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Preschool Handbook & School Readiness




Preschool Handbook



Dear Parents,

Welcome to the Dawson Springs Preschool Program! We are so happy that you and your child have joined our family. We appreciate parents/guardians who understand how important it is to give your child an early start in education. Research has proven that early education opportunities, such as preschool, provide a positive and long lasting effect on children’s academic success.

This handbook is designed to answer any questions that you might have. Please keep this resource and refer to it throughout the school year. We encourage you to be involved in your child’s preschool program, and we hope this book will help you learn about our staff, instructional programs, policies and procedures.


Kristin Smiley Merrill

Preschool Director

Dawson Springs Schools



Kammie King, (Ms. Kammie) IECE Teacher

Mary Morgan, (Mrs. Mary) Instructional Assistant

Amanda Scott, (Mrs. Amanda) Speech Language Therapist


We want this to be a special year for your child and for you!  The preschool experience is a cooperative one, and a special time of involvement with parents as well as your children. You are always welcome to visit with us. We encourage your involvement in your child’s education. You are the first and most important teacher they will ever have!

Please feel free to call Monday-Thursday after 2:30 or anytime on Friday if you have questions, concerns, or need information. The school # is 797-2991.  



Any child who is four (4) years of age, or who may become four (4) before August 1, and qualifies for the free lunch program may attend public school preschool.


Any child who is four (4) years of age, or who may become four (4) before August 1, with an identified developmental delay may enter the preschool program.


Any child with an identified developmental delay may enter the preschool upon their 3rd birthday, provided the birthday is before March 1 during the school year in which it occurs.


*Any child who is (4) years of age, or who may become (4) years of age before August 1, may pay tuition to attend public school preschool if space is available.


Registration – What should Parents bring?


1.     Copy of child’s social security card

2.    A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate. (Please note that this is NOT the hospital certificate.) A certified birth certificate is one that has been obtained from the Department of Vital Statistics in Frankfort.

3.    Immunization certificate: Except as otherwise provided in KRS 214.036, no child shall be eligible to enroll as a student in any public or private elementary or secondary school without first presenting an up to date immunization certificate. These immunizations and the certificate may be provided by your child’s doctor, the County Health Dept. or School Health Clinic. Please see your heath care provider for an accurate list of immunizations required according to age.

4.    Physical Exam, this also may be done by your child’s doctor, the County Health Dept. or the School Health Clinic.

5.    Every child entering public school for the first time (including preschool) must have a vision exam by Jan. 1 of the year they are enrolled. This exam must have been conducted by a licensed optometrist, or ophthalmologist.








Monday through Thursday (No class on Friday)


Times:   8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


            11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Meals:   Breakfast and mid-morning snack


            Lunch and mid-afternoon snack


Schedule – Unless otherwise indicated, we follow the Dawson Springs School calendar of holidays, snow days, etc.


Routine / Our Program

1.     Balance quiet and non-quiet activities

2.    Consider short attention span of 3 and 4 year olds

3.    Provide large amounts of time for independent choice activities

4.    Provide group experiences

5.    Are flexible

6.    We do a lot of hands-on verbal learning as a group

7.    Is developmental, meaning that all children will learn appropriate to their level

8.    We learn through play. Play is the work of children.


Typical day

1.)   Breakfast or lunch

2.)   Opening: calendar, number line, weather, pledge to flag, milk chart, language and number activities, etc.

3.)   Learning centers: dramatic play, art center, block corner, science and math centers, writing center, computers, manipulatives (puzzles, beads, pegboards, games, etc.) book corner, listening center.

4.)   Music

5.)   Story

6.)   Snack

7.)   Recess: either outdoors or in the gross motor area inside the preschool.

Learning centers area a significant part of our day. These carefully planned centers activities promote your child’s learning through play. The goals include:

1.)   Basic math skills such as counting, measuring, comparing, classifying, patterning

2.)   Basic concepts: colors, shapes, size, differences and similarities, etc.

3.)   Pre-reading skills: letter and sound recognition, uses for print and how to use it, interest in books

4.)   Pre-writing skills: including eye-hand coordination, tracing, drawing, writing, creating

5.)   Gross motor skills (hopping, running, jumping)


All centers and activities work together to promote self-confidence, decision making, social skill such as taking turns and getting along with others and even handling conflicts, following directions and developing their attention span, promote language and vocabulary, creativity, and communication.

The preschool program attends to the physical well-being, emotional and social development as well as the academic development of all children.

Our basic goal is development of the “Whole Child” who loves to learn!

Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are scheduled during the school day for those qualifying for these services.



Assessment is constant throughout the year. Two parent conferences are scheduled during the year to share this information with parents. As always, feel free to contact the teacher anytime a conference is desired. You are also welcome to visit at anytime. We want this to be a special year for your child.

Our goal is to help all children feel good about themselves and to have a positive attitude toward school. We want all children to be successful in what they do at school.  



The preschool bus will bring the children to the preschool center where they will be met by preschool staff each day.  Car riders will do the same. The doors open at 7:45 for morning class and at 11:30 for afternoon class. Staff lunch is from 11:00-11:30. Upon arrival, the children will have breakfast or lunch. The meal is part of the preschool day and is required. Children may not bring breakfast/lunch to preschool. Our meals are prepared by the school cafeteria.

Morning preschool is dismissed at 10:50 a.m. and afternoon preschool is dismissed at 2:20 p.m.

Busses: Preschoolers do not ride the regular school bus. There is a separate bus for preschool only, bus # 9. The bus has an adult bus aide in addition to the driver. It will come directly to your home whenever possible. Please be ready when the bus arrives! When your child is delivered home to you, please be waiting. We must see there is someone responsible at home. We prefer hand to hand…….from the bus monitor to you.


Arriving by car: If you bring your child to school, do not drop them off in the parking lot. If the driver has special needs, we will come to your vehicle for the child. Please bring them to the door or into the preschool to begin their day in a positive way. If you think your child will have difficulty separating from you, our best advice is to keep it “short and sweet”. We know it’s hard to leave your child, but most children are very happy to be at preschool and love it! However, if your child fails to adjust and continues to be upset, we will call you. We will do everything possible to help you and your child be happy about preschool.

If you pick up your child outside of pick-up drop off scheduled times, please report to the elementary office and sign your child in. 


Changes in transportation: We need a note from you when your child needs to be dropped off at a different location. We must know all details in advance. Please do not expect the bus monitors to remember changes. If your child needs to be picked up at a different location please call the preschool.

For the afternoon class, if your child needs to be picked up at a different location, please call the preschool and we will try to deliver the message to the bus driver.

Anyone who picks up your child or meets them to get off the bus MUST be on our “pick-up” list on your enrollment sheet. Please come into the preschool anytime you wish to add or remove a name from your child’s list.


Supplies: Backpack: Please choose a size that this paper would fit in without folding. No mini-size, or backpacks with wheels please. Your child’s name should be put on the backpack.

Change of clothes / just in case. These will stay in the backpack until needed.

Although the backpack and change of clothes are the only required items, donations to the classroom are always appreciated. Our “wish list” includes” paper towels, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, baggies (large and small) and small paper cups.


Dress Code: Preschool does not have a dress code. Please dress your child to be comfortable, and remember sometimes they may get messy. Your child may wear flip flops or sandals, but some prefer not to because of the wood mulch on the playground.


Checking Backpacks: We check backpacks daily, however we request that you put any notes, meal money, etc in the big MAIN SECTION of the backpack and not in any little pockets. Encourage your child to tell us if they have notes or money they are supposed to bring to us.

*Any money sent should be put in an envelope with your child’s name, amount of money and what the money is for….. meal, book order, etc.

*Names: Please put your child’s name on their backpacks, jackets, etc.


SNACKS: Each month you will receive a snack calendar indicating which day is your turn, and how many children to provide for. Please try to remember. This is an important time for our children, and each child is very proud on his or her day to provide snack. If providing snack is ever a problem, please let us know.

Some helpful tips about snacks:

Keep it easy! Finger foods work best.

Keep it nutritious. May include pieces of fruit, raw vegetables, dry cereal, crackers/peanut butter, cheese, etc. If you have questions please ask.

Birthdays! It’s best to save cupcakes, ice cream, donuts, etc. as SPECIAL treats to send on birthdays only please. Your child will be scheduled for snack on their birthday, or as close to that day as possible.

Juice is provided for snack each day by the school, so you will not need to provide drinks on your snack day.



Dawson Springs Community Schools

Preschool Mission Statement


Children are our most valuable possessions. Our goal is to provide high quality educational experiences, encouraging both individual growth and cooperation with others.

We want each child to remember their pre-school experiences as the first step to life-long learning. Through creative play and a commitment to learning, each child will be prepared for the many exciting years of education that awaits them in our school system.


Folder New Eligibility Requirement for KY State-Funded Preschool (1 Files)
doc file New Eligibility Requirement for Kentucky State Final (2) Draft 4-25-14.docx
Folder School Readiness (1 Files)
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118 East Arcadia Avenue | Dawson Springs, KY 42408