About Lakeside Children’s Academy

One of the major differences about Lakeside is our loyal and dedicated teachers. Many of our teachers have been with us for years. This is important because they know and understand our high expectations for education and care. Also, it is important for children to have consistency with their teachers. Lakeside is fortunate to have low turnover with our teaching staff.

All of our teachers go through a detailed interview process. We look for experience, education, personality traits, and commitment to our business. Our teachers complete a working interview before they are hired. A working interview consists of hours and actual work in the classroom before becoming part of the Lakeside team. This enables us to see them in “action” and how they relate to the children and other teachers. They work during an introductory period for 90 days when first hired.

Background checks on all teachers are completed every six months. After being hired, teachers are trained on Missouri State Licensing Rules, Lakeside’s Policies and Procedures, and an Employee Handbook.

Lakeside teachers complete at least twelve hours of continuing education classes each year. All classes are approved by management. These classes must be relevant to the teacher’s age group. Some of the classes are held at Lakeside and others are through off site institutions: Crucial Early Years at the University of Missouri St. Louis, United 4 Children, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Appelbaum Institute, the Health Department, School District trainings and others.

Teachers are always available to meet with you. Drop off and pick up times can be hectic. If you ever need to speak with a teacher, feel free to call throughout the day. If you would like to set up a time to meet outside the classroom, talk to Laura or Andrea and we will arrange a quiet setting for you to do so. Our main objective is to truly partner with you for the benefit of our children.

Monthly teacher meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. At these meetings, teachers are updated on Academy events, hear new child related news and participate in continuing education.

Every staff member is required to take an annual CPR class. Most of our teachers are also First Aid trained. A Tuberculin test, Hepatitis A shot, and a physical exam are required prior to working at Lakeside. Lakeside Administration and Supervisors are all First Aid trained.

We encourage communication between Lakeside teachers and school districts. Our teachers work close with the Special School District for children with special needs.

We are proud of our teachers and have a bulletin board by the reception area, which has their photos and years they have taught at Lakeside. Teacher’s personal information is posted outside of their classroom, so you may know more about the wonderful teachers who teach your children here at Lakeside.

Education

Children at Lakeside have many stimulating, age-appropriate activities from which to choose. These activities are based on studies, which examine brain development and how children learn. Approved lesson plans are posted in the rooms each week.

The theme-based curriculum at Lakeside involves hands-on learning. Our classrooms are stocked with many resources- books, computer activities, games, building supplies and art materials. Teachers engage the children in small and large motor activities, sensory experiences, manipulatives, art, music, dramatic play, blocks and science activities. Our rooms are arranges to provide those learning areas. Activities for preschoolers are designed to prepare them for kindergarten.

Beginning at the age of four, children may take field trips occasionally for an off-site learning experience, such as a bakery or pizza restaurant. Older children also take field trips to enhance their learning experience.

For school-age children, we provide a homework table for before and after school to encourage necessary schoolwork at parental request.

We always encourage reading at Lakeside with an abundance of books in the rooms. The daily curriculum incorporates a daily story time, trips to the library for four-year-olds, pre-kindergarten and school-age children, observance of Dr. Seuss wee, nursery rhymes and fairy tales, and a book day in each room. We also encourage parents to reinforce our activities at home.

Certain milestones are important in every child’s development. Our teachers are here to help with weaning children from bottles and pacifiers, potty training, and learning to eat with tableware. A child is promoted from one room to another based partly on reaching these milestones as well as his/her age.

The teaching staff at Lakeside is motivated by their love for children and by watching them advance in knowledge through their experiences at the center. Monthly newsletters and weekly classroom updates provide parents with information to reinforce our educational process.

Lesson Plans

You will receive a weekly and monthly lesson plan. The weekly plan will show you what your child is working on with each developmental area. We will include books and songs your child is reading and singing. The monthly lesson plan is a snapshot of the month. It will include the monthly theme, ideas of things to do in the community with your child, birthdays, teacher information and more! Both of these plans are outside your child’s classroom on the room’s information board.

Family Teacher Conferences

Family Teacher Conferences are held annually. These conferences are a time for you to get to know your child’s teachers, know more about their activities here at Lakeside, and what you may be doing at home to reinforce their learning at school. Conferences are held different times, to be flexible around families and their schedules. We hope you take advantage of this time to learn more about your child and their time here at Lakeside.

Assessments

Throughout the year, teachers use developmental checklists to track your child’s development. We work with developmental milestones through NAEYC to set goals for your child. Each child has a folder kept in the classroom. Throughout the year, we keep art work, writing samples, pictures, and observations on your child. This information is used for our annual Family Teacher Conferences.

Computers

Computers are in our pre-school and pre-kindergarten, and school age classrooms. Educational software is used to enhance math, reading, science, language, and fine motor skills.

Special Learning Days

Each week, we ask you to bring in books, music, or show-n-shares for your child’s classroom. Please check with your child’s teacher for the days of the week you need to bring things. We know you are busy. If you need to borrow something from the office or the classroom, just ask.

Fun with Learning

Throughout the year, Lakeside brings in outside businesses to enrich your child’s classroom. Examples of these are the Bubble Bus, a magician and balloon twister, the Reptile Experience, Alice the Thinking Dog, Nurse Betty through the Health Department and the Valley Park Fire and Police Departments.

Children with Special Needs

The Hockensmith Family has a special understanding for children with special needs. If you need to invite an outside company or resource to Lakeside for observations, or to meet with your child’s teacher, you may do so. We need to have written permission from you to have an outside person here to work with us. It is important for us all to work together to improve and support your child’s development.

Age Group Information

All babies at Lakeside are special people and are treated as such. For their happiness and well being, we have the following policies:

Family and Teachers Only, Please

For health and safety reasons, only families and teachers are allowed in the Infant/Toddler classrooms with their youngest child. Families must take older siblings to their rooms first before taking younger children to their rooms.

What to Bring for You Infant

  • One or more changes of seasonal clothing, labeled with child’s name
  • Unbreakable bottles for milk and formula, labeled with child’s name
  • Formula, labeled with child’s name
  • Baby foods (until child is ready for table foods)
  • Diaper and wipes (if your child wears cloth diapers, you must bring a bag for the dirty diapers. They will be sent home with you each day)
  • Pacifier
  • Diaper rash ointment

Crib sheets (laundered daily), crib mobiles, receiving blankets, bibs, spoons and sippy cups are provided by Lakeside

What to Bring for Your Toddler

  • Set of seasonal clothing, labeled with child’s name
  • Pacifier (if needed)
  • Diapers and wipes (if your child wears cloth diapers, you must bring a bag for the dirty diapers. They will be sent home with you each day)
  • Soft cuddle toy (if needed)
  • Blanket, labeled with child’s name
  • Regular-sized crib sheet for cot, labeled with child’s name (laundered weekly)
  • Unbreakable bottle (if needed), labeled with child’s name

Sippy sups and bibs are provided by Lakeside

What to Bring for Your Two-Year-Old

  • Diapers and wipes (if not yet potty trained)
  • Soft cuddle toy (if needed)
  • Set of seasonal clothing, labeled with child’s name
  • Blanket, labeled with child’s name
  • Regular-sized crib sheet for cot, labeled with child’s name (laundered weekly)

Bibs are provided by Lakeside

What to Bring for your Pre-school and School-Age Children

  • Set of seasonal clothing, labeled with child’s name
  • Blanket, labeled with child’s name
  • Regular-sized crib sheet for cot, labeled with child’s name (laundered weekly)
  • Soft cuddle toy (if needed)

Bedding

Children ages six weeks through age four nap/rest each day, while pre-kindergarten children rest as needed. A cot is provided by Lakeside for daily naps or rest periods. All children (except infants) must bring a sheet and blanket (regular crib sheets fits the cots), which is clearly labeled with the child’s name.
These items are washed weekly, or as needed here at Lakeside. Infant sheets, which are provided by the center, are laundered daily at Lakeside.

Clothing

We ask that you keep a set of clothing labeled with your child’s name in his or her cubby. We suggest a seasonal, washable change of clothing (including underclothing and socks) in case of accidents with toileting, or developmental activities such as art or other forms of play that may be messy.
We encourage you to dress your child in comfortable, washable clothes that will protect him or her against the day’s weather conditions. For safety, tennis shoes are mandatory.

When to Bring Personal Items

Our rooms have terrific toys, games and interest center for the children. With a couple of exceptions, we encourage you not to send toys from home to the center with your child. One exception is when a special event is scheduled and teachers have given permission for the children to bring something from home (e.g., “Show and Share Day”). The other exception is when a child wants to bring a cuddle toy- like a stuffed animal- to sleep with at naptime. Lakeside is not liable for any losses or damages which may occur to these items.

We do not allow toy guns, water guns, or other pretend weapons at any time because they lead to aggressive play.

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday
6:00am to 6:30pm

Academy Closings:

New Years Eve: Closed at 4:00pm
New Years Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve: Closed at 4:00pm
Christmas Day

Public School Closings:

Lakeside is open for our school-age children if they are off school. We also take care of our    school-age children on late start and early dismissal days. See your tuition sheet for pricing for     these days.

Snow Days:

Lakeside is proud to say we strive to be open on days with inclement weather. If we do have to    be closed for a day, we will try to have a sign on our front. If weather is too bad, we will not     make it there to inform you. If we have to close early, we will contact you and you will have at     least one hour to pick up your child. We understand how important it is for you to get to work,     but safety for our families, children, and teachers is our #1 priority.

State Licensing Associations

State Licensing and Associations

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services licenses Lakeside Children’s Academy. Inspections, both scheduled and unannounced, occur throughout the year. Lakeside is also inspected by other state, county, and city agencies, including the St. Louis County Health Department and the Valley Park Fire Department.

A copy of the Missouri State Licensing Rules is available for review in the office. Their web site also has great information: www.dhss.mo.gov. Our license certificate is hanging on our community board in the front lobby. Lakeside is re-licensed every two years.

The following ratios are required to meet our licensing standards:
Infant and Toddlers…………….4 children to 1 teacher
Two-year-olds…………………..8 children to 1 teacher
Three to four year olds……….10 children to 1 teacher
Five to twelve year olds………16 children to 1 teacher