FAQ

What type of preschool is Sand Tots?
We are a co-op preschool where parents play an integral role in administering the school. Sand Tots is not a childcare center. From working in the classroom, to committee work or serving on a committee or the Board of Directors, Sand Tots relies on its members.

Does Sand Tots offer an all-day program?
No. Sand Tots offers classes that are two and a half hours in length one or two days/week for two-year olds, three hour classes three days/week for three-year-olds and three hour classes four days/week for four-year-olds. The Red Shirt kindergarten prep class is four hours a day four days a week.

Sand Tots does offer 2-hour extended day enrichment classes for 3/4 Year Olds and 4/5 Year Olds two days per week. A child may be enrolled in extended day for one or two days per week. Children bring lunch and participate in a developmentally appropriate drama production each week.

What classes do you offer? How old does my child need to be to start your program?
Sand Tots offers classes for two-, three-, four- and five-year-olds.

Is it possible to schedule a tour of the school?
Yes. Please keep these things in mind:

  • tours are for parents only and last 45 minutes; please arrange for childcare prior to the tour.
  • after requesting a tour, membership will contact you with a list of available dates.
  • please make sure you get the tour date confirmation and email information from membership before arriving; tours are scheduled on a space available basis only.

To schedule a tour, please visit our Contact Us page for information and submit an inquiry regarding “Request A Tour Date.”

Does my child have to be potty trained? Will you potty train my child?
No, your child does not need to be potty trained to enroll or attend Sand Tots. Sand Tots believes that potty training happens when a child is developmentally ready, and we do not have a training regimen in place at our school. That said, if a parent is in the process of potty training their child at home, we will provide support to ensure your efforts are being continued while your child is at school.

Are Immunizations required at Sand Tots?
Yes. A complete and updated immunization schedule and health history is required prior to admission and class placement in Sand Tots. Sand Tots is a parent participation preschool with classrooms that are open to the Sand Tots membership (including infant siblings). In order to protect the entire Sand Tots community, all enrolled children must be vaccinated against the following:

Measles | Mumps | Rubella Diphtheria | Tetanus | Polio | Hepatitis B | Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib) | Varicella (Chickenpox**)

** If your child has had Chickenpox, please have your doctor note it on their immunization record.

Proof of vaccinations must be recorded on your child’s medical form and submitted to membership once the child has been officially enrolled.  No child may attend class unless all paperwork is complete and on file at school. There is no “opt-out” in lieu of vaccinations unless there is a significant medical contraindication. If your child has a medical contraindication and is unable to receive a vaccine, you must provide documentation from your physician.

I want to make sure my child is ready for Kindergarten. What can my child expect to learn in the way of “academics”?
You will not find any blackboard lessons at Sand Tots. Sand Tots’ mode of “education” centers on the concept that kids learn through spontaneous play and from being exposed to various creative and manipulative materials as well as new experiences. Intellectual learning is balanced with physical, social and emotional development.

We provide exposure to the tools of early learning by creating learning centers within the classroom where children can choose their own direction, explore materials and make discoveries. Fine motor and gross motor skills are enhanced through physical activities, which develop specific muscle groups. Parents also learn how to better facilitate children’s experiences by asking open-ended questions and helping them solve problems.

What is your child:adult ratio?
As a co-op preschool, Sand Tots must maintain a 1:5 ratio of adults to children during school hours. The Sand Tots preferred ratio is 1:4 or better. Classes are structured accordingly.

How many days will I work in the classroom?
In most cases, parents can expect to assist the teacher in their children’s class approximately two to three days per month.

There is no parent work requirement for the Red Shirt class.

What else is required as a member of Sand Tots?
Each family is required to help operate the school. There are five major areas where your participation is required: classroom participation, meeting attendance, facility maintenance, fundraising, and serving on a Standing Committee or as a Board Assistant or Board Member.

How am I “trained” to work in the classroom?
As a working parent you are effectively an “aide” to your child’s teacher. You will be assigned to supervise and participate in the classroom or on the playground. As a new member you will attend Sand Tots’ parent ed, “What is My Child Learning at Sand Tots,” which will provide you with many of the tools for communication, conflict resolution and how to follow through with Sand Tots’ guidance policy of “setting limits.”

There is also a member handbook as well as written and oral orientation and class meetings.

We like Sand Tots’ philosophy, but we are a dual-working family. How do we make it work?
Sand Tots does not allow any caregivers other than parents to fulfill the participation requirements of the school; however, Sand Tots has many dual-working families among its membership. In general, these families have at least one parent with a flexible work schedule that allows for the classroom participation aspect of Sand Tots. Many families split the participation duties and have successfully done so.

What is your wait list application fee? Is it refundable?
To be placed on Sand Tots’ wait list, you must complete and submit a Wait List Application to our Membership Chairperson. The wait list fee is $40 and is non-refundable.

Visit our “How to Enroll” page for applications.

We heard your wait list is very long and that if we didn’t wait list our child shortly after giving birth that we won’t get in.
Sand Tots does enjoy a high demand for enrollment from those within the community who want to take an active part in their child’s preschool experience. However, each year is different and there are many factors that go into enrollment. Please do not be discouraged from wait listing your child. There is a very good chance that you will be offered an opening.

When does enrollment begin?
Sand Tots enrollment for current members advancing to subsequent years, as well as re-entering alumni, begins in January. During February, contact begins for prospective members. Class schedules are offered based on space availability. Many factors determine space availability and while the majority of openings are filled by May or June, there always seems to be a situation (relocation, etc.) that allows for further openings throughout the summer.