Preschool Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of common questions you may have regarding our preschool program. If your question is not here, please contact us.

How do holidays affect my Monday classes?

Some of our parents avoid Monday classes due to the early release of their older elementary school children. This is quite understandable. Other parents avoid Monday classes because they believe that they get short changed on tuition due to Monday holidays. This is not the case: last school year Monday/Wednesday classes had 65 class days; Tuesday/Wednesday classes had 65 schools days; M/W/F classes had 98 days; T/T/F classes had 97 days due to FCPS (Fairfax County Public Schools) and Farm School calendar days off.

How are tuition and fees determined?

Tuition Payment/Budget: Our tuition is set up by a budget, which is then divided into 9 monthly payments for your convenience. We continue to pay teacher salaries and rent (our two biggest expenses) whether your child is ill, on vacation, etc. Therefore, your tuition is due and payable in full on the first of each month. Please notify us of any special situations that would affect your payment’s timeliness.

What if I decide not to attend or need to pull my child out of school before the end of the year?

Our Withdrawal Policy is:  Prior to the start of the school year, the May tuition amount is refundable with written notice to the preschool director postmarked by August 1st of the current year. Email notification is also acceptable if sent to by August 1st of the current year. For notifications postmarked or emailed after August 1st, the entire May Tuition payment is forfeited. It is in the best interest of the applicant to contact us at (703) 689-3104 to confirm receipt of your withdrawal notification.

After the school year begins, through December 31, withdrawal for any reason, requires a 30 day written notice or your May tuition is forfeited. For withdrawal notice provided after December 31, NO refund of the May tuition will be issued for any reason. In all cases, you owe tuition through your child’s last day of attendance.

Written notification should be sent to the Katydid address listed in the question/answer below.

Can I drop off my payment at the front door at drop off or pick up?

Yes, you can pay at drop off or pick up time.  We have multiple payment options.  Credit cards, checks and cash can be accepted.  Also, a QR code is also available to pay through PayPal.  Please hand any checks to our Preschool Director at drop off or pick up time.  Tuition checks can also be mailed to:

Katydid, Inc. Farm School, P.O. Box 710516, Oak Hill, Virginia 20171-0516

For security and accounting accuracy we will not accept checks at the preschool desk. The schoolhouse, along with being multi-use by many people, is an old building without a locked office for our preschool. You may choose to have automatic payments sent from your bank. You may also choose to pay several months in advance or pay for the entire school year.  All of this should be done via the P.O. Box address above.

What if I can’t pick up my child? Can someone else do it?

All those listed on your Sign-in/Sign-out form can pick up your child.  You may also call (703) 689-3104 to notify us of a person not on your paperwork who will pick up your child.  Staff may not release children to anyone who is not authorized by the custodial parent. If the custodial parent is unwilling to give blanket permission to the non-custodial parent, permission must be granted for each specific occasion. A custodial parent denying blanket release must provide legal documentation regarding custody.

What if I am late for picking my child up?

If a parent or authorized person is late in picking the child up, a late fee of $20 for every 15 minutes will be applied. If a child is consistently picked up late, the school will take further action by raising the fee or calling a parent/teacher conference. Children become upset within parents are not on time so please call (703) 689-3104 if you know you will be late. Staff members are never allowed to transport children home.

Should I stay to get my child settled when dropping them off?

For some children, this is their first separation from their parents. We understand that this is often a difficult experience for youngsters. It is important to let your child know you are leaving, but will come back for them after class. For the first few days you may want to stay 5 to 10 minutes in the car. We will be glad to check on your child’s progress. Your classroom teacher will let you know when your child feels comfortable with the new environment.

What should I do if my child cries when I leave?

Most children calm down in the first five minutes after their parent leaves. If you say your good-by to your child and would like a report from us just stay in your car or give us the number where we can reach you and we will be glad to report on your child’s behavior for the first few days.

Anxiety also applies to children going through difficulties such as, but not limited to: nightmares, death in the family, divorce, illness, new baby, or simply a change in routine, etc. Please notify us of any changes in your child. All information is kept confidential.

What will happen if my child acts up in class?

If a child is having difficulty controlling their behavior, we will try to redirect the inappropriate behavior by providing positive alternatives. The teacher will talk to the child privately to explain the behavior problem. Children may be directed to an individual activity (i.e. reading, puzzles) if the inappropriate behavior persists. Should the problem continue, the parents would be informed. When a child displays unusual behavior such as prolonged crying, tantrums, kicking, or biting, the parents will be notified immediately. Depending on the severity of the behavior or where it is a recurring safety issue, the child may be dismissed from the program. This decision would be made after discussion with the parents, the teachers and the director. The Preschool Director makes the final decision. Children are not punished using time outs, being left alone, or by withholding of food. Children will never be yelled at or have physical punishment or rough handling or be restrained or enclosed in a confined space. Teachers may ask your child to step in the hallway to calm down or talk with staff until they are no longer disruptive to the class.  Staff accepts toileting accidents as normal in this age group and will never single out or punish a child for the accident.

What should I do if my child is sick?

Please do not send a sick child to school. If a child arrives with symptoms of illness, the child will not be permitted to stay. Children will be excluded from contact with the other children; seated with the staff at the front desk until parents can be notified. Please notify us if your child becomes ill and will not be attending that day. We ask that parents notify us when their child contracts a communicable disease. The preschool will notify all other parents about any communicable disease outbreaks (This does not name the child involved just the classroom to indicate highest exposure). A child will not be permitted to attend preschool when he or she have vomited, had diarrhea or had a fever during the previous 24 hours. Medication may not be administered during program hours, therefore, do not send any in with your child.

What should I do if my child loses an item?

Please label all belongings. FCPA and Katydid are not responsible for lost items. Lost and Found items are kept in a basket at the front of the schoolhouse and are donated at the end of the school year if not claimed. Personal belongings should be kept in a bag or backpack, which will be store in the classroom cubbies.

What should my child wear?

Children should be dressed in comfortable, practical play clothes and dressed for the weather. We are proud of the unique outdoor park/farm surroundings on which Farm School is located. This is a farm. The children may get dirty. Please plan ahead for your child to be out in all sorts of weather (not severe). If your child is not dressed in appropriate clothing some will be ‘borrowed’ when and where possible. If none is available the teachers will have your child stay in with the director while the rest of the class goes out.

Can my child bring a snack from home?

Yes! In fact, parents are asked to send a small snack and juice or water with their child daily. Snacks must be labeled with your child’s name and date as required by licensing policies.  Due to the prevalence and severity of food allergies,as a precaution, we ask that parents do not send in snacks or treats containing peanut butter or any type of nut or nut products.  We recommend that snacks be nutritious and non-perishable. Suggestions for healthy snacks and lunches from USDA guidelines include: fruits, small sandwiches, vegetables, muffins, and cereal.   100% fruit juice or water is the recommended drink.

Can I bring in a treat for my child’s birthday?

You may provide a treat for birthdays and be asked to furnish food for themes or holiday celebrations. If you wish to bring a special treat for your child’s birthday, please make prior arrangement with the teachers. They will know the number of children in the class and any food allergies that must be considered.

What is the sign in policy?

A Parent or Guardian or Person authorized by them must sign the child in and out each day. Any person picking up a child from this program must be named on the pickup authorization for and provide identification upon request. Children will only be released to those person listed on the pickup authorization form. The authorized parent or guardian may update the form at any time by contacting the staff in person or in writing. If necessary, changes may be made by filling out a new form. Children 12 and under must be signed out by an authorized individual 18 years of age or older. Custody issues require special attention and may require authorized by both parents.

Is Farm School open if it snows?

Farm School uses the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) delay/cancellation decisions as a guide for our inclement weather policy. The preschool will be closed when the schools are closed for inclement weather. If the FCPS have a delayed opening or are closed, please refer to our inclement weather policy for the modified preschool hours. Click here to see our Inclement Weather Policy.  If FCPS announces they are releasing children early we will release children at the announced time. If only AM Kindergarten is held that day, we will not have PM preschool. If schools are closing early and the announcement is made prior to our afternoon opening time, afternoon classes will not be held.  Make-up days will not be scheduled for days missed due to inclement weather. No refunds or credits are given for closings, holidays or illnesses.

How can I keep up with what’s going on with my child in class?

You will receive a calendar of events each month for you to review. Back-to-School Nights are held in October to give parents a chance to hear about the classroom routine and talk with the teachers without the children present. Periodically, teachers will send home Teacher Comments’ discussing your child’s adjustment to and enjoyment of the classroom routine. Parent-teacher conferences are available upon request.

Can I sit in with my child in class?

Farm School is a drop-off program. Farm School has an ‘open door’ policy in which parents are always welcome to visit or observe the class. To avoid disruption to the other students, please limit visits to 15-20 minutes. It is often helpful to let the teachers know when you are coming and who you will be bringing (baby bother or sister, grandparents, etc).