Stephens College Children’s School Handbook

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Stephens College Children’s School Handbook
What started as an experimental nursery school in 1925 is today’s Stephens College Children’s School (SCCS). The mission of this laboratory school is to provide college students opportunities for direct experiences with children, while providing children from the community with solid, research-based instruction by professors, college students and certified teachers. The school moved to its present location in 1970, the Audrey Webb Child Study Center, at 1400 Windsor St. Throughout its history, teaching, learning, and children have been at the heart of the Stephens College laboratory school.
We Believe:

  • Children and college students have an intrinsic desire to learn and construct knowledge by interacting upon the world.

  • Children and college students should be active learners who have a variety of opportunities to try out ideas they are learning in real situations.

  • Classroom teachers are active facilitators who utilize a variety of methodologies and best practices.

  • Education should involve the total person, including social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development with attention to feelings, attitudes and values.

  • Acceptance and support of each individual and the encouragement of social and moral autonomy are central to the Stephens College Children’s School experience for students, families, faculty and pre-service teachers.

  • Students learn best when exposed to a variety of practices, methods and experiences.

Vision Statement
Stephens College Children’s School is a constructivist, holistic-based laboratory school community. It is comprised of children, families, faculty and Stephens College students. Collaboration with the college and community provides the opportunity for many educational experiences.
Our quality programs include a half-day (morning and afternoon) preschool program, a full-day preschool program, and an elementary (K-5) program. Both preschool programs (ages 3-5) are designed to support the whole child, including social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. Children are engaged in active learning experiences throughout the day, and participate in foreign language classes each week.
The elementary classroom is an authentic multi-age setting, where students are grouped by ability rather than age. The curriculum is child-driven and teacher facilitated. In the morning, students spend at least 90 minutes on direct and indirect literacy instruction, and 60 minutes on math instruction, while afternoons are devoted to social studies and science inquiry, art, physical education, music and foreign language.
Faculty and Staff

SCCS children are taught by experienced, certified teachers, with Stephens College education majors as assistants.

Classroom Teachers

Evann De-Bose, BFA, Theatre Arts

Lindsey Clifton, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, elementary

Elizabeth Watson, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, elementary

Lisa Gunn, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, elementary

Taylor Midgley, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, preschool

Hannah Vonder haar, M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, elementary

Graduate Assistants

Jennifer Griffin

Lauren Holder

Education Department Faculty

Leslie Willey, Ph.D., Chair of the Education Department, Director of the Stephens College Children’s School

Sean Clouse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Education


Angie Cochran, Administrative assistant

College Students

SCCS provides opportunities for college students to observe and participate with children in various ways to develop a frame of reference concerning the growth, development and behavior of children. These experiences allow students to participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of learning activities, observe children’s reactions to the routines of the day, study their progress, and develop skills in interacting positively with both individual children and groups.

Policies / Procedures

Classroom times:

A.M. Preschool 8:30-11:30
P.M. Preschool 12:30-3:30
Full Day Preschool 8:30-3:30
Elementary 8:30-3:30

Extended Day

Extended day care is available Monday-Friday 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. for an additional fee. Families will be billed at the end of each month for the hours their child stayed.

Arrival/Departure Procedures
Preschool Arrival/Departure

Preschool children need to be dropped off and picked up in their classrooms. Friends and family can drop-off and pick-up their children ten minutes before and up to ten minutes after class times. If you arrive before 8:20 a.m. or 12:20 p.m. for the P.M preschool class, please wait with your child outside the classroom until school starts. Friends and families are required to sign-in and out daily and need to touch base with teachers during these times so the teachers are aware of the child’s arrival/departure.

You must personally drop off and pick-up your child in his or her classroom. Children are not allowed to enter or leave the classroom area without an adult.

Elementary Arrival/Departure

Children may be dropped off and picked up at the corner of Melbourne Avenue and Walnut Street. Teachers and teacher assistants will be outside to meet your children ten minutes before and up to ten minutes after school to escort them to the classroom for arrival or to your vehicle for dismissal. Children dropped off early, or picked up late will be sent to Extended Day and families will be assessed a fee.

If someone other than family members or caregivers is picking up a child, they must be listed on the emergency card (as someone authorized to pick up your child) and bring a picture ID. If someone other than an authorized person will be picking up your child, you must notify the school/teachers in advance. (For the first few weeks of enrollment, family members and caregivers may be asked to show a picture ID as well. This is for the protection of your child, so please comply willingly with these requests.)

Late Pick-up

SCCS understands that delays can occur at any time. If you are delayed, please contact the school office (573-876-7260) ASAP and let them know the estimated time you will be picking up your child. If the Extended Day Program is in session, your child will be sent there and you will be assessed a fee for the time utilized. If you are delayed in picking up your child from Extended Day you will be given a written reminder of the school policy on the first occasion. On subsequent occasions, you will be assessed a $10 charge for every thirty minutes past 5:30 p.m. If this occurs more than two times, the privilege of after school care will be revoked. If we have not been able to reach a family member and/or someone on the pick-up list by 7:00 p.m. the police will be called.


The parking lot at the Audrey Webb Child Study Center is for family use. Please be respectful of others when you are coming and going. If the lot is full, legal street parking may be available on nearby connecting streets. If you are doing a quick drop off or pick up, you may park on the east side of Melbourne Avenue with your flashers on. We do ask you to find a legal spot if you plan to stay longer than five minutes.


Tuition is paid monthly, September – May. Tuition is billed by the Stephens College Accounting/Finance office the first of each month and payment is due by the last day of each month. Your check should be made payable to Stephens College and mailed to Stephens College Accounting/Finance Office, Box 2006, Columbia, MO 65215.

Families will also be required to sign a Tuition Agreement Form yearly stating the agreed to monthly tuition payment.

Meals and Snacks

SCCS provides snacks for the preschool programs and for the afternoon extended day program. Please be sure that you have informed the school of any food allergies.


Children enrolled in SCCS have the option of bringing a sack lunch or purchasing a hot lunch for $3.00 per lunch. Lunch is prepared by Food Service at Stephens College. Families are billed for hot lunch at the end of each month by the Stephens College Children’s School administrative assistant. Checks should be made payable to Stephens College and returned to Stephens College Children School, Box 2022, Columbia, MO 65215.

Extended Care

Extended Care is available from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. for $4.00/hr, Monday – Friday. You also have the option of being billed monthly at a 15% discount. Those options will be placed on the tuition agreement form to be signed at the beginning of each school year. Families are billed at the end of each month by the Stephens College Children’s School administrative assistant. Checks should be made payable to Stephens College and returned to Stephens College Children School, Box 2022, Columbia, MO 65215.


If you decide to withdraw your child from Stephens College Children’s School, please inform your child’s teachers and the school office. You will be responsible for paying the full month’s tuition.

Severe Weather

SCCS will be closed for inclement winter weather when Stephens College is closed. Announcements of school closings will be made on the following TV stations: KOMU-TV, Channel 8; and ABC-17, Channel 17; and the following radio stations: KPLA, KBIA, and KFRU. We will also TRY to email parents to notified of the school closing. We do not close for heat or participate in early dismissals.

Emergency Situations and Drills

Students will participate in scheduled fire and tornado drills throughout the school year. All staff members and students will be given information about safety procedures appropriate for such situations. In the event of an actual emergency, family members might understandably want to pick up their child(ren) from school.

If we are instructed to evacuate the premises, teachers will escort students to their assigned meeting place by the back fence on the school playground.


Visitors are welcome to observe our programs. When coming to observe, please sign-in at the Audrey Webb front office or at the front desk in the elementary classroom located in Tower Hall basement. After signing in, please wear the appropriate nametag that identifies you as a visitor.


We will be going outside every day, weather permitting, so please dress your child accordingly. Children at SCCS will be playing, exploring, and getting dirty, so please dress your child in comfortable, durable clothing. Preschool families are asked to bring a change of clothes to keep at school. Elementary students need to bring an extra pair of shoes for the playground and may also bring a change of clothes.

Toys, Books, and other items from home

Please do not allow your child to bring toys from home unless requested by the teachers (show and tell or share days, for example). Full day preschoolers are permitted to bring a blanket and nap buddy for afternoon rest time. We encourage children to bring books to share that pertain to classroom studies, but please be sure these are clearly labeled.

Rest Period

Children in the full day preschool program will have a rest period in the afternoon. The school provides nap mats and children are encouraged to bring blankets and/or pillows for their comfort.

Birthdays and Special Occasions

If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school, please talk with the teachers to schedule the best time. You are welcome to send a special treat for the class. Teachers will keep you informed of other classroom celebrations that may occur, such as the annual Fall Festival. If you would rather your child not participate in class parties, please talk with your child’s teachers. We prefer to celebrate children’s accomplishments through showcases of their work rather than through holiday parties.

Field Trips

The majority of our field trips will be within walking distance of the school. We visit campus locations such as the stables, the library, and the post office. We also take regular walks to Lion-Stephens Park. We will keep you informed of any upcoming field trips and always welcome family volunteers.

Lost and Found

Lost items are either turned in to the office or hung on the coat hooks outside of Room 113 in Audrey Webb.

Health Policies

The Department of Health has established certain requirements and guidelines regarding children’s health in an educational setting. These requirements are meant to protect all of the children in the program. Therefore, we ask for your cooperation in complying with these rules.

Physical Examination/ Immunization

Immunizations are essential for the protection of students and ARE REQUIRED BY MISSOURI LAW FOR STUDENTS TO BE ENROLLED IN AND ATTEND SCHOOL. (MO State Law 19 CSR 20-28.010; sections 167.181, 192.006.1, and 210.003)

Family members or guardians of each student must furnish the school satisfactory evidence of immunization in the form of a statement, certificate, or record from a physician or other health facility or a statement of medical or religious exemption from immunizations against diseases. The school should be informed of immunizations a student receives after enrollment in order to maintain current and accurate information on the student's health record as required by state law.

Communicable Diseases

If your child is exposed to or contracts a communicable disease, please report this information to the school. We are required to notify all families when a child contracts a communicable disease, such as flu, chicken pox, measles, conjunctivitis (pink eye), impetigo, head lice, etc. (Your child’s name will be kept confidential.)

When your child is well, you will need to provide written verification from your child’s physician stating that the condition is no longer contagious and that it is safe for your child to attend school.


For the health and safety of everyone, children who are ill may not attend Stephens College Children’s School. If your child becomes ill while in attendance at SCCS, you will be notified to pick up your child. Please list the name and phone number of two or more adults who can pick up and care for your child if we are unable to contact you. This information should be placed on the emergency information sheet stored in our front office. Please keep this information current.

If you know your child will be absent due to illness, please notify Angie Cochran in the Audrey Webb office at 876-7260.
We are committed to safeguarding the health of all children attending so please follow these guidelines when deciding if your child is well enough to attend:


Keep child home until…

Fever (99 or above)

Fever registers below 99 without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours

Runny nose with discoloration of mucus

Mucus/discharge is of normal color


Physician determines the cause and recommends when the child can return to school

Red, watery, or irritated eyes/Pink eye

Physician determines the cause and recommends when the child can return to school

Vomiting or diarrhea

Child is free of vomiting and diarrhea for at least 24 hours and able to participate in normal daily activities

Draining sore

Physician determines the cause and recommends when the child can return to school

Head lice

No nits or lice are present (We will perform a check before child re-enters the classroom)

Children who are being treated with antibiotics for any illness must complete a full 24 hours of treatment before returning to school. This means if we send your child home at 11:00am but the child does not receive his/her first dose of antibiotics until 3:00 pm, he/she cannot return to school the next morning.

Medication (Prescription and non-prescription)
Stephens College Children’s School does not have a registered nurse on staff and therefore cannot administer any medication not prescribed by a physician. All prescription medication must remain in its original container and be registered with the administrative assistant in the school office where it will be stored. It is the family member’s/guardian’s responsibility to retrieve the medication at the end of the day.

1Accidents or Injuries

SCCS makes every effort to ensure the safety of all children. If an accident occurs, parents will be notified by the teachers, either at pick up, or, immediately by phone. The teachers will fill out an accident report form, sending one copy home with the family and keeping a copy at school. For minor injuries, such as scrapes, scratches, and bruises, the appropriate first aid will be applied. This aid includes cleaning injuries that break the skin and applying a cold compress to bumps and bruises.

For serious incidents, SCCS will call 911 and you immediately. A staff member will accompany your child to the hospital if parents/guardians have not yet arrived. We will make every effort to ensure your child’s comfort and safety until you arrive at the hospital. Please be sure that the office has updated information for you and your emergency contacts.
Family Involvement

SCCS encourages all families to become actively involved in their child’s education. We believe that a strong home-school relationship is an integral part of a child’s education. You are always welcome to visit and observe your child in the classroom. We would love you to share any special talents, skills, or interests that the children would enjoy learning and experiencing. Please talk to your child’s teachers about ways you can participate.

Family Communication

We encourage families to ask questions and share concerns with your child’s teachers. We feel that a positive relationship based on open communication is a vital component of your child’s feelings of happiness and security at school.

We communicate with families on a daily basis at drop off and pick up and on a weekly basis through class newsletters and/or blogs. In addition, teachers will send emails or notes home periodically with updates on your child. Two formal conferences with your child’s teachers are scheduled for the year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The conferences are your opportunity to find out how your child is progressing and to discuss any questions you may have. Of course, you are welcome to schedule a conference with your child’s teachers at any time throughout the school year if you feel it is necessary.

Family Organization

The parent association at SCCS works on fundraising, helps coordinate volunteers, and schedules Teacher Appreciation events. Family members are welcome to join at any time. Please talk with the teachers for more information.

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