| Thursday, 03 August 2017 |

Pre-Kindergarten Handbook

Office Numbers

Main Desk  901.842.4600
Debbie Isom  Head of Early Childhood  901.842.4612
Cyndy Wright  EC Administrative Assistant  901.842.4678
Rachel Bishop  Director of Admission  901.842.4695
Admission FAX  901.842.4620


Faculty List for Early Childhood

You can search the online faculty directory by grade or division.

Show all teachers for YK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for PK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for JK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for SK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all administration


Subject Areas

The Early Childhood curriculum consists of teacher directed activities, hands-on activities, and daily discovery time designed to lay the foundation for future learning. The following activities are provided each day. Specific subject areas include:

  • Literacy — Fostering a love of reading through reading readiness, early literacy skills and phonics instruction
  • Handwriting — Active learning of correct pencil grip, letter formation, letter fluency and fine motor development (developmentally appropriate activities are practiced at each grade level)
  • Math — Manipulating objects to develop an understanding of various mathematical concepts such as counting, sequencing, patterning, graphing, money, measurement, addition and subtraction
  • World Languages — Exposure to language and culture
  • Bible — Learning what God’s word says about each of us as a unique gift from God
  • Science and Global Studies — Discovering the world through art, music, literature and experimentation
  • Music — Experiencing sound and movement as an art form
  • Discover Me — Learning to focus attention and demonstrate self-control in response to verbal cues
  • Lifetime Wellness — Learning to stay active and fit while working on coordination and physical wellness
  • Art — Exploring the creative process through different media while developing small motor skills
  • Library — Fostering a love of books through story time and book check out


Daily Schedule

Special area classes include: movement, music, Spanish, Mandarin, Bible, P.E., library and global study. You will be given a copy of your son's schedule at the beginning of the school year listing the classes specific to his grade level.



Carpool is one of the most intense periods of the day on the PDS campus. We have worked very hard to ensure that it is an easy transition for the students and a quick pull through for parents. In Early Childhood alone, we are assisting over one hundred children between two and six years of age. They don’t always move quickly or at our preferred pace. If there is a delay, know that we are working hard to get the line moving as quickly as possible while meeting the developmental needs of the students.

The following requests will assist in making carpool run smoothly and safely:

  • ALL EC CARPOOLS ENTER FROM CENTRAL AVENUE. In order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, EC carpools must enter from Central Avenue for both drop-off and pick-up.
  • All EC cars must pull through the carpool line.
  • Do not park and walk your child across to avoid pulling through the carpool line. It is a temptation to cut a few minutes from your drop-off time; however, it is extremely disruptive to the flow of the carpool line when it is stopped to allow a parent and child to walk across to the building.
  • Never stand and watch your child cross the carpool lane. Drivers will not see him as he crosses. On the rare occasion that you need to walk your child in during carpool due to an unforeseen event, you must hold his hand and walk him all the way to the EC door.
  • Do not plan on dropping off your son earlier than 7:20 a.m.
  • Do not engage the teacher in conversation during carpool. The teachers need to attend to the safety of the boys.
  • Put your car in park when students are being dropped off or picked up.
  • Do not allow your son to hang out of the car window or sunroof at any time.
  • Cell phone use is not allowed in carpool line during drop-off or pick-up.
  • A written note giving your son permission to ride with someone other than his regular carpool is required. We will not place your child in a different carpool/car without a note. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
  • Do not park in the main drive and leave your car. It is for drop-off and pick-up only.
  • Do not walk across the carpool line to pickup your son, as it is impossible to monitor the car pick up and students walking away with a parent.
  • Students who are not picked up after 15 minutes from dismissal time will be taken to the AfterCare program and their parents will be billed a $25.00 drop-in fee for that day. This policy includes Wednesdays and half-days.

Carpool Maps

Find carpool maps on the main Student Handbook Carpool entry.


Early Room

Early room is available at 7:20 a.m. Before this time, the door will be locked and there will be no supervision for your child.

If you arrive prior to this time, please have your son wait with you in your car until 7:20 am.

Supervision for boys arriving early in the Young Knight's class will be in the Music Room, PK students will be in a designated PK room and JK/SK boys will be in the Hussey Commons.

Morning carpool begins at 7:30 am. Boys should be dropped off at the Early Childhood entrance. There are adults who will open the doors and assist your son. Please pull forward as far as possible when dropping off.

Students are tardy after 8:00 am. If you arrive after carpool ends, you must park and walk your child into school. There is a sign in sheet in the EC lobby.



Care for students is available after school until 6:00 pm. Registration is required.

Register for AfterCare

Please email Lyssa Fisackerly with any questions.

Click here for logistical, financial, policies and program information on AfterCare.


Sibling Stay

PDS is offering a new Sibling Stay program for the 2018-2019 school year. Since class dismissal times are staggered, Early Childhood students (YK-SK) who have an older sibling at PDS will be able to enroll in the program and attend AfterCare until the older sibling is dismissed. The younger sibling will be picked up by an AfterCare assistant at his specific dismissal time and join AfterCare until his older sibling dismissal time. The parent is required to walk inside the main entrance and sign the younger sibling out of Sibling Stay BEFORE picking up the older sibling in carpool. The younger sibling will enjoy time on the playground or being inside with toys and activities during his time in Sibling Stay.

Register for Sibling Stay

Confidential Pick-Up Information

If for some reason your child is not to have contact with a particular adult, the school must have a court order on file stating this information. This information will be shared only on a need to know basis. We monitor this very carefully, but it must be official for us to act accordingly.

It is also helpful if we are informed of any significant change at home that may affect your child such as the hospitalization of a family member, birth of a sibling, death of a pet, houseguests such as grandparents, etc. This information will help us meet your son’s needs in very specific ways. We will treat sensitive information with the utmost care.

Early Pick-Up

If you need to pick up your son early, email both of his teachers to insure that he is packed and ready to go at pick up. Come to the EC reception desk and sign him out. Your son’s teachers will be notified that you are on campus and he will be brought to the lobby to meet you. For the safety of the boys, please follow these rules exactly.


Visitors on Campus

All external doors are locked throughout the day. Visitors should ring the buzzer and wait for the release to be activated. Should the EC reception desk be unattended, go to the PDS main entrance for access. That desk should be manned at all times during the school day.

Everyone visiting campus must sign-in and receive a visitor’s badge. Please return the badge and sign out before leaving campus.


Classroom Management

In order to provide an environment that is positive, nurturing, and safe, it is important for us to have rules that are in the best interest of each boy.

Behavior Expectations

It is expected that every child, from time to time, will find it difficult to maintain self-control and consistently make good choices. It is important that you allow him to face the consequences of his choices for this is how he learns. He will begin to self-regulate and need less adult intervention. As a result, he will become more secure and self-confident.

Classroom Rules

  • I will be a first-time listener.
  • I will use my self-control.
  • I will raise my hand to speak.
  • I will show respect for my teachers and friends.


Our discipline plan is designed to promote a positive classroom environment. Students who have difficulty following classroom rules after an appropriate number of verbal reminders will get a note home and the date on the calendar located in his nightly folder will be highlighted. The note is designed to inform you of your son’s choices and to solicit your support in encouraging him to demonstrate self-control. Please check and initial his folder each day.

We encourage you to support the following expectations at home as you partner with us to help your son transition into the learning environment. We will strive to help your son demonstrate the following:

First Time Listening

The student should respond to requests the first time. Delayed obedience is considered disobedience. If he does not respond the first time, it is important that he have a consistent, age-appropriate consequence for delaying obedience. 


Students will learn that responsibility is doing what you need to do, when you need to do it, whether you want to or not.


The student will be taught that he is in charge of his own body and capable of controlling his actions.


Students will be expected to demonstrate politeness. We will teach that manners matter as the students learn to show good manners by:

  • Saying please, thank you, yes ma’am and yes sir, no ma’am and no sir, and good morning.
  • Remembering to say, “excuse me” if you must interrupt a conversation
  • Waiting patiently for your turn
  • Quickly helping someone else
  • Maintaining eye contact when speaking to someone
  • Acknowledging a greeting when spoken to


Students will be encouraged to treat others, as they would want to be treated by:

  • Showing consideration for other people and their property
  • Caring for self, family, community, and school
  • Appreciating and accepting individual differences


Students are expected to always tell the truth.


Students demonstrate an understanding of cooperation when they:

  • Take turns and work out problems
  • Share


Students learn that kindness means caring and wanting to help others. They show kindness by:

  • Playing with all classmates
  • Being a good listener
  • Forgiving easily and quickly
  • Setting a good example
  • Helping others with no thought of reward


Students learn to show patience by waiting without complaining even when it takes what seems like a long time. They show this by:

  • Taking turns in the room and on the playground
  • Waiting quietly and calmly


Dress Code

Early Childhood students follow the school dress code as stated below:

  • All students must maintain a neat and clean appearance
  • Shirts with regulation collars are required. Turtlenecks are acceptable. Having shirt tails tucked in is a goal for JK and SK students
  • Athletic clothes may not be worn during the regular school day. (i.e. football jerseys and T-shirts with/without printing are unacceptable)
  • Blue jeans may not be worn
  • Elastic waistbands are encouraged and sweatpants are acceptable, however one piece jon jons (shortalls and longalls) and overalls are not.
  • No belts for YK or PK.
  • Shorts are permissible
  • Athletic shoes (Velcro straps preferred) and socks must be worn at all times. Open-toe or open heeled shoes may not be worn. (Example: Crocs, Keens, or sandals) Rain boots and cowboy boots are not permissible.
  • The wearing of visible tattoos and jewelry is not acceptable


Dress Down Days

Occasionally, we have a special dress down day when the students are allowed to break from the normal dress code to celebrate a special event. You will get a note or email when these days are awarded.  



Please be sure your son comes to school each day dressed appropriately for outdoor play. Even if we do not go out for recess, carpool pick-up can be quite cold during the winter months. It is necessary that items such as jackets, sweatshirts, mittens, vests, and sweaters be clearly labeled with your son’s name.



Important: PDS must have a copy of the immunization record for all boys who are new to PDS.


Only the school nurse administers medication. A teacher may not give medication to your son. PDS provides some over-the-counter medications, such as brand or generic versions of Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, Tums and topical (skin) medications. The student will not be given any of these medications unless a parent has approved them on Medical Permission Form that is completed at the beginning of the school year.

Forms for parent-provided over the counter medications and prescription medications are available on the website.

Bring medication in the original container with detailed instructions as to the type, reason to be given, and amount to be given. Parents must take all medication directly to the nurse.

Do not send any medication with your son or in his backpack. Do not send cough drops with your child.

Health Records

Make sure that you have turned in all health forms and shot records to the office before school starts. All boys must have a health record on file to be officially enrolled at Presbyterian Day School.

Allergy or Medical Problems

All medical concerns should be brought to our attention immediately. Please help us keep down the spread of illness by keeping your son at home when he is sick. If your son has vomited, had diarrhea, or had fever in the last twenty-four hours, he cannot be at school.

Your son must be fever free without fever reducing medicines and without medication to control vomiting and/or diarrhea for a full 24 hours before returning to school.

He will be sent home if he has a fever or any other contagious illness, i.e. pinkeye, etc. We strongly encourage good hand washing, as it is the best defense against children spreading germs to one another. Please send a note if your son is to be excluded from physical activity (i.e. recess, gym); otherwise, we will expect him to participate in all activities. It is critical that you advise us of all food allergies.

Nut Policy

We have students with life threatening food allergies to nuts and peanuts; therefore we strive for a nut free environment in the Early Childhood Center at Presbyterian Day School. Students with this allergy cannot have foods that contain nuts or peanuts, nut or peanut oils, or foods that have to be processed in a facility that also processes nut or peanut products.


  • Send only foods that list “peanut/tree nut free” on the packaging
  • Label any product that has the appearance of peanut butter such as soy butter or sunbutter
  • Read the labels of all food, treats, lunches sent to school.
  • Check with the classroom teacher if you are unsure of a food.

Thank you for partnering with us to ensure the safety of all students.


Parent-Teacher Communication

If you need to talk to us for any reason, please call for an appointment or send a note or an email, and we will get back in touch with you within a reasonable period of time. Please do not try to reach us during class time unless it is an emergency.

Leave a message with the EC receptionist, and we will call you back as soon as possible. She can be reached at 901-842-4678. We prefer to have conferences at a scheduled time in order to be fully prepared and to give our undivided attention to your concerns. We want to have quality time with your son and would like to have quality time talking to you as well. We are interested in your concerns and are very eager to work with you, but have found that carpool is not the best time to have a conversation. We can more easily respond to a note or email.

We will post a weekly blog on the class website in order to keep you well informed. This information will be included in the weekly email newsletter. All parents will be pre-subscribed to these newsletters, which will begin the first week of school. Please print this information and post it on your refrigerator so that your son does not miss any special events. Monthly calendars will also be available to you.


Two parent-teacher conferences are scheduled throughout the year. The conferences last about fifteen minutes and will give us an opportunity to discuss your son’s progress at school. Our first conference is scheduled for Friday, September 28. If your son is experiencing difficulty in any area, we will bring this to your attention so we can work together to ensure the best possible school experience.

Change of Contact Information

It is ESSENTIAL that we have up-to-date information and are able to reach you at all times, especially in the event of an emergency. If you have a change of address, phone number, or email at home or work, please notify your son’s teachers and the school office as soon as possible. It is important that all records stay current and accurate.


Disenrollment Procedures

It is our desire that all students attending PDS thrive academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. We will partner with the parents of a child who we determine is not meeting this goal. In the extremely rare event that concerns arise that cannot be resolved, we will help facilitate the transition to a more appropriate setting should the parents request assistance. All remaining financial obligations should be addressed with Jill Kauffman, Chief Financial Officer, by calling 901.842.4616.



It is with great excitement that we welcome you to the PDS Pre-Kindergarten class. We look forward to getting to know you and your precious son(s).

Your son’s Pre-K (PK) year will be filled with love, laughter, and fun learning experiences. Our goal is to create a warm and nurturing environment that supports the varying styles of learning and different rates of development of each boy. We believe these experiences will establish a solid foundation upon which future academic learning will build.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to teach your sons and know that this year will be a memorable one.

–PK Teachers

Parent Meeting

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 8:30 a.m., all parents of Early Childhood students will meet in the Fellowship Hall for a brief time before going to your son’s classroom to meet his teachers.

In preparation for that meeting:

  • print a copy of this handbook
  • complete all forms
  • be prepared to ask any questions about the year that you feel will help you and your son have a great beginning

Students do not attend this meeting as it is for parents only.


Faculty List for Early Childhood

You can search the online faculty directory by grade or division.

Show all teachers for YK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for PK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for JK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all teachers for SK (includes Special Area teachers)

Show all administration


Special Activities and Events


Our mascot is a little stuffed dog that will go home with a different boy each day. Special activities will accompany the puppy on his visits to your home. We will send the puppy home with a boy who has had a great day. Our hope is that this will be an incentive to demonstrate good behavior choices in our classroom. The mascot should be returned to PDS the following day.


Birthdays are celebrated on the day of your son’s actual birthday, unless there is a conflict with this date. We will celebrate August birthdays (1st – 20th) at the end of August. June and July birthdays will be celebrated in May.

A email or note will be sent home before your son’s birthday to let you know the exact date when we will celebrate your son's birthday. We invite you to visit the classroom to read a special book to the class. We will work with you to schedule a convenient time for your visit.

Due to the increasing number of students with food allergies and the risk of cross contact with allergens, homemade snacks are not allowed. Your son will get to visit our snack closet to choose a birthday snack for his classmates that day.

Room Parties

We will have holiday parties during the school year as well as other special events. Parents are expected to attend the Harvest Party and End of the Year Party, which are off-campus events. All PK classes will have off campus parties and celebrations together. While we welcome parental involvement, young children have a difficult time separating from parents during the school day. To avoid this situation, parents do not attend the Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Easter celebrations. We celebrate these parties at school with our Sixth Grade Buddies. You may, however, signup to help with at least two parties.


Scheduled Events

September 27 Dads and Dogs 10:45am
October 30 Harvest Party (off-campus)


December 6 Jingle and Mingle Performance 10:30am
TBA Christmas Celebration (boys only) TBA
TBA Valentine’s Celebration (boys only) TBA
TBA Easter Celebration (boys only) TBA
May 8 Mommy and Me 8:30 a.m.
*May 21 End-of-the-Year (off-campus) 9:00–10:00 a.m.

*All PK classes will have off campus parties together. The boys will meet at the designated location and be dismissed immediately following these parties. AfterCare will be available for students who need it and are enrolled in the after school AfterCare program.


Memos To Parents

Student Information Form

Please download, print, complete, and return the Early Childhood Student Information Form for each student. This form lets your classroom teacher know who will be picking-up your child, along with some other logistical information.

Tote Bags

Please send the tote bag daily with your son and check the folder each day for notes. We want your son to learn to identify his name on his bag without other visual cues; therefore, his bag should not be monogrammed or decorated in any way. Students are not allowed to put key chains or other hanging items on the tote bags.


Your son will be given a folder that is to be brought to school daily. PLEASE check your son’s folder and initial the calendar everyday.


Students in PK check out a library book each week that should be returned the following week in good condition. In the event that a book is lost or damaged, a replacement fee will be charged for the book. Boys will not be allowed to check out another book until the fees are paid or the book is returned. Check out will begin after Fall Break.

Weekly Blog/Skills Page

Information about the weekly events will be available on the PK class page. We want to communicate how your son spends his day in order for you to encourage and reinforce skills at home. You may subscribe to this page by going to the PDS website. Note that all parents have been pre-subscribed to this newsletter. If you are not receiving it, please check your spam folder first, and then contact our Director of Communications, Winston Baccus.


Do not allow your son to bring toys to school. Full-day and 3/2 students may bring one small “lovie” for rest time only.

Change of Clothing

Occasionally accidents and spills happen. For this reason, your son will need a seasonal change of clothing including shirt, shorts/pants, underwear, and socks, in a Ziploc bag labeled with his name. Remember to label any additional layer that your son wears to school as well. These will remain in his cubby for the year. Please explain this change of clothes to your son.

Clothing for AfterCare

Students who need care after school will need an extra change of clothes for the AfterCare program. Please send them in a Ziploc bag and label the clothing.

Label Everything

Put your child’s name on everything he brings to school (jackets, sweaters, hats, etc.). Misplaced clothing labeled with a student’s name is returned to him as quickly as possible.



PDS is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of our boys. We strive to empower them to make lifelong healthy choices.


PDS provides a healthy snack and milk or water each day. Be sure your son’s teacher is aware of any food allergies, since we will be eating snack in our classroom.

Pre-K Lunches

Students attending the five full-day class will bring a lunch to school each day.

Students attending three full and two half days will bring a lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Students attending three full days will bring lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

Students attending five half-days will not need to bring a lunch.

  • Milk or water will be provided. Do not send any other drink.
  • Time will not permit us to microwave lunch items.
  • Your son’s lunch should be in a paper bag with lunch items in disposable containers such as Ziploc bags. No lunch boxes.
  • All leftover food is disposed of after the meal.
  • If a spoon or fork is needed for his lunch, please send one in his lunch sack.
  • We encourage you to send fresh fruit, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces — no fruit cups. Prepackaged fruit should be drained and placed in a disposable bag.
  • We discourage you from sending Pizza Lunchables, chocolate pudding, and Gogurt/Danimals.

Table Manners

We practice using polite table manners such as sitting nicely at the table when eating, using utensils properly, and helping clean the table area. Please help us reinforce good manners and these other critical social skills at home and when dining out.


Knowing how important it is to stay well hydrated, we will be offering water multiple times throughout the day and with lunch/snack. PK students will work on drinking from a cup without a lid. Please let your son practice this skill at home as well.



We will go outside every day if weather permits. Please be sure your son comes to school each day dressed appropriately for outdoor play. Even if we do not go out for recess, carpool pick-up can be quite cold during the winter months and your son will need a jacket or coat, hat, and mittens (no gloves please).

It is necessary that items such as jackets, sweatshirts, mittens (no gloves please), vests, and sweaters be clearly labeled with your son’s name.


We expect the boys to use self-control when on the playground. Hitting, spitting, biting, name-calling, or hurting of other’s feelings will not be tolerated. We do not permit the boys to engage in any pretend fighting OR wrestling activities on the playground. Please emphasize this to your son.


Toilet Training/Accident Policy

PDS requires all entering PK students to be fully potty trained as a prerequisite of enrollment. Knowing that accidents do occur, we adhere to the following guidelines:

  • If a child wets his pants, he will go to the restroom to change his clothes (with a teacher’s assistance as needed).
  • If a child soils his pants, he will be cleaned as much as possible. We will contact a parent to take the child home for a more thorough clean up.
  • If a child repeatedly wets his pants or has three soiling accidents within a three-week period, the parents would, at that point, need to remove the child from the program for the period of time needed to allow for complete potty training. His place on the class roster will be retained and tuition payments will continue as agreed.


Self-Help Skills

Self-help skills make the day run more smoothly and help build confidence. Your son should be able to manage his clothing to the degree that he is capable of independently taking care of bathroom needs. Please practice zipping, snapping, buttoning and tying. All of these skills help decrease frustration and foster an attitude of accomplishment and independence. Clothing should have closures that are easy to manipulate and simple enough for the boys to manage. No belts please.


Biting Policy

While biting is uncommon at this age, it does occur. Due to the health concerns associated with biting, PDS holds to a policy that protects the child who is bitten as well as the biter. The parents of the bitten child as well as the biter will be contacted. If the bite breaks the skin, bruises or leaves a significant mark, the biter may be sent home for the remainder of the day. If the biting becomes a consistent problem, further action will be taken. This may include asking the child to stay at home until the behavior is under control. The child’s spot will be held until it is determined that he can safely return to school. In the event that the safety of all children cannot be ensured, dismissal will result. Our goal is to keep every child safe and foster a warm, loving environment.  

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 August 2018
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4025 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN • 901-842-4600 Contact Us



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