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School Policies and sate regulations

  • 1.  School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-25-2021 11:04 AM
    I have two separate questions on school policies and state regulations for an Early Learning Center:
    1. What are the regulations and your school policy on violent behavior from students? How long should the students behavior be tolerated before taking action? and how do you handle parents who refuse to get additional help for their Childs behavior?
    I have had two students whom we let go due to their violent behavior in class. Both students parent/caregiver  refused to acknowledge  that their is a problem or to get the student help. One student attended the school for  a couple years and the other students a few months.

    2. What are the regulations and policies regarding a student needing to be tested for special needs but do not have permission from the parent/gradian? Would it be considered neglect if the student, very clearly, needs additional help but the parents refuse to have them assessed?
    I have a 5 year old ESL students who does not communicate or have conversations in either language. She doesn't make eye contact, not potty trained, still uses a bottle, chews on toys, and needs an assistance constantly for redirection and daily routines. I have spoken to the parents and they do not want her tested and refuse to have her assessed. 


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    Jessica Allen
    Educational Director/ Preschool Teacher
    Bright Beginnings Academy
    Michigan City, IN
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  • 2.  RE: School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-26-2021 12:42 AM
    In my state, if we're to receive any state reimbursement for children on subsidized child care, we have to write our own policy on "reducing suspension and expulsion," and refer to it as necessary.That is, home providers. I think Centers have more stringent rules but I could be wrong.

    Before a family even enrolls we address issues like: Pre-school age and struggles to sit still for more than one - two minutes; Age four and needs potty-trained; Potty-trained but has frequent accidents; Sobs excessively at quiet time and/oror at drop-off; Tries to run away in an un-fenced area, like the park; Frequently bites, kicks, or uses offensive language; Colors on walls or tables, or intentionally acts destructively (all if applicable to the child's age). One "yes" doesn't deter me, I just need to know -- to the best extent possible -- what additional attention and in what additional capacities the child may need me. Parents need to find the facility that is best for their child.


    Here, in my home (private facility), expulsions could occur if a child harmed other children or myself. A pattern of destructive behavior where a child intentionally destroys or vandalizes materials and belongings of others or the facility could also lead to expulsion. Being a home childcare facility – as opposed to a Center – we are limited on people -- it's just me; this makes it more difficult to offer specialized attention to children with special behavioral problems – those which negatively, and perhaps dangerously, impact themselves and/or others. So, if a child verbally and/or physically hurt another child or myself more than once intentionally, or if he or she engaged in consistent, destructive behavior that damaged, broke, or otherwise ruined materials or belongings of others or the facility, there would be expulsion.

    If I had to expel, which I have not ever had to do, I have outlined in my policy the steps the family and I would take, so it wouldn't catch anyone off guard or leave a family hanging with no help.

    For your second question, that's difficult. I can kind of relate. I had a child for almost a year that I believed to be on the spectrum, and there wasn't a whole lot extra to do at his age -- intervention-wise, except additional help with speech and some behavior, but he was still so little...but the parents wouldn't say anything, they wouldn't acknowledge it -- and one parent was in the medical field! I felt like I couldn't say anything, so I did what I thought would best hep the kiddo in my capacity without talking about the real issue. It was fine, but he's older now. I hope he's well. (Once our then-Governor placed restrictions on business March 2020 (two weeks to flatten the curve), the child was pulled and stayed home with the other parent who was put out of work).

    I don't know what the guidance is in your state, but for parents to refuse the help, I couldn't imagine. But doesn't the lack of interest signal abuse in some aspect? Can the parent's neglect be reported to the state at least?

    Sorry, I re-read and you asked for Center's help, but maybe this will help someone? Best of luck!
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    Lindsay
    Billings, MT
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  • 3.  RE: School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-27-2021 07:33 AM
    Hi Lindsay,
    Fellow family child care provider here.
    I wish i had more info on your specific states regulation on this topic, but I will reply just need on what you've provided.

    Many of those behaviors you listed are age appropriate, although unwanted. I can understand the stress of having to deal with difficult behavior in a small group with just 1 adult and I think that you sentiments about a program being a good fit are important. None of those behaviors are things I would "expell" a child for. If they were recurring and there was concern of a larger issue, then that child would be referred out for an evaluation through early intervention or the public preschool special education program. The referral would be made to so that the resources and professionals needed to support that child could become a part of their foundation for learning. That is the type of language I would use in a policy statement to reduce expelling children.

    It is important to understand the purpose of your states requirements for expulsion. There are ties to increased incidents for boys and POC. They may be attempting to reduce unintentionally biased exclusively from quality early childhood programs.
    I would also look up information from places that do not allow expulsion or suspension for young children to get a better idea of why your state has this requirement. I think that boston public schools and rhode Island may be examples. This article has some good info to get started: https://eyeonearlyeducation.org/2016/02/11/facing-the-problem-of-pre-k-and-kindergarten-suspensions/
    My phone won't let me direct link, but also look up "U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
    POLICY STATEMENT ON EXPULSION AND SUSPENSION POLICIES IN EARLY
    CHILDHOOD SETTINGS"

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    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
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  • 4.  RE: School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-27-2021 03:47 PM
    Thank you for your reply.

    Indeed, in my policy practices that I shared above, I stated that we write our own policy.

    Also, I didn't detail much beyond the sentence: "If I had to expel, which I have not ever had to do, I have outlined in my policy the steps the family and I would take, so it wouldn't catch anyone off guard or leave a family hanging with no help."

    This is my approach toward the outlined steps, and it's served the kids I care for, their families, and my family, for years now:

    "Expelling a child for behavior that he or she probably has little control over isn't easy; discussion would take place between parents and myself in the event that a "good fit" may no longer existed between the child and/or family and the facility, if a child verbally and/or physically hurt another child or staff member more than once and did so intentionally, or if he or she engaged in consistent, destructive behavior that damaged, broke, or otherwise ruined materials or belongings of others or the facility. We would try to understand why the child is acting how he or she is, and together discuss how to better manage the behavior. If the situation remains unmanageable after time had been taken to work to the best of our ability, and the child's harmful and/or destructive behavior continues, expulsion may occur.

    "If a child were ever to be expelled, I would do everything within my power to help the family find a new child care facility more adept to tend to the needs of the child. We would be in contact with our Childcare Referral Agency and follow their advice. We'd have to understand and agree that seeking a change in care facilities would be to the benefit of all the children – not a punishment for one."

    Childcare is difficult to find, and I know one thing that keeps people in business where I live is that we have some freedom in how we conduct business.

    Additionally, where I live we have a lot of American Indian children, White children, and boys as well as girls, but I couldn't treat one race or gender differently than I treat another. That is the very definition of racism and it's not allowed in my home or my state and frankly, up until recently, I thought racism was illegal everywhere and the world is in a movement to stomp it out. It still creeps up, though, in statements like yours, with an innocent mention of POC and boys as the "trouble-makers." All kids can cause trouble, and all kids can rise above and surprise us all. I can't discriminate/favor, and I won't discriminate/favor. Were I to discriminate or favor children based on race or gender: I risk the loss of my license, disqualification from food program, the inability to receive reimbursement from subsidized programs, and would no longer able to participate in our quality rating system. I could no longer look myself in the mirror. This talk needs to end!



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    Lindsay
    Billings, MT
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  • 5.  RE: School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-27-2021 04:08 PM
    It sounds like we have similar points of view and intentions of helping families. Maybe I misunderstood the question? Are you asking if you if/when a provider should report a family for abuse/neglect?

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    Alison Barnes
    Licensed Family Child Care Provider
    Garrison Family Care
    Chelmsford MA
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  • 6.  RE: School Policies and sate regulations

    Posted 06-28-2021 11:07 AM
    Hello All!

    Thank you for your deep discussion around various topics, including expulsions. Below is the assessment item that is used to review a program's expulsion policy during an accreditation visit. I hope this information below will assist you as you think about the policy you want to implement into your program.

    Assessment item 1E.1
    Show that your program's written guidance and discipline policy addresses the use of
    suspension, expulsion and other exclusionary measures, and includes ALL of the
    features listed below.
     Policy is communicated to families and staff.
     Stated goal of policy is to limit or eliminate the use of suspension, expulsion and
    other exclusionary measures.
     Policy states the circumstances under which types of exclusion may occur.
     Policy states what steps are taken before a decision to exclude is considered.
     Exclusionary measures are not considered until all other possible interventions
    have been exhausted, and there is agreement that exclusion is in the best
    interest of the child.
     If exclusionary measures must be taken, the program offers assistance to the
    family in accessing services and an alternative placement.
     Policy acknowledges that it complies with federal and state civil rights laws.

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    Shantiea Dean
    Director, Quality Improvement and Program Support
    National Association For The Education of Young Children
    Washington, DC
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