School Policies

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Growing Tree School Policies


All children attending The Growing Tree Preschool and Kindergarten MUST meet immunization requirements declared by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environment Control.  Unless there is a medical exemption, there will be NO exceptions.  Each year, millions of deaths occur globally in children under the age of five due to infectious disease – many of which are preventable with existing vaccines.  We want to keep all of our students safe and healthy, especially those who are at greater risk for becoming sick.


Snacks will be provided by the Growing Tree on a daily basis. Our goal is to have healthy foods and drinks for your child to enjoy. Birthday treats are always welcomed from home; also, you may bring in snacks at any time during the year. Please be sure to advise your child’s teacher of any allergies your child may have.


Please dress your child in comfortable play clothes that will allow him or her to enjoy activities like painting, playing outside and crawling around on the floor. Tennis shoes are recommended.  NO FLIP FLOPS allowed. The child needs to be able to manage their clothing during bathroom times if at all possible. A change of clothes is a necessity for all children and please LABEL all items brought to school including hats, gloves, and coats.


Every child should have immunization records on file with their current teacher. In order to keep everyone healthy, please do not send your child to school until he or she has been fever and vomit/diarrhea free for 24 hours and is able to participate in regular school activities. If your child is injured or becomes ill during the school day, we will make every effort to contact you. Please be sure we have all the current information to reach you. We will provide care for your child until someone is reached, or in an emergency, we will contact the family physician or EMS. If there is any time in the year where certain situations at home may affect your child’s behavior, please inform your child’s teacher or the preschool director. This can only ensure that the child is better understood and the teacher is attuned to their needs.


It is our goal to make sure the parents of this school are as informed as possible. There are weekly or monthly letters sent home by all teachers. PLEASE CHECK BOOK BAGS AND FOLDERS DAILY. In accordance with the First Presbyterian Church’s solicitation policy, absolutely nothing can be placed in cubbies or backpacks without the consent of the Growing Tree Director.  You are invited to visit us at any time but please remember, we are very busy and we may be at Chapel, Music, PE, Library, or Spanish. Conferences are scheduled in February or can be set up at your convenience any time during the school year. Please do not try to discuss your child in depth at drop off or pick up or DURING school hours. There are other children that the teacher is responsible for during that time, so please schedule a time where you can truly get the information you need.

  • School begins at 9:00 AM each day and ends at noon for the one through fours


  • Kindergarten ends at 2:00 PM. Children ages 2 – 5 can be dropped off and picked up under the portico at the back of the church.


  • Morning  Drop  off  is SUGGESTED. It makes it easier for other children when there are fewer parents in the halls. Please do not drop off children before 8:45.


  • Teachers and/or assistants will greet and escort children to their classrooms.


  • Pick up may begin at 11:45 AM. Please remain in your car and proceed through this area as quickly and safely as possible. This area can be extremely dangerous for an unsupervised child so everyone needs to be very cautious during these times.


  • If your child brings a car seat to school to be placed in someone else’s car, it is the parent’s responsibility to place it in that car; teachers cannot be in charge of car seats at drop-off. If you have more than two children who need to be buckled, please pull forward and assist them. In SUVs and vans, teachers are not able to reach the rear seat so make sure that child is able to securely fasten their own seat belt.


  • Under no circumstances will we release any children to someone unknown by your child. Verbal or written authorization is required.


  • For the first few months of school, parents of children in the one year old class will need to bring your child inside the building to drop them off in the morning and come inside to pick them up in the afternoon.  We will let you know when we feel the children are ready to implement the drop off and pick up process.  Please use extreme caution at all times when entering and existing the building.

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You will receive information concerning them ahead of time and we hope you and your child will participate in as many as possible. You will be asked to fill out forms to stay on file and if you drive on any given trip, insurance information is mandatory. We also require that your child wears a Growing Tree t-shirt or sweatshirt so that they are easily recognizable to their group. This is to help ensure safety for everyone.


These are special days and we would like to help you celebrate. Treats are welcomed; please be sure to notify the teacher ahead of time so she can help prepare for that special day. If you are planning a party and EVERYONE in the class is invited, invitations may be placed in book bags at school. NOTHING CAN BE PLACED IN BOOK BAGS WITHOUT CONSENT OF THE DIRECTOR. Balloons are discouraged at celebrations.


Children are asked not to bring toys to school unless it is on a designated learning day or Show & Tell. At the beginning of school we understand special things may take longer to be put away, and we will work with the parent and child in this area.


We believe discipline should be done with love and in a positive way if at all possible. Each classroom teacher will explain rules for the  room, school, and church. If problems arise, parents will be contacted so we can work together to find the best possible solution for all involved.


It is important to be in school as often as possible and on time every day so that your child receives all the advantages we have to offer. Attendance will be taken daily for the benefit of your child’s progress. The Growing Tree recommends that your child should not miss more than 5 days per semester. This is in accordance with the Horry County Schools attendance policies.


In the event of inclement weather, please stay tuned to a local radio station for current information regarding school delays and cancellations. The Growing Tree will follow the Horry County School District for cancellations and is as follows for delays:

  • Delay of public school by 1 hour: The Growing Tree will begin on our regular schedule of 9:00 AM.
  • Delay of public school by 2 hours: The Growing Tree will begin at 10:00 AM.
  • Delay of public school by 3 hours: The Growing Tree and Lunch Bunch will be canceled for that day.
  • When weather is extremely cold or it is raining, Wilkes Hall will be used for inside recess. Therefore, umbrellas are not needed at school.

This is based on those of public schools in South Carolina. A child must be 1 year old by September 1st to be in the one year old class, 2 years old by September 1st to be enrolled in the two year old class and so on. We require children be potty trained before entering the three year old program. Discrimination – The Growing Tree does not discriminate on the basis of national origin, ancestry, or gender in accordance with sate law. The  vision for the Growing Tree as  stated by the Board of Directors is that we will serve as a ministry to all children teaching them the love of God. Our curriculum will empower the children to be ready for Kindergarten and other challenges in early childhood.


At the Growing Tree, we feel that children with special needs would be better served in a program specifically designed for their individual needs.


First Presbyterian Church Growing Tree Preschool admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.