Family Handbook

The KPS Pre-Kindergarten Early Education Program (PEEP) provides quality early childhood education for four-year-old children before they attend kindergarten.


The goal of the pre-kindergarten early education program is to provide children the experiences, skills and knowledge which result in a strong foundation for school success. Students are actively engaged in learning through a variety of classroom activities. Instructional staff support each child’s growth and development as individuals and as members of a group.


Learning experiences in our pre-kindergarten classrooms are both intentional and child-initiated. Our research-based instructional strategies build on children’s strengths, interests and growth areas. We respect the uniqueness of every child. Our Opening the World of Learning (OWL) curriculum emphasizes early literacy skills and language development. We focus on oral language, alphabet knowledge, concepts of print and phonological awareness. We also cover math, science, social studies, creative arts, physical and social emotional development. We adapt activities for each student.


Enrolled children must :

-Be four years of age on or before November 1 for the 2013-14 school year and October 1 for the 2014-15 school year (per the State of Michigan.) 

-Live in the Kalamazoo Public Schools attendance area.

-Meet criteria establish by the Michigan Department of Education.

-Have an application on file.

There is no fee for program participation.


Please call your child’s school or the Early Childhood Office if you can no longer participate.


All pre-kindergarten children must show proof of birth. We prefer a legal birth certificate (you will need it for kindergarten) but can accept a hospital record or other document.


We must have your correct address, phone number and emergency information. We need the names and phone numbers of two local people in case we can’t reach you during an emergency. Please call your teacher or the PEEP office with any changes.


The pre-kindergarten program meets either mornings, afternoons or full days, five days a week. The program runs from the middle of September until the end of May. School hours vary depending on the magnet or regular school schedule. Your teacher will give you a copy of the classroom daily schedule. Classroom newsletters list holidays and "no school" dates. Pre-kindergarten students generally follow the Kalamazoo Public Schools’ academic calendar with some exceptions.


We expect children to attend school each day. Please call or send a written note when a student is absent. Students may be excluded due to short-term or contagious illness that endangers others.


Children receive a daily breakfast or lunch or families can send the meal.  For school meals, please submit a Free and Reduced School Meals Application. You must complete Kalamazoo Public Schools’ forms if your child has special dietary needs or allergies. Ask the teacher or school office staff for these forms.


Transportation is provided as a service for pre-kindergarten families living more than a mile from school. We use a keychain (with student identifying information)system to keep children safe and meet regulations. Your child’s teacher gives you these keychains.

• The child has a keychain on his/her coat or backpack.
• The parent or person meeting the child has a key chain with matching information. KPS personnel are not permitted to release a pre-kindergarten student to anyone who does not have this matching keychain.

Other safety guidelines include:

• Parents/guardians help their child board/depart the bus safely.
• Families arrange for another responsible person with a yellow keychain to meet the bus if they are not available.
• Adults meet the bus promptly. Bus drivers have strict schedules. They cannot wait at a stop for a child at pick-up or adult at drop-off.

If your child is the only student at his/her bus stop, you must call Transportation at 337-0500 when the child is absent. Transportation for PEEP is a privilege and not required for pre-kindergarten students. Ongoing concerns or an unavailable adult at drop-off will result in suspension of bus services. Families would then be responsible for student transportation to and from school. Please see the following procedures.


The law requires that each student is met by the parent or other responsible person designated by the parent. When no one is present, drivers return children to school as other staff members phone you or your other contacts. Someone must pick up returned children at school.

Miss #1: You receive a First Warning Notice by mail

Miss #2: You receive a Second Warning Notice and a phone call. We jointly brainstorm strategies to resolve issues and challenges.

Miss #3: You receive a Third Warning Notice and a phone call. The student loses bus privileges for 10 days.

Bus privileges will be suspended indefinitely or stopped if additional misses occur. When students are met late on a regular basis, we may contact Protective Services. Bus stop changes: During the first two weeks of PEEP, there are no bus stop changes as routes are being established. Thereafter, talk with your PEEP teacher if you are requesting a bus stop change and share why you are requesting the change. Your teacher will contact you once a change has been processed. Please allow at least three business days.


The PEEP Health Care Plan assures that staff practices and the physical environment support children’s safety and well-being. The primary focus is the prevention of disease/injury and management of potential health issues. Each classroom has a complete Health Care Plan. The Plan outlines the purpose, rationale, guidelines and procedures for each area below:
1. Child and staff hand washing
2. Handling children’s bodily fluids
3. Cleaning and sanitizing of all equipment, toys and other surfaces
4. Controlling Infection
Health resources related to this plan include but are not limited to
the following individuals and/or organizations:
• Kalamazoo Public Schools School Nurse serving grades PK-5
• Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services
• The American Academy of Pediatrics
• The American Red Cross


Normal pest management happens on Friday evening after students are gone. Your school gives you written advance notice if it becomes necessary to spray
during the week. Schools also provide written information about target pests, pesticides, application dates and a toll free number for a national pesticide
information center.


Licensing regulations require a record of each child’s physical
examination within 30 days of attendance. A licensed physician or their designee must sign the evaluation. Participation in the program may be suspended if the teacher does not receive the physical form.


State law* prohibits schools from admitting children unless we’ve received a record of required immunizations. We gave you these requirements in the acceptance letter. Children may not attend unless we have this record. After four months of attendance, parents must submit records of completion for additional immunization requirements.
*Part 92, Act 368 of the Public Act of 1978, as amended.


  • Fever Nausea/vomiting

  • Chills

  • Headaches Runny nose with green or yellow mucus

  • Skin eruption (not identified)

  • Sore throat

  • Unusual flushing of theskin

  • Beginning of an illness


We believe an important part of the prekindergarten experience is learning school rules and behavior. We use positive methods of discipline at all times.
We encourage children to make good choices. Teachers support children’s use of problem-solving skills when resolving conflicts. Teachers invite families to develop a cooperative plan of assistance if a child has difficulty with school behavior.


We do our best to offer a quality early childhood program. Please talk with your child’s teacher first if you have concerns so we can address issues quickly. Your next step is talking with the building principal. You may also call the coordinator at any time. We want to hear from you, so we can improve.


The KPS expectations provide guidance for all involved in children’s growth, including parents, KPS staff, community, and the children themselves. These expectations are a road map to move children through childhood to college success. We are removing the mystery away from whether a student is preparing for college success or not. Stay on the expectations road map, and you are on the right path. Stray, and you are not.

Children’s performance will follow our expectations wherever we place them. Put our expectations on the ceiling, and children will rise to the challenge. Put them on the ground, and children won’t disappoint; their performance will hover at ground level.

More than 250 KPS community members crafted these expectations. It is humbling to think of all the talented and hardworking people who gave of their time and energy to put together these expectations, both social and cognitive/academic.

Use the expectations as a reference document. Few of us have read a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia cover to cover, but most of us have used one or more of them as a reference. The PEEP Family Handbook only includes the parent and student expectations due to limited space. You may find the others elsewhere on this website.


We believe that families are children’s first and most important teachers. Active family participation in learning helps children do well in school. Families have many ways to be involved, including:

• Advisory Council member
• Classroom volunteer
• Parent meetings and family events
• Home literacy activities and calendars
• Home visits and parent-teacher conferences
Please visit your child’s classroom often. You may call the classroom teacher, principal or coordinator with questions.


Birth to 1 year
Ensure that children are not left alone.
Obtain and update immunizations; regular dental, vision and physical exams.
Have your child ride in a car seat when in private vehicles.
Store dangerous items (for example, cleaners, bleach or poisons) out of child’s reach.
Provide healthy snacks (for example, fruit, vegetables, cheese, or yogurt) instead of sugary/salty snacks.
Allow time for physical activity, including outside.

1 - 2 years
Read safety labels and instructions on toys before giving them to your child.
Ensure your child has proper clothing for the weather.

2 - 3 years
Teach your child how to put on shirts and pants.
Show your child how to use tissue when coughing, sneezing, or wiping nose/face.
Provide child care/pre-school with correct parental and emergency contact information. Update as needed.

3 - 4 years
Teach your child how to zip, button, and snap clothing.
Meet your child at the bus stop.

4 - 5 years
Teach your child how to tie his/ her shoes.


Birth to 1 year
Set routines for meals and bedtimes.
Hold infants frequently; smile and talk to them.
Begin reading daily to children.
Have a variety of quality  children’s books in your home.

1 - 2 years
Set consistent boundaries for your child’s behavior.
Use kind and nurturing words when talking with your child. Avoid threats or swearing.
Demonstrate use and enjoyment of reading (model reading).
Give one-, two- and three-step directions.

2 - 3 years
Have clear rules for your child’s behavior. Use age-appropriate consequences such as “Sit in thinking chair for two minutes.”
Begin teaching your child the use of “Please” and “Thank you.”
Talk with child instead of telling him/her what to do.
Label and use the correct names of objects in the home.

3 - 4 years
Begin teaching your child the use of “Excuse me.”
Attend reading events at the library and school.
Give child pencils, crayons, markers and paper so he/she can draw and write stories.

4 - 5 years
Give your child one small household job.
Play games that encourage children to take turns and share.
Show your child how to respect themselves and others.
Count the number of books read with child each week.
Help your child recognize and write the letters in his/her name.

Continue this expectation forward.


Birth to 1 year
Uses sounds and body
movements to communicate (babbles, coos, repeats sounds like “ma-ma, da-da”)
Explores common objects like pots and pans, stuffed toys
Looks for items dropped from a table or tray (toy, food etc.)
Responds to name/ familiar voices

1 - 2 years
Stops action when adults say child's name or “no”
Acts cautiously around unfamiliar adults
Can demonstrate the difference between same and different
Interacts with others while forming formal communication

2 - 3 years
Willing to share and take turns
Begins to use “Please,”“Thank you,” and “Excuse me”
Matches and sorts objects by shape and color
Sits as an adult reads a story
Begins to speak in sentences

3 - 4 years
Respects peers; recognizes authority/family structure
Plays make-believe with dolls, toys, props and people
Follows 2-3 step directions

4 - 5 years
Expresses emotions (happy, sad, angry, etc.) while being respectful of the environment
Can tell someone his/her first and last name, phone
number and address.
Can count to ten and names some numerals
Re-tells a favorite story
Writes first name
Correctly names eight colors
Follows multi-step directions
KPS developed these materials and provides services with funding from the Michigan Department of Education.