top of page

Parent Handbook


Dunnam’s Private School, Inc

811 Glenn Road

Bessemer, Alabama 35023

Phone: (205) 425-4194





Welcome to Dunnam’s Private School. We are pleased and proud that you have enrolled your child with us and look forward to becoming better acquainted.  We strive to provide a safe and loving environment that will promote spiritual, physical and mental growth in your child.


Our desire is to:


  • Provide an academic atmosphere in which children are encouraged to be creative learners.

  • Develop an appreciation for education and a love of learning.

  • Educate the whole child-spiritually, cognitively, emotionally, and socially.

  • Develop quality friendships in a safe and comfortable environment.

  • Develop a sense of responsibility and independence by teaching developmental skills and strengthening decision-making skills.

  • Develop the ability to work and play in groups, as well as independently and promoting healthy relationships with peers and adults


         This handbook has been designed to provide you with important information about the center.  It also will provide you with the policies and procedures that will affect you and your child.  If you have any questions or concerns we encourage you to call the office or talk with your child’s teacher. If it’s a concern for you then it’s a concern for us.


         All parents are invited to be apart of all of our yearly events such as our fall and spring festivals, visits from the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and any special events that may be added thru the year.  Please pay special attention to the highlighted areas as these are areas that we consistently have to address.





Dunnam’s Private School was established in 1978 by Howard and Mary Ann Dunnam and has been a staple of the community ever since. We currently have 3rd generation children coming to the center all because of the quality care each previous generation received.  Several of our workers have been with us 20 + years and a few have even been here the entire time that the Dunnam’s have owned the center. Currently Kyle Dunnam and his wife Bethany are running the center along with help from their long term staff. 

         We consider ourselves as a Christian facility, meaning that our curriculum is bible based and we try and teach our children bible based manners and respect. We do not teach any deep theology or denominational beliefs. We feel that this is best left to the parents. We do however have chapel often where we utilize bible stories to teach that God has a plan for each of these children’s lives and that he can and will lead and guide them if they will look to him for guidance.  We do pray over every meal and snack.  All faiths are welcome but if for some reason someone did not want their child to participate in the above listed areas we would not be able to exclude them or remove them from the area as we are not able to allow a child to be by themselves and we can not unfortunately provide a teacher to care for 1 individual child.



Hours of Operation


6:00 A.M  to  6:00 P.M  Monday through Friday.



Holidays and Closings


Dunnam’s will be closed the following days each year:
















If the Holiday falls on Saturday we will observe it on Friday.

If the Holiday falls on a Sunday we will observe it on Monday




Severe Weather Closings


In the event that severe weather hits our area and it is necessary for us to close the school and daycare during a day that the children have already arrived then we will contact you by phone to come pick you child up. Please make sure to keep your contact numbers updated if they should change. You may also watch the local news stations for updates. The best way to keep up with severe weather closings for the school is to check our website and facebook page listed on the front cover.  

*PLEASE NOTE….. While the school year is in session, our K5 through 2nd grade will follow the Bessemer City Schools closings recommendations.  If the City Schools are not in session due to bad weather, our Classes will not be in session. That does not mean that the DAYCARE will not be open. Please check the website for complete information. As long as the roads/hills leading up to the school are passible, we will be open.




School Policies


Admission Policy


Dunnam’s Private School serves children ages six weeks through 2nd grade while school is in session and our afterschool and summer programs accommodates children through 12 years of age.  To enroll, several forms must be completed and an annual registration fee, supply fees and book fee depending on age of child/children must be paid.   Any and all designated fees paid are NON – REFUNDABLE.  Here is a list of the potential applicable fees. Any or all may be applicable depending on the age of the child.





Registration Fee, General Supply Fee, Craft Fee, School Fee, Testing Fee, Graduation Fee



Registration Fees

$100.00 Per Child or $150.00 Per Family



General Supply Fee

$50.00 Per Child.   This fee goes toward general supplies needed for your child’s room.  These could be thought of as Community Items.  Many centers include these supplies in their required supply list that the parent must bring but we have found it is better for us not to have to store these items but rather buy them as needed.     Note:  If your child is not potty trained you will be required to bring their own diapers, wipes and changing gloves and to replenish these items as needed. These are considered personal items and will be listed on your child’s individual supply list.



Craft Fee

$35.00 Per Child



School Fee

$50.00 per Child.  This fee only applies to children in K4 - 2nd Grades and purchases the child’s Scholastic News Subscription for the year, Yearly School Calender/ Planner and their Paperwork Handler for the year.

Testing Fee

$50.00 per Child.  This fee only applies to children in K5 - 2nd Grades.

At the end of the school year we purchase an independent test that is given to the students and then returned to the supplying testing facility to give an unbiased grade and clear picture as to the grade level any individual student is testing at.


Graduation Fee

$50.00 Per Child.  This fees covers the rental of facility to house our Graduation Service along with a Goodie bag and refreshments for the ceremony along with either the graduation gown rentals or custom T-Shirts made for the occasion. (We switch this up from year to year)




Sibling Discounts


We do offer discounts for families with more than one child enrolled at our center.  Please contact the office to find out about these great discounts.






A) Weekly


Weekly fees are due on the Monday of each week.  Weekly Fees not paid by end of day Tuesday will result in a $5.00 Late fee accruing $2.50 a day each day there after until paid in full.  If additional weeks are late, each week will be billed under the same circumstances and each week will carry its own said late fees until each week is paid in full.




B) Monthly split of Two Payments


Parents electing to Pay bi-weekly should send payments on the 1st and the 15th of each month.  Fees not paid on the said dates result in a $10.00 late fee for each due date accruing $5.00 each delinquent day.




C) Monthly


For parents electing to pay monthly, payments are due on the 1st of the month and becoming delinquent on the 9th resulting in a $15.00 late fee, accruing $3.00 each additional day delinquent.  If not paid by the 20th of the month this will mean automatic dismissal.


A post dated check is the same as a late payment.




NO DEDUCTIONS ARE GIVEN FOR VACATION, ABSENCES, SNOWDAYS OR HOLIDAYS.  If your child is sick or stays out for any reason tuition is still due.  No credit will be given as a result of student absence.  We must plan to have all staff here even if your child does not attend.  You are paying for Dunnam’s to hold your child’s spot not for days attended.





Reminder Letters:


If you receive a reminder letter concerning your balance please do not be offended.  We often send letters to parents to just update them on their balance especially at the beginning of the year when multiple fees are due.  If you do receive a letter and feel that the balance is not correct please just come and talk with personnel in the office as Im sure a solution can be found.  We recommend to always get a receipt at time of payment and keep these receipts as verification.  We have found that if you will pay according to the above required payment schedule that there are very seldom any issues.




Yearly Contract Renewal


It will be the responsibility of the Parent to make sure that a New Contract is signed yearly or at the changing of a child’s age or tuition or if there is any reason for change in payment agreements. 


Security Gates


At the time that your contract is signed you will be asked to give us a 5 digit code. To get into the gate enter your 5 digit number and then press the # sign.  To exit, press the exit button that is located on the brick wall of the building.  DO NOT HOLD THE GATE OPEN FOR OTHER INDIVIDUALS.  It is of upmost importance and security that you let each person enter his or her own pin number.  If they can not get into the school IT IS FOR A REASON.  The security gates WILL NOT OPEN from 9 A.M – 2 P.M and everyone must ring the bell and be buzzed in.  (SEE DROP OFF)



Drop off / Pick up


As you drop your child off in the mornings you will be required to sign them in on a DHR required sign in/out sheet.  PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO GO TO FIND THEIR ROOM, OR GO TO THE  LUNCHROOM FOR BREAKFAST BY THEMSELVES.  THEY MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT. Please sign your name in a legible fashion.  Dad, mom, uncle, aunt is not acceptable.  We do not allow any child to leave the center with anyone other than the guardians listed on their Pre-Admission form or the persons listed on that form as authorized pick ups.  If others are to pick up your child that are not already listed, the center must be notified in writing.  Verbal notification will be accepted only in cases of EXTREME EMERGENCY. For those listed as authorized pickups, when they pick the child up for the first time or if they have not picked the child up enough for the teacher to recognize them they will be required to show I.D to verify their identity.   You must also sign your child out on the sign out sheet at the time of pick up. No child can be released to anyone under the age of 16.  



For those children desiring to eat breakfast here at the center THEY MUST BE IN THE CAFETERIA BY 8:15.  




Please be respectful of parking.  Please park within the lines of the parking lot and DO NOT BLOCK THE DRIVE AT ANY TIME.




Drop Off


All doors are open at 7:00 A.M.  If your child arrives before 7 they will need to go to the front door of the Nursery building, which is the building on the right. No child of any age will be allowed in after 10 a.m unless they have a Dr’s excuse or the late arrival has been previously arranged with the office.


Arrival times by age are as such.


6 weeks - 2 years:       By 9 a.m

K3:                               By 9 a.m

K4 - 2nd Grd:               By 8:15


The different arrival times of our classes is due to the amount work each  class must accomplish as they get older.  We are a learning facility and our dedication to learning requires the older children to adhere to structure and a schedule. The lesson times of the older children begin earlier in the day.



Late Pickup


The center closes at 6:00 P.M. If there is an emergency and you cannot pick your child up, please try to make arrangements to have them picked up by someone else and notify the office at the center.  In the event your child is left, truancy fees are as follow: $1.00 for every minute after 6 P.M.  The late fees will be added to your account and be required to be paid at minimum along with your next tuition payment if not before.



Removing Your Child from Care


A 2 week notice in writing is required prior to withdrawal of your child from the center.  If we do not receive the proper notification, the family leaving is responsible for 2 weeks tuition to account for neglect of notification.  Proper notification allows us to fill the spot promptly so that a drop in funding does not occur.  If you are asked to leave the center due to non-payment or due to student rules and behavior violations you will be required to pay for the above listed 2 weeks as set forth within the contract.





Our center is cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis to help control germs and bacteria.  To help us maintain a healthy environment for your child’s health as well as the health of others, please follow these health guidelines.  If at all possible keep your child at home if you observe any of the following symptoms: Nasal discharge that is green or yellow, complaints of ear pain, productive cough, severe sore throat, eyes that are pink, burning, itching, or producing discharge, diarrhea or vomiting in previous 24 hours, or fever.  Children exhibiting any of these symptoms will be sent home until symptoms have been absent for 24 hours.  Please refer to the following guidelines as to when your child can return to school for different illnesses.  Children that are sick may be able to return to school with a written Dr’s Excuse if the condition is not contagious.  Exception to the rules will be considered on a case by case basis.  Please understand that we must be concerned about the health of all the children in our care and we do not want to expose them to ANY un-necessary germs.











Chicken Pox  -  After ALL lesions are crusted


Hand Foot & Mouth  -  After ALL lesions are crusted


Diarrhea  -  When stool is firm


Fevers  -  Must be fever FREE 24 hours or have an Dr’s excuse stating that child is not contagious.


Lice  -  After MEDICATED shampoo treatment, Nit FREE & checked by Dunnam's staff.


Impetigo  -  After ALL lesions are crusted & covered with bandage


Measles  -  5th day after rash appears


Pinkeye  -  On medication 24 hours & without redness or discharge


Pinworm  -  After two doses of medicine


Ringworm -  After medication for 24 hours & area covered 


Roseola  -  When rash is gone


Rotavirus  -  After diarrhea stops


Rubella  -  5th day after rash first appears


Strep Throat  -  After medication for 24 hours





The staff at Dunnam’s Private School will administer medication if required.  All medicine must be labeled with the child's name and in it’s original container. Medicines must be given directly to the teacher so that it may be properly locked up.  Medicines shall NOT left in child’s bag or backpack.  A DHR required medicine form must be filled out properly before the center can administer any medicine.  Your child’s teacher has these forms and can instruct you on how to fill it out.

NO MEDICINE CAN BE GIVEN WITHOUT THIS FORM BEING FILLED OUT. Unlabeled medicine will not be given.  We can not give any medicines without this form including but not limited to; Tylenol, Desitin Cream, all prescription meds ETC.





Breakfast is served between the hours of 7:30 to 8:15 for $1.00 per day.  Breakfast should be paid for daily or pre-paid. Children on the federal food program are not charged for Breakfast or lunch. (See office for details) If your child is not in the lunchroom by 8:15 they will not be allowed to eat because our lunchroom staff must begin preparing lunch by this time.  We serve a morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack.  WE ASK THAT NO OUTSIDE FOOD OTHER THAN HOMEMADE LUNCHES (NOT REQUIRED TO BE HEATED) BE BROUGHT TO THE SCHOOL UNLESS FOR A PARTY FOR YOUR CHILDS ENTIRE CLASS.  THIS ALSO INCLUDES BREAKFAST FOOD.  Our smaller children especially do not understand why their friends get certain food items but there is not enough for them to have some.





No Candy or Gum will be allowed to be brought onsite by any child. If a child has candy or gum in their possession or in the mouths they will be immediately asked to spit it out or turn it over to the teacher.  If a child has a birthday party and the parent of that child wishes to bring candy for that party the party parent must have individual bags for each child and those bags will be given to the parents to be taken home and given out by the receiving child’s parents.  Small candy and gum is a choking hazard and we do not allow it to be given out on site.






No Animals of any size or type are to be brought on premises by Parents for any reason. If animals are brought, you will be asked to return them to the car immediately.







The Center’s rooms are adequately equipped with toys, games and materials of interest to the children.  We kindly ask that you do not send any kind of electronic devises such as Gameboys, ipads, cell phones etc with your child. If you choose to do so, Dunnams Private School WILL NOT be held responsible for any toys or items brought from home that are broken, stolen or misplaced.




Personal Supplies


Depending on the age of your child, you will be required to bring their own personal items.  If applicable you will be given a list of supplies that you will need to bring on your child’s first day of school. These items will be personal items that will not be shared. 


For those children whom are in diapers, all supplies, I.E diapers, wipes etc must be individually labeled with a marker.  DO NOT LABEL A PACK OF DIAPERS, LABEL EACH DIAPER. The teacher is not able to label the children’s items.  This takes away from quality time from the children.  Please label all clothing items such as jackets, hats and scarves. These items WILL NOT be used for other children.



Classroom Policies



All Classroom Ratio’s are according to the guidelines set forth by DHR.


TV Policy:

TV time is limited to 30 minutes per day per class.  The remainder time is dedicated to quality learning and productive play times.


Outside Time:

Each class spends approx 60 minutes outside each day weather permitting to enjoy the sunshine and receive the proper amount of physical activity.



Personal Items and Dress Code


Please label ALL your children’s coats, hats, book bags, mats, blankets and any excess/spare clothes so we can make sure that all items go home with the correct child.


Dunnam’s Private School does not require uniforms of any kind but yet we do ask that you dress your children seasonally appropriate and in good taste.  Children must be fully clothed including shoes upon arrival. (exceptions would include newborn babies).  We also ask that you do not allow your child to wear anything exceptionally short or anything that contains vulgar language especially in the older children’s age groups.  Parents will be called to come and pick their children up if these items are worn.


Cell Phones


Parents we ask that upon entering the buildings that you end any cell phone conversations.  We ask this to ensure better teacher to parent communication.



Childrens Behavior


Students and or children enrolled at Dunnam’s are expected to have some level of discipline in place and functioning in their lives. Parents are expected and agree to upon enrolling their child in Dunnam’s that they will assist Dunnam’s with any consistent behavior issues that may arise.  Some Issues that can not and will not be tolerated are as follows.


         1) Child consistently does not follow direction of the teacher.

         2) Child consistently being disruptive in class after multiple attempts to correct and guide them.

         3)Child is physically or verbally abusive to the teacher or another student.

         4)Child is purposely harmful or destructive to facilities equipment.


If a parent refuses to assist in handling said behavioral issues the student will be asked to leave the facility.  No refunds will be given of any kind and a 2 week notice will be required to be paid as agreed within the contract.





Because we are DHR regulated we are not allowed to administer corporal punishment of any kind.  When we have unruly children who consistently will not behave or mind their teacher these are the steps of discipline that we take.


The child’s teacher addresses the problem in the room first.  Sitting in time out, writing sentences, missing play time etc. (Depending on age)


The child is sent to the Dunnam’s office.


Parents are called in to have a discussion with child and Mr. Dunnam.


Child is suspended for a day. (Tuition still due).


Child is suspended for 3 days. (Tuition still due).


Child is dismissed.  (2 weeks notice ‘required to be paid)




Obviously the severity of the child’s and or parents behavior or attitude will determine the level of punishment implemented.  Any deliberate act to harm another child or teacher will be meet with immediate dismissal. We accept the responsibility to teach and care for the children in our care and we believe the parents must accept responsibility to train a child to respect his peers and other adults in the proper manner.







If you are receiving child care assistance you are required to swipe in and out on a daily basis at the time you bring your child and pick them up.     If any fees are not paid due to parents not swiping in or out properly or due to the Governing Body of Child Care Central not having correct information, the parent will be required to pay any moneys lost by the Center.  If your swipe card is lost, you must immediately notify the office and your case worker so that the appropriate measures can be taken to insure that the Center gets properly paid or the parent will be responsible for any moneys lost by the center due to not being notified.  Late fees are applicable to late parent fees.  Please refer to your contract for amount of late fees.  By enrolling their children, Parents commit to having children here on a regular weekly basis and swiping accordingly.  Parents acknowledge that they understand Dunnam's budget is based upon the expectancy that all children enrolled will pay for a full weeks tuition and that any days missed that can not be swiped for will need to be paid thru private pay.




Please help us keep our facility clean. Please do not throw trash in the parking lot or surrounding areas or allow your children to do so.



No Smoking 


No smoking is permitted ANYWHERE on Dunnam’s Schools property.

This is a regulation by the Jefferson County Dept of Health.



Summer Fun Program


After school is out for the summer, we provide a wonderful Summer Fun Program that’s filled with many fun things to do and the list will be growing each summer.  Some of the events include a giant water slide, sprinkler systems, cook outs and picnics, music day with a live band, Olympics day with prizes, Ice cream day, Talent show day and many events yet to be added.  We hope that you will consider bringing your child and allowing them to meet new friends and have a great time.






Please contact the office for detailed information.


To contact the office for general questions please Email the following.


Billing Questions:



In Closing


We thank you for choosing Dunnam’s Private School as your child care provider.  We welcome any and all feed back from our parents. Please call us or come by the office with any questions that you may have or if you need any clarification on any of the matters discussed in the previous pages.  Please contact us by phone or email. 



Conflict Resolution


If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the care that is being given to your child, or are unhappy with a situation, I ask that you contact me and give me an opportunity to investigate the situation and make changes if necessary.  We all will at times have our own understanding and interpretation of what has potentially happened in any situation but I can assure you that I will make every effort to find out complete information and make what ever changes need to be made in order to find what is best for all involved.




Thank You



Kyle Dunnam




By signing this page the parent confirms that they have read and agrees to abide by the rules and procedures addressed within Dunnam’s Private School Parent Handbook Rev 2 unless unforeseen circumstances occur and to the best of their abilities.  The parent acknowledges that the rules have been implemented for the good of all involved including the Business of Dunnam’s School, the staff, parents and most importantly, all of the children on site.  If for some reason the parent does not adhere to the rules and procedures set within these pages and is asked to leave by the school, no refunds will be given for any moneys already paid.  Parent agrees to inform the Office of any problems or misunderstanding that may arise before removing child from care and to give an opportunity for conflict resolution.  




Please sign and return to your child’s teacher or to the office.









Rev 2 

bottom of page