.
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 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.
Health, Safety & Wellness Policies
Immunization Forms are required before a child can 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. Click here to access these forms.
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, if possible. We will contact you immediately if your child becomes ill while at Hand in Hand. The child will be kept comfortable in our office until a parent or authorized contact person arrives. Upon the onset of or exposure to a contagious illness or condition or when there is any emergency or injury requiring medical attention, the parent(s) 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:
- Fever of 100 degree or more in the last 24 hours
- Constant Cough
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Heavy, greenish or yellow nasal discharge
- Overly tired
- Fussy, cranky, generally not self
- Head lice
Weather-appropriate clothing is requested from parents to protect against cold, wet uniforms, sun injury, and insect-borne illness. Clothing for winter play should be layered and dry for warmth in cold weather. Rain gear is requested for damp, wet weather. In the fall and spring, parents are asked to consider sun-protective clothing for prolonged outdoor play. We also give children the opportunity to play in shaded areas. HIH staff does not apply sun-screen or bug spray to children during school hours. Sunscreen and bug repellents are considered medications, and families must follow medication protocols to use at school.
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.
Written emergency and accident policies are given to all staff members during Staff Orientation and include procedures for maintaining the children’s safety, avoiding injuries and administering first aid. The staff will also practice appropriate monthly fire and tornado drills with the children to ensure that in this unlikely event all children are well cared for. In the case of a fire, all students and staff will move one building west to the Fairview Community Center located at 1910 County Road B West, Roseville, MN 55113 (651-604-3500). “Safe Mode” policies and procedures are in place and rehearsed to practice gathering the children in the event of a 9-1-1 emergency, missing child or intruder. Our staff are fully trained in First Aid and CPR. In the case of any medical emergency 9-1-1 will be called.
Hand Washing Policies
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 10 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.
- 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.
HIH holds three insurance policies with Gallagan Insurance Agency under the authorization of the Board of Directors for General Liability, Workers Compensation and for Directors and Officers.
The Christian Resource Library is Christian and Homeschooling library that is a separate ministry from Hand in Hand. 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 catalog, go to the link below:
We are required to be licensed with the Minnesota Department of Human Services in our Preschool and Kindergarten rooms (Children’s Houses). Our Elementary & HIgH programs meet local school board state standards as well as following licensing guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. If you have any questions or comments, the telephone number of the Department of Human Services is 651-296-3971.
If you know or suspect that a child is in immediate danger, call 911. The MN Department of Human Services also requests us to make known to parents that any concern of suspected abuse or neglect should be reported to the Licensing Division’s Maltreatment Intake line at (651)431-6600. The county social services agency can be contacted at 651-266-4444. Please refer to our website “After Acceptance Forms” click here for more details.
We can administer medicine at Hand in Hand. It is preferred that children take prescribed and over-the-counter medicines before and after school with parental supervision. However, some medications are necessary during school hours. The school office oversees medication administration at school. If a student needs any kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication (including cough drops and sun screen), parents should go to the office first, not their child’s teacher. Guidelines include written instructions to be filled out, click here to access the form, and the safe keeping of the medications. For the safety of every student, no student should be carrying medication at school without following school protocol. The school health care consultant reviews procedures and medications and consults with families as needed.
Nap & Rest Policies
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 home every other week (6 school days) for washing, or as needed when soiled or wet.
Observation guidelines will be given at the time of your arrival to help focus your observation. After observing, if you wish for a further discussion you can contact the teacher or director. Parents will be given a written observation/conference analysis of their child twice a year—compiled by the teachers, assistants, and directors. Conferences are offered at the beginning of the year, mid-year and end of year (upon request).
Beyond our redirection policies, we are developing procedures to help 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.
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 will suspended for a determined length of time.
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. We request a signed opt-out form, available in the office or on our website click here, 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.
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 windshield to make a recommendation for the amount of time children spend outside on a given day. A general guideline that HIH practices is that children do not go outside when the temperature is below 10oF or below 0oF with the windchill.
Restrooms at HIH
Hand In Hand has designated bathrooms for each age group to comply with licensing policies and use common-sense measures to minimize the vulnerability of our children.
- Children’s House bathrooms are located inside the classroom or a child might use the common hall bathrooms under staff supervision.
- Elementary-aged children regularly use the common hall restrooms.
- The HIgH has its own single-user bathroom in the Gathering Area or use the bathrooms in the Great Hall near the Sanctuary.
- Staff has its own bathroom for use in the teacher’s lounge of the office.
- We ask that other HIH family members also use the facilities in the Gathering Area or the Great Hall and refrain from using the common hall bathrooms designated for regular use by E1 and E2 students.
- On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Family Preschool families are welcome to use the common restrooms in the hall to meet the needs of their young preschool-aged children.
Special Needs—Handled with Care
Hand In Hand welcomes and will admit a child with exceptions (either special needs and/or who is gifted & talented) on an individual basis. We require consultation with the director, teachers, and other pertinent professionals prior to enrollment. All written assessments and pertinent medical history including prescriptions are required prior to admission. Any child with a medical condition, prior IEP or diagnosis is required to reveal such information upon admission. Our Handle With Care program makes our Christian Montessori education accessible to any child who would desire to attend. 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, the Dean, and a parent-teacher-dean conference will be held. If dismissal occurs, fees will be pro-rated. Handled with Care, led by our School Counselor, is our program designed for such needs. Please see the Policies of Behavior. The school building is handicap accessible and is open for all children of various needs.
HIH has policies in place for front door security, careful drop-off and pick-up procedures, and standard safety guidelines. In addition, we practice and continue to develop, along with Law Enforcement professionals, the latest in school safety and awareness. All our staff have been trained and will continue to be updated in security practices.
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 require 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 Jean Schmidt, the Director of Development at HIH.
Staff, Faculty, and Volunteer Policies
Upon being hired, the Teaching and Support Staff member 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 Preschool and Family Musik Levels; Children’s House Level; Elementary Levels; and Junior High Level. 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 and volunteers 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.
Standardized Testing Policies
Every child, age 7 or older, must take a standardized test each year. 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. 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. Children who attend the Private Academy 5-Day program will receive their standardize testing in the spring, called the Peabody, which is included in their tuition. Kindergarten-age children are invited to take the Peabody as well.
Visitation / Review Policy
Concentration is a primary goal of the Montessori classroom. To achieve this, children need consistency and order as much as possible. Careless disregard for the child’s learning time and the quiet classroom greatly impairs the teacher’s ability to teach properly and the student’s ability to learn. Parents, grandparents, and all adults must be mindful of this upon entering the classroom. Parents who are visiting are asked to be seated, use a quiet voice, and not interfere with children by engaging in casual conversation. If concerned about something, the parent may visit the room of their child at any time during the hours of operation, in keeping with the statutes set by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and our “open door” policy. Parents are more than welcome to set up an observation visit through the HIH office. At anytime we welcome parents to review the Childcare Program Plan book in the HIH office.
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). The dean of the school 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, Children’s House Preschool will still be offered and families will have the option of taking a snow day, if conditions are deemed unsafe for their family.
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 two uniform providers:
- Donald’s Apparel Department Store; 2 locations: 972 Payne Avenue; St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 776-2723 or 6407 City W Pkwy #104, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (651) 776-2723 ext. 1. Clothing can also be purchased by phone and mailed to your home. You are required to purchase iron-on identification labels for your children’s uniforms, including sweaters. 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 included on their merchandise only.
- Lands’ End School Line (via catalog and online) 1-800-469-2222 or landsend.com/ or Maplewood Mall 3001 White Bear Ave. N., Maplewood MN. School #9001-0853-1. 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. At this location, monogramming is included on their merchandise only. The customized website for Hand in Hand Christian Montessori is live and may be accessed here: http://www.landsend.com/pp/SchoolSearch.html?action=landing&selectedSchoolNum=900108531
Other local retailers that provide school uniforms include J.C. Penney, Target, Kohls, etc. but monograms are not available through these vendors.
Monogramming is optional and not required.
Hand in Hand also offers gently used uniforms in the wardrobe located 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 color choice. You may purchase as much or as little as you would like, keeping in mind the children must be in uniform each program day. Jeans, t-shirts and athletic tennis shoes are not allowed in the classroom. (Skateboarder and Converse shoes are accepted). Athletic tennis shoes are required in the gymnasium. Striped shirts or 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 HIgH must wear the prescribed color choices as follows:
|Uniform Dress Policy|
|Family Preschool||Navy Vest with monogram (boys)
Navy Jumper with monogram (girls)
|Children’s House (Preschool / Kindergarten)
and Elementary Programs for Boys
|Navy Blue Polar Fleece Vest and Sweatshirts
Navy or Khaki Shorts
Navy or Khaki Pants/Cords
Oxford Shirts (white or pastel yellow)
Turtleneck Shirts (white, pastel yellow, navy)
Knit Polo Shirts (white, pastel yellow, navy)
Navy Sweaters or Vests with or without monogram
Navy Pullover or
Cardigan with or without monogram
School Shoes (must be flat, non-skid soles)
|Children’s House (Preschool / Kindergarten)
and Elementary Programs
|Navy Blue Polar Fleece Vest and Sweatshirts
Navy Jumper with monogram
Navy or Khaki Skorts
Peter Pan Blouses (white or pastel yellow)
Oxford Shirts (white or pastel yellow)
Turtleneck Shirts (white, pastel yellow, navy)
Knit Polo Shirts (white, pastel yellow, navy)
Socks, Tights, Headbands, etc.
School Shoes (must be flat, non-skid soles)
|HIgH Students for Boys & Girls||White and Light Blue Shirts with Collars
Khaki or Navy Bottoms
Navy Blazer (preferably w/brass buttons)
Classic Hunter Plaid Tie (not provided)
HIgH Monogrammed Jacket (ordered)
PE Uniform (ordered)
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, Soy Milk, and Rice 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, Dean 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.