Handbook

COVID policies will be updated as we get closer to camp.

For a pdf of the handbook CLICK here 

Parent Handbook

Please take a moment to review the parent’s handbook so that we can be partners in creating the best, safest, and most enjoyable experience at Downtown Jewish Camp.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email with any and all questions.

We are here to serve you to the best of our ability. Welcome to the family!

WHO WE ARE AND HOW TO REACH US:

Downtown Jewish Camp is a project of the
Downtown Jewish Center Chabad.
The Camp is in our education building.
Steen Family Jewish Education and Event Center
1012 E Broward Blvd. Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301

Contact information:
Our phone number: 954.667.8000
E-mail: info@downtownjewish.com
website: www.downtownjewish.com

Director
Devorah Kaplan
E-mail: Devorah@downtownjewish.com
Direct number 754.234.5770

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Downtown Jewish Camp is for boys and girls aged18 months through 5 years old.

Dates:
June 20- July 29
No camp July 4

Full day program
Monday – Thursday from 9:00am to 3:00pm
Fridays from 9:00am- 3:00pm

Half day program
Monday – Friday from 9:00am-12:30pm

Pre-care – Aftercare
We do not provide pre care or after care in camp

 

 

 

 

 

NEW FAMILIES

Children who are new to our camp or school and have never been in school or camp before will begin their first week as a ‘phase in week’.

The first day of camp the children will attend for one hour and increase their attendance time over the week until we and they are comfortable in the environment and have been able to separate from mommy or daddy.

Please see enclosed information on prepping your child for the first week of camp J

New families must fill out all forms on camp checklist

 

TUITION POLICIES:

Registration:

 

The $100 registration fee is a non-refundable processing fee.

Withdrawal Policy:

In the event of early withdrawal there are no refunds and you are obligated to pay the complete amount you registered for.

The registration fees are non-refundable. You may be eligible for a refund of tuition (less non-refundable deposit) if your contract is terminated.  Your contract may be terminated if the Director chooses to dismiss a child based on procedure outlined in the Parents’ Handbook, or for nonpayment of tuition.

Security Fee:

There is a $150 security fee to help pay for the Security Guard.
It is non-refundable

SCHOOL CLOSINGS:

Inclement Weather:

Please note that if Broward County Schools/camps are closed for inclement weather, we will also be closed.  We will not make up for days closed due to bad weather.

Holidays:

DJP camp will be closed on July 4 in commemoration of the holiday.

 

 

SNACKS AND LUNCH:

Downtown Jewish Camp will provide all snacks and meals.
The cost for the daily hot lunch is $7 per day and includes afternoon snacks.
Children with allergies such as gluten free, egg free, dairy free and the like must provide their own snack and lunch. The food must be dairy and kosher. We cannot heat or cool food items, so please be sure to send lunch in temperature controlled – insulated containers such as a thermos. We are a peanut and tree nut friendly school and each class will be assessed by the enrolled students’ needs.  If sippy cups are brought to camp, cups must be marked with child’s name and date brought. Food brought from home will not be shared with other children out of respect for the individual kosher and dietary restrictions of each child.

CLOTHING:

Downtown Jewish camp does not have a set dress code and children are welcome to wear appropriate play clothing of their choice.  Please bear in mind that the children will be playing outside and with a variety of materials and mediums throughout the day. Children tend to get messy and dirty. As noted on the supply list, please send a smock to be kept in the classroom for your child. Although teachers try to ensure they wear smocks, sometimes their creativity carries them away.

Any soiled clothing will be sent home in a plastic bag.  Please make sure your child has a complete set of clothing at the school in case of an “accident”. Make sure the clothing is clearly marked.
Every family must purchase the camp t-shirt and the children should wear it on Fridays.

Please check periodically to see that the clothing fits your child and is appropriate for the weather. Children should wear sturdy, well soled shoes, that will be practical and comfortable for them to wear at all times during the day, whether they are in the playground, sandbox, or in the classroom.  Tennis shoes are the recommended footwear for their comfort and safety. Please send along appropriate jackets or sweaters when the weather gets cooler so that the children will be comfortable while playing outdoors.

There are designated swim days, however we do anticipate the children getting wet every day at camp.  As per the supply list please send a bathing suit and towel every day as well as swimmers.

 

 

 

 

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE PROCEDURES:

Camp begins at 9:00 am sharp and ends at 3:00 pm.  We ask that you cooperate with our school policy and not bring your child before 9:00 am or pick them up after 3:05 pm.

  • Parents may park on the street or in the camp parking lot.
  • You may also park at our synagogue one block west at 900 E Broward Blvd and 912 E Broward.
  • Due to the size of our parking lot, we ask parents to please be patient, considerate and respectful to other parents as they load and unload their children.
  • Our security guard is there to keep us safe, so please heed his instructions carefully.
  • In order to help adjust children to their new environments, we ask that parents not prolong their goodbyes.
  • Teachers/counselors are not available for extended conversation during drop off and pick up.
  • No child will be released to a person not authorized in writing by a parent/guardian to pick them up.  Please be aware, we will check photo ID before releasing your child to someone unknown to us. They will also need to share your password.
    Please fill out the emergency contact form attached.
  • At DJC we appreciate the benefits of a parent walking the child in to camp and picking them up at the end of the day and being fully present. Please do not be on your cellphone at drop off and pick up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY:

Fire/Disaster Drills:

During the school/camp year we conduct fire and disaster drills teaching students our safety procedures in a non-frightening manner.  During fire drills, the children will practice evacuating to a safe location away from the building.  During disaster drills the children will practice evacuating to the innermost hallways away from windows and doors.
During lock down the children will be ushered into the bathrooms or protected under tables and chairs while the teachers barricade the doors.

Vaccinations and Immunizations:

Broward County requires that all Health and immunization records be completed and presented to the school/ camp prior to opening day, in order for your child to be admitted to class.

Toilet Training:

Children in the 2-year-old group do not need to be toilet trained.   We are happy to assist in the training process.  Children who are toilet training at home for at least one week and can verbally communicate their desire to use the restroom, can transition to training pants.  Be sure to send plenty of extra underwear. For all diapered children, parents must provide diapers, wipes and scented bags for disposal.

Minor Injuries & Illness:

Our school/camp is well equipped to handle minor injuries such as superficial cuts and bruises.  If we have any questions as to the severity of an injury, we will contact parents at the emergency numbers we have on file.  An incident report will be sent home.  Parents will be contacted in the event their child becomes ill or injured at school/camp.  The faculty will use their own discretion to determine if the child is well enough to remain at school.

 

 

 

Illness:

Children must be kept home when they have the symptoms of a contagious illness or if they are not feeling well.  This policy protects the recovering child, whose resistance to new infection is low, as well as his/her classmates and teachers.  If your child requires medication upon returning to school, please stop by the office to complete a Medication Authorization Form.  We certainly hope that everyone stays healthy, but we must state our health policy for the record. Our primary consideration is for the well-being of all campers and staff. So, while it is normal and even healthy for young children to be sick in the early years (it helps develop a strong immune system), communicability remains an important consideration in deciding if a child is well enough to be in school. Written communication from a physician must be provided regarding a child who has a condition that poses no threat to himself or herself or anyone else, in order for that child to remain in school/camp.
We reserve the right to ask you to keep your child home until we feel comfortable having the child back in school/camp regardless of the doctor’s note.

Keep your child home if he or she has:

  • Diarrhea– acute diarrhea, characterized as twice the child’s usual frequency of bowel movements with a change to a looser consistency within a period of 24 hours
  • Vomiting – one or more episodes of vomiting within a period of 24 hours
  • Fever – elevated temperature over 100.5 F within 24 hours
  • Strep throat– sore throat or constant cough
  • Conjunctivitis – red eyes with a discharge –often a sign of conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), and highly contagious. When these symptoms accompany a non-contagious condition, we must have a doctor’s note
  • Rashes – skin rash, excluding diaper rash, lasting more than one day
  • Runny nose, especially with green mucus
  • On Antibiotics– begun an antibiotic for a contagious condition less than 24 hours ago
  • Chicken Pox: Child may return to school when all lesions are crusted over.
  • Head Lice: The DJP honors a no-nit policy.  Child may return to school after the removal of all lice and nits
  • Pin Worms: Child may return to school 24 hours after treatment
  • Fifth Disease: Also known as Parvovirus, Fifth Disease is a mild illness and not serious in healthy children.  However, it can cause serious complications during pregnancy.  Because there could be pregnant employees and parents at our school, we ask that your child stay at home if you notice any symptoms such as low-grade fever, tiredness, or cold-like symptoms.  Once your child breaks out in the rash (which looks like slapped checks and/or a lacy itchy rash on the trunk of the body) they are no longer contagious
  • Fussy – been fussy, cranky or out of sorts for the last 12 hours
  • Had very little sleep the night before
  • Hand foot and mouth dots and or sores

Children can return to school 24-36 hours after the fever or symptoms have disappeared. Children too sick to participate in full program activities, including outside play, should be at home. Please call school/camp when your child is absent due to illness. If your child becomes ill in school/camp, or if we notice any concerning marks, or fever at 100 or more, we will call you to take him/her home. If we can’t reach you, designated emergency numbers will be called. Any other arrangements for the care of a sick child must be given to the office in writing. The school reserves the right to determine if a child is well enough to be in school.

Each morning, the teachers/counselors in each room will conduct a quick health check on each child as they arrive. They will check for runny noses, fever and any other common symptom. They will also be noting down any bruises or bumps a child may have.
Be sure to sign and submit waiver with registration forms.

STAY CONNECTED:

  • For your enjoyment, we will post daily photos and a short description of that day’s events on our private Facebook
  • Kaymbu daily notes will be sent at the end of each day for children ages 18 months-2 years old, informing you of your child’s essential needs such as diaper changes, nap time and food intake of the day. Occasionally, we will note if you need to replenish any items or any additional information regarding snack or lunch
  • You will be added to a camp Whatsapp broadcast group for quick updates and reminders, as well as a class Whatsapp group.
    We urge you to stay up to date with what is happening in camp via our e-mail photo and video updates and are encouraged to visit our website often.

 

BITING POLICY at DJP

 

Biting is a subject that can be disturbing to our children, parents and staff. It is typical for young children to use their mouths for exploring their world and expressing their feelings.

There are many reasons toddlers may bite. Sometimes the biting is related to teething. Sometimes toddlers bite to express feelings they cannot express with words yet. We have seen children bite when they are frustrated, and we have seen them bite in excitement of a happy moment. No one can predict which children may bite. We are ready to help toddlers who do bite to learn other behavior. We are sympathetic to both the biter and the child being bitten.
The mission of the school is to enhance and promote positive development and growth.

Our daily routines and schedules, as well as trained staff are in place to eliminate as much frustration as possible. The atmosphere in our class is calm and serene, cheerful and happy. The activities are age appropriate and developmentally suitable for toddlers.  We model calm behavior and discipline when necessary.

If a bite occurs, we help the child who was bitten. We reassure him or her and care for the bite. If the skin is not broken, we wash it with soap and water and use a cold pack. If the skin is broken, we follow medical advice – clean the bite with soap and water and cover it to protect it from getting dirty or infected. We will send home a note to both sets of parents indicating that a bite happened and what we did. In accordance with our confidentiality policy, parents will not be informed of the name of the child who did the biting.

After the appropriate medical attention is received by the child bitten, we attend to the biter.

Our response to the biter is dependent on the circumstances of the bite. We will usually have the biter help in the medical care of the bitten. Getting an ice pack and soothing the child. We encourage the biter to look at the bite and the child’s sad face, to absorb the impact his bite had on the other child. Our overall message is to help the child learn the appropriate way to express his emotions, and or needs that he was seeking. We help give him language either verbally or bodily to share his feelings.

If biting is persistent, we will collect data to try and determine a pattern or trigger and will document the occurrences and information we glean. We will work on a plan to prevent further biting behavior that may include any of the following

  1. Biting necklace
  2. Shadow
  3. OT/ PT eval
  4. Behavior eval

We put our energy into both keeping the children in the classroom safe as well as helping the child with the biting issue. The plan will include the parents, so they can help and be aware of what is being done and the progress made.

We ask for parents to keep us abreast of what they are doing at home and how the child is progressing.
Children who bite at school don’t necessarily bite at home. It is important for us to be consistent with the plan. Communication and cooperation are key to a positive outcome.

 

DISCIPLINE POLICY:

Discipline at DJP will take the form of positive management. Our goal is for the child to learn self-management skills and inner control through participation in a safe, loving and well-planned environment. Children are provided with consistent routines and realistic limits and expectations.

Our teachers and staff are all trained in the world-renowned Conscious Discipline Program.  Our classroom is equipped with the “feeling buddies” and a “quiet space or safe space”.
Parents are encouraged to explore conscious discipline at your own convenience.

Children shall not be subjected to discipline which is severe, humiliating or frightening. Discipline shall not be associated with food, rest or toileting. Spanking or any form of physical punishment is prohibited. We ensure that age appropriate, constructive disciplinary practices are used for children in our care. For more information about our Conscious Discipline Program visit consciousdiscipline.com

 

CAMP SCHEDULE:

The full color calendar is on our website

Please note our specialty days:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are designated water days – however, the children may likely get wet on other days as well – see supply list for necessary item.

 

Mondays are for baking and food art

Tuesdays are Yoga days with Ms. Brianna

Wednesdays is for beloved Super Soccer Stars and the mitzvah of the week project

Thursdays are for Martial arts and designated for a spectacular event or show such as a petting zoo, puppet show or extra special activity!

Fridays is always Music Together a Shabbat party and challah baking!

 

A FINAL NOTE:

The DJC is a collaborative project between the Downtown Jewish Center and our community.  We need your input and support to make this project flourish.  We depend on your feedback to create a better product, and welcome suggestions, volunteer hours, and contributions.   This community project will flourish as we partner to build a meaningful Jewish experience for our families.

Through our combined efforts we can create an environment of warmth, discovery and learning.

Thank you and Welcome!

Sincerely,
Devorah Kaplan