Parent Handbook

Our Goals
Non-Discrimination Policy
Admission Policies
Integrity of Fit
Required Documents
Financial Requirement/Tuition
Program Description/School Hours
Arrival and Departure Procedures
Drop-Offs and Pick-ups
Authorized Pick-up
School Rules
Lunch, Snacks and Water
Personal Items
Field Trips
School Safety
Extracurricular Enrichment Programs
Natural Disasters
Photo Policy
Inspection Authority

Dear Parents,

Welcome to Sacred Heart Academy Preschool. We are so happy to welcome you and your children to our school family. We intentionally use the word family, because, we are a family! We appreciate the trust you place in us to keep your child safe and happy. Please know that we strive for open communication and a strong partnership, so that we can truly be a village raising your children.

In four short years, we have grown from a preschool class of twenty children, to a full preschool, with six classes and approximately 130 registered children.  Our families mean everything to us.  

We are blessed to spend each moment with these children.  We may spend up to 40 + hours per week with them.  Your kids become our kids.  We love them and never take a moment for granted the trust you have placed in us.

Our office is always open.  We are here for you and your family!


Suzie Wydra and Rebecca Godina


Sacred Heart Academy Preschool is committed to the development of the whole child.  Through a combination of play-based, sensory, and structured activities, our goal is to concentrate on social, emotional, and cognitive growth, as well as fine and gross motor development.  Each child is celebrated as an individual with distinct personalities, needs and capabilities.  We strive to ensure their preschool experience is a positive one that will last a lifetime.

Our teachers are dedicated to providing a loving, safe and happy environment that fosters acceptable and respect for all in our culturally diverse community. The goals of Sacred Heart Academy Preschool are to help the children identify and increase their innate sense of wonder that is necessary for constant learning and to prepare them for a smooth transition into Kindergarten.

Play is the work of childhood and it is by means of this play that a child constructs knowledge and makes sense of the world around him/her.  This knowledge becomes the building blocks for a lifetime of learning.  Curiosity and wonder characterize the preschool aged child and are encouraged by the varied learning opportunities presented each day.  A balanced combination of child-initiated and teacher-directed activities offers many opportunities for each child to explore and develop at his/her own pace and to gain confidence in making choices, building relationships, taking risks, and following directions on a one-to-one basis as well as in a group setting.


Our staff is dedicated to the following goals:

  • To create a learning environment where each child can grow in an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance.
  • To offer opportunities for children to learn through meaningful play
  • To recognize vital developmental stages and present appropriate materials that provide a maximum potential for growth.
  • To teach through example the concepts of fairness, respect and loving one another.
  • To provide a safe and nurturing learning environment that is designed to facilitate independent, positive behavior.
  • To provide materials and learning experiences that will allow the whole child to develop in an integrated way: physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally.
  • To help children develop language and social skills through extensive directed activities and play opportunities that consistently reinforce the use of words to express their feelings and needs.
  • To promote family participation by provided opportunities for parents and family members to be included in classroom experiences and activities.
  • To encourage children to explore the world around them – to ask questions, to experiment and to realize the joy of discovery.


Sacred Heart Academy Preschool welcomes children and families of any race, color, religion, family structure and national or ethnic origin.  All students admitted are afforded the same rights, privileges, programs and activities made available to students at the preschool.


Sacred Heart Academy Preschool accepts students beginning on the date of their 2nd birthday.  We generally experience openings throughout the school year, and encourage parents to schedule a tour and join our waiting list.  Students are not required to be potty-trained to attend our school.


The preschool works to ensure the safety and well-being of all students enrolled in our program. As every child’s needs are different, we make no guarantee our program will meet the needs of every child. A child may be asked to leave the program for the following reasons:

  • Continuous tardiness on the part of the parent in picking up a child.
  • Inappropriate behavior or language by a parent or guardian on school grounds.
  • Difficulty on the part of the child in adjusting to the program.
  • Behavior of a child that consistently compromises the safety of that child or any other child or staff member. Hitting, kicking and biting are serious behaviors.
  • More than one month’s delinquency in payment of tuition.


Immunizations are required by law.  The following forms must be delivered to the director of the preschool, prior to the first day of class:

  1. Enrollment form and registration fee
  2. Tuition contract
  3. Physical health forms and Immunization records
  4. Emergency Contact Information
  5. Emergency medical consent
  6. Doctor’s note regarding allergies, symptoms and what action to take
  7. Authorization of responsible adults who have permission to pick up and drop off your child
  8. Parent’s rights and personal rights

The Administration must be notified immediately of any changes to information that is on file (i.e. name, telephone, email or address changes, updated immunizations or authorized adult list).


A $200.00 non-refundable registration fee will be due at the time of registration along with the signed tuition contract.  The school year runs September 1 through August 31.  Tuition is determined for the full school year and divided into twelve, equal monthly payments.  Tuition will not be prorated due to holidays and vacation times. Please keep in mind that our financial obligations continue whether or not your child is in school.  If your child is absent due to illness or vacation, the tuition amount that is due will remain the same.  Please see the preschool calendar for days that the school will be closed for holidays and vacations.

Parents are responsible for payment of tuition on time.  Monthly tuition is due the first of each month, and is considered late if received after the 10th.  Tuition may be paid by check, money order or cashier’s check.  Bill payment from your bank is also a convenient option for tuition payments, Tuition received after the 10th of the month may be assessed a late fee of $25.00.

Parents who voluntarily withdraw a child from preschool must give a minimum 30-day notice in writing to the director.  Failure to give such notice will result in a charge of one month’s tuition.  This notice allows the director time to fill the vacant space.  

A $20.00 fee will be added to your account if a payment is returned for insufficient funds or stop payment.

Sacred Heart Academy Preschool will give a minimum 30-day notice to parents regarding any changes in tuition rates or the preschool policies.


The Preschool is open year-round, with the school year running September 1 through August 31.  School hours are 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Students may not be dropped off prior to 7:00 am and must be picked up no later than 6:00 pm.  A list of school holidays/closures is posted in the office and distributed to parents via the parent file folders.  


The importance of a child’s regular attendance to preschool cannot be stressed enough.  We ask that all children arrive by 9:00 am to participate in the daily curriculum and activities.  Children respond best to a consistent routine, which helps to create a sense of stability and order.  Regular school attendance is an important tool to prepare your child for the routine expected of them in kindergarten and beyond.


For the safety of the children pick-up and drop-off procedures must be followed very carefully.  

The State of California, Community Care Licensing, requires that all children be dropped off directly with their teacher in order to conduct a wellness inspection.  A child that is feverish and/or exhibiting signs of severe illness or infection, may NOT be signed-in to preschool that day.  Additionally, a wellness inspection allows teachers to make note of any bumps, bruises or cuts on a child.  Often times, a bruise may be noticed on a child later in the day, but the child is unable to describe when or how the bruise happened.  Making note of any obvious signs of existing injury allows us to more adequately track if a child was injured at school.  As is always the case, it is our intent that your child is safe and well-cared for at all times.

After the wellness inspection, you may say goodbye to your child and leave them in the care of the teacher and/or aide.  

The California state law requires a full signature by a parent or other authorized adult at drop-off AND pick-up in the sign in and out sheets. Siblings and other children under the age of 18 are prohibited from signing your child in or out.  There is NO exception to this rule.  Please be certain and always sign your child in and out on a daily basis. For your convenience, the sign in and out sheets are located in the main hall on the podium, along with pens and a clock.  These sheets provide a written record of child’s attendance hours, and the person who brought and picked up the child.


We love to have parents visit the school, but please remember that all children must be walked in to the school and signed in (or out).  Parking is at a premium, and we remind parents that it is illegal to double-park in the street, and parents may not park in, or obstruct in any manner, private driveways or reserved spaces.  Additional parking is available in the church parking lot, located off the alley between Saratoga Avenue and Cape May.

It is extremely important to be on time to pick up your child.  Children can get very anxious and/or upset when parents are late for pick up.  Please call the preschool at 619-222-7252 if an emergency delays you.  A late fee of $1.00 per minute may be charged after 6:05 pm.  


We believe that your children love to be here with us at preschool.  If you are new to the school, have experienced a recent change at home, or your child is making a change within the school itself, the idea of a calm and stress-free drop-off may not occur initially.  Some children transition with little or no issue, while others may take a few weeks to accept change.  

It is normal for some children to have difficulty separating from parents, or cry when dropping off.  Please make your drop off brief, the longer you prolong the departure, the harder it gets.  A smile, cheerful good-bye kiss, and a reassuring word that you will be back is all that is needed.  Experience shows that children are quick to get involved in play or activities as soon as parents are gone.

Please be brief at pick-up times as well.  This is a time of testing, when two different authority figures are present (the parent and the provider).  All children will test to see if the rules still apply.  During arrival and departure, we expect parent to assist in enforcing our rules.  

Important rules at drop-off and pick-up:

  • Your child should not be permitted to climb on the walls or gates, in order to open the school gates.
  • Your child should not run ahead of you to their class.  Again, Licensing requires that children be under the supervision of an adult at all times.
  • Children should not be playing in a classroom if a teacher is not present.
  • You may not take other children with you to a classroom, etc.

Please be in control of your child, and any additional children, during pick-up times.  


Only those people listed on your child’s emergency card will be allowed to pick him/her up.  Any person listed on the emergency card will be asked to show picture identification before the child is released.  Please list all adults, including mother and father, who are allowed to pick up your child.

Please notify the director and school in writing of any changes that become necessary.  In addition, if you are having someone who is NOT on your emergency contact list, you need to let your teacher/director know that morning with a written note with the designated person’s full name.  Be sure to advise this person that they must bring picture identification with them.  


While attending Sacred Heart Academy Preschool, children are expected to follow a basic set of rules, and it is imperative that all adults understand and uphold them as well.  These rules are in effect at all times while at school and while attending events as part of the school group.

Respect yourself.

  • Always try your best.
  • Be honest and accept responsibility.
  • Take care of yourself and your belongings.

Respect others.

  • Use only kind words and actions with teachers and fellow students.
  • Keep your hands, feet, and other objects to yourself.
  • Respect others’ words and do not interrupt.
  • Be respectful of others’ belongings.

Respect the environment.

  • Use walking feet everywhere except the playground.
  • Use quiet voice indoors.
  • Try not to scream or shriek too loudly outside. We have neighbors.
  • Stay in view of an adult at all times.
  • Take care of your class, the toys and the school.


Snack and lunch are not only exciting, social moments, they are also a well-needed opportunity for your child to refuel after the demands of a busy preschool day.  

The Preschool provides a nutritious morning snack (and afternoon snack for full-day students).  A child’s snack will include two (2) food groups (ex. cereal and milk, crackers and fruit or fruit and cheese).  

Parents will provide their child with a lunch daily.  Lunches should provide variety and a nutritionally planned meal.  There are microwaves available to heat up lunches if necessary.  All foods should be prepared at home (this includes canned pasta products, Easy Mac and oatmeal) and sent to school in a container suitable for reheating.  Additionally, necessary utensils (forks or spoons) required should be included in your child’s lunchbox.  All items should be sent in a lunch box that has been clearly labeled with your child’s name.

When packing your child’s lunchbox, try to make a well-rounded meal by packing a variety of food.  Following are some suggestions:

FRUITS:  Melon, apples, oranges, bananas, applesauce, raisins, grapes (cut in half).

VEGGIES:  Carrot slices, cucumber slices, celery, cherry tomatoes (cut in half), peas, green beans, snap peas or corn.  Sending cut up veggies with ranch dip or peanut butter can make a child feel grown up and in charge of their lunch.

PROTEINS:  String cheese, tofu, hard-boiled eggs (peeled), nuts, trail mix, yogurt, pizza, quesadillas, burritos or left-overs from a favorite meal.

Provide cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sliced luncheon meats (in a sandwich or just rolled up on their own), cottage cheese, tuna, cut up chicken or meat, hot dogs / turkey dogs (sliced lengthwise first, then sliced) or beans.

GRAINS:  Rice cakes, pita bread, bagels with cream cheese, muffins, whole wheat crackers, pretzels, pasta, granola, cereal fruit bars or granola bars.

DRINKS: Water and milk are preferred. Fruit juice (look for 100% juice).  


Additional tips:

  • Blue ice/ice packs in the lunch box help keep food cold.
  • A short note in a child’s lunch box can make meal time special
  • When introducing new foods, offer just one at a time.  If your child turns it down, try again in a month.  Tastes change.

WATER BOTTLES: State licensing requires that children have water accessible to them at all times.  Every child must be sent to school with a water bottle/cup/thermos, that is labeled with the child’s name.  Each classroom has a water cart with a Brita water pitcher that will allow us to refill when necessary.


Children in all classes are encouraged to rest quietly.  The preschool provides mats; however, each child napping will need to bring a fitted crib sheet and small blanket (light blanket for summer and fall, a heavier blanket for winter and spring).  Please label all sheets and blankets with your child’s name or initials.  Sleeping bags and large blankets cannot be accommodated at preschool.  Your child’s sheet and blanket should fit in the nap cubby provided in the classroom.  It is the parent’s responsibility to take bedding home each Friday for washing, to be returned each Monday morning.

Note:  A rest time, uninterrupted, is required by Community Care Licensing.  Asking to prevent a child from sleeping would not be in accordance with licensing regulations.

When picking your child up in the afternoon, please be respectful of naptime – an interrupted nap can be an unpleasant experience for you, your child, and other -napping children.  Whenever possible, please avoid pick-ups between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.


The Preschool has a uniform policy.  Uniforms are to be worn during school hours unless permission is given by the director for free dress.  We expect parents to support the school uniform dress policy by ensuring that their student come to school dressed appropriately.

Uniform Guidelines:

  • Polo Shirt:  Red, Navy Blue or White (Short or Long Sleeve)
  • Pants, Shorts, Skirt, Skort or Jumper (Navy Blue, Khaki or Tan)
  • Closed-toed shoes are required for preschool.  Sandals, backless (flip-flops), and Crocs are not appropriate for school.

Each child has a small, personal cubby space in their classroom.  All children must have a complete change of clothes that includes underwear, pants/shorts, socks and shirt to be kept in a ziploc baggy with the child’s first and last name in the event there is an accident.  Clothing left at school as a complete change, does not need to be a uniform.  If your child is potty-training, please plan on having two or more sets of clothes in your child’s cubby.  Please label all items with your child’s name.


Please assist your child in putting away all personal items upon entering the classroom.  This includes lunch boxes, jackets, water bottles/sippy cups, clean bedding.  Additionally, any toys, coins or objects, not brought specifically for sharing, should go home with parents or be stored away in their classroom cubby.


We would like to join you in celebrating your child’s birthday.  If you would like to bring a special treat, let your child’s teacher know in advance.   This will allow the teacher to prepare for your child’s special day and tell you how many treats are needed.  Please remember these children are small.  Some ideas for a special treat include:  mini-cupcakes, cookies, donut holes and fresh fruit.


Classes sometimes leave the classroom to go on short walks in the immediate neighborhood.  In addition, classes may go on longer field trips throughout the year.  Field trips are scheduled in advance and parents are required to transport and attend with their child or arrange for another adult to attend.  Signed permission slips are mandatory before children may attend a field trip.


The campus of Sacred Heart Academy Preschool is a locked campus.  We must be aware of who is on the school grounds.  We have an open-door policy and encourage parent visits; however, we ask that parents follow the visitation guidelines that everyone on campus who is not staff or a student MUST have a pass/badge.  Please remember to check out from the school office when your visit is complete and to return the badge.

If a child gets hurt at school, the teacher will place a “boo-boo report” in your child’s cubby.  Parents will be contacted if the injury requires further care or extra attention at home (such as different shoes for a blister or extra monitoring for a bumped head).  Please notify the office if any injury requires additional care at the doctor or at an Urgent Care Facility.  Please provide a copy of the doctor’s report for any injury that requires medical attention.


Sacred Heart Academy Preschool is a “well-child care facility.”  The following policy will be strictly enforced, for the health, well-being and safety of all concerned.

Sick Child Policy

Under no circumstances may a parent bring a sick child to school, if the child has a fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea, or is unable to participate in the normal program.  A child who is ill wants care from their parents in the comfort of their own home.  Additionally, a sick child can expose other children and staff to illness.

In the event a child becomes ill and needs to be picked up, the parent(s) will be called and are expected to come pick the child up within one hour (60 minutes). If the parent(s) cannot be reached, the emergency contact person will be called and asked to come pick the child up.

Symptoms requiring that your child be picked up immediately:

  • Fever of 100º or higher taken in the ear or under the arm.  A child must be fever-free for a minimum of 24-hours before returning to school.  This means the child must be fever-free without the aid of Tylenol or any other fever-reducing medication.
  • Fever AND sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea or earache.
  • Diarrhea:  runny, watery, bloody stools, or 2 or more loose stools within the last 4 hours.
  • Vomiting:  2 or more times in a 24-hour period.  
  • Breathing trouble, swollen glands, loss of voice, hacking or continuous cough.
  • Runny nose (other than clear discharge), draining eyes or ears.
  • Frequent scratching of body or scalp, lice, undiagnosed rash or spots.


A doctor’s note is required for staff to administer any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, to a child.  NOTE: All medicines must be in their original container with pharmacist’s or manufacturer’s label, child’s name, dosage instructions, current date, name of medication, and time to be administered clearly written.

Please stop by the office with the medication to be administered.  Parent will need to complete State Licensing Form 9221, Parent Consent for Administration of Medications and Medication Chart.  Medication will be securely stored for the safety of the children.


If you would like your child to wear sunscreen at school, we ask that you apply it before school to protect your child’s skin during morning play.  If your child attends full-day, we will reapply sunscreen in the afternoon.  Parents must provide sunscreen (in the original container, labeled with the child’s name) and complete and sign the Authorization to Apply Sunscreen form.


Extracurricular programs may be offered throughout the school year to enrich and enhance our academic program.  These courses are provided in the mornings as a convenience to you and your child, and are offered by independent contractors at an additional cost.  Information about extracurricular activities, as well as registration and payment information can be found in the display, outside the Director’s Office, in the main hallway.  Programs offered in the morning will remove your child from class during normal curriculum time.  

We currently offer the following extracurricular programs:

Monday: Amazing Athletes

Tuesday: Soccer Shots

Wednesday: KinderDance

Thursday: My Music Workshop

Friday: TBD


Parents are notified immediately of serious injury or sudden illnesses that occur during school hours.  For this reason, you must notify the director when there is a change of phone numbers or persons to be contacted when you cannot be reached.  It is understood that enrollment at Sacred Heart Academy Preschool confers upon the school the obligation to select emergency providers in the absence of our ability to reach the parents and that no liability will attach to the preschool for such a decision in the event that the parents cannot be reached.  Please contact the office should you wish to review or make changes to your emergency information.

If a child is seriously hurt, a staff member will call 911 for emergency care.  Parents will be contacted as soon as possible.  If necessary, your child will be taken to the nearest hospital.  The director will accompany your child to the emergency room and remain with your child until a parent arrives.

The Preschool is equipped with smoke detectors, a fire alarm system, carbon monoxide detectors, an indoor sprinkler system and bell alarm system.  Drills are conducted regularly.


In the event of a natural disaster, our facility and staff have been prepared to care for our students.  During a disaster, all children will remain at school under the supervision of a teacher until a parent, guardian or authorized individual arrives.  If it ever becomes necessary to evacuate Sacred Heart Academy Preschool, our planned alternate site is the Ocean Beach Recreation Center.  The preschool has a disaster preparedness program in place.  Each staff member has been assigned a task and communication tools.  Instructions have been given and survival materials have been purchased and stored.


In order to create the optimal environment for your child’s growth and development, open and frequent communication between parents and staff is essential.  All parent newsletters, notices and reminders are emailed to the email provided by you at registration, and printed and placed in your child’s folder located in the front lobby of the school.  In addition, important reminders and dates are listed on the board located by the sign-in/sign-out podium.  Please make it a part of your routine, to read any notices sent to you by the school.  

When dropping-off your child in the morning, or picking them up in the afternoon, please be aware that on-duty staff members have a first priority of supervising students.  Please share any important information with the teacher or aide as quickly as possible.  If you have questions regarding your child’s performance or any concerns with regards to the class, please schedule a time that you may speak freely and confidentially.  Discussions of a child’s needs, or issues regarding a student other than your own, should occur in a private setting.  All communication that occurs in front of the children should be appropriate and respectful (small children have listening ears).  Any issues regarding staffing should be directed to the Director or Assistant Director in the office.


Sacred Heart Academy Preschool and its staff reserve the right to photograph staff and students for use in keepsakes, newsletters, and bulletin boards.  Parents have been provided a form at registration, Photo Release, which permits photos to be used for the purpose of marketing and/or promoting the interests of the Preschool, including its use in any printed materials, the school website, the school Facebook page, and in any other visual display or media.  At no time are names or personal information included in these uses.  Photos captured by our staff remain the property of Sacred Heart Academy Preschool.


Community Care Licensing, a division of the State of California Department of Social Services, has the authority to inspect Sacred Heart Academy Preschool with or without prior notice.  The Department also has the authority to interview children or staff, and to inspect and audit student records without prior consent.

(Sec. 101200, Title 22, Div. 12, Chap. 1)