Parent Handbook

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.





Dunnams 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.  Many 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.  Mr Kyle and Ms Bethany have a small child that attends the center and they believe that your child deserves the same care that their child receives.

          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 have chapel once a week where we utilize bible stories to teach that God has a plan for each of these childrens 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 provide a teacher to care for 1 individual child.





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


Pre School Classes 8:00 to 12:00  August through May.


School Classes K5 through 2nd Grade 8:00 to 3:00 August through May.




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.


You can always check our website for emergency closings information for things such as inclement weather.






Severe Weather Closing


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 1st 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. www.  As long as the roads/hills leading up to the school are passible, we will be open.



School Policies


Admission Policy


Dunnams Private School serves children ages six weeks through 2nd grade while school is in session and our afterschool and summer programs accommodates children up to 12 years of age.  To enroll, several forms must be completed and an annual registration fee paid.  The Yearly Registration fee is due every 12 months and is $100.00 per child or $150.00 per family.  This fee will hold your child’s spot at the school and is NON – REFUNDABLE.​

General Supply Fee


Each Child will be charged a general supply fee of $50.00 every 12 months.  This fee goes toward general supplies needed for your childs room.  Many centers include these supplies in their 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.


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.


Book Fees

Book Fees are required for some classes.  Please see your childs supply list for details.




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.

B) Monthly split of Two Payments

Parents wishing to Pay bi-weekly should contact the office to discuss.  We allow Bi – Weekly payments to be made but if not paid on time, late fees will be calculated as if paying weekly.

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.


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 change in payment agreements.  If Dunnams has to turn your account over to collections the last signed contract is what will be presented to the courts as it is binding until a new contract is signed.


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.  YOUR FULL NAME IS REQUIRED TO BE SIGNED.  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.  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. Cut off time for arrival is 10:00 A.M for newborn (Izzy Inchworms) - 2 1/2 Years Old (Geoffrey Giraffes) unless your child has a Dr’s excuse or the office is notified in advance of a late arrival. Cut off time for arrival is 9:00 A.M for K3 - 2nd Grd.  We ask that you realize that your childs learning time is scheduled for the morning hours and that you would be respectful of the teachers and the other students and children and realize how late arrivals do effect them. 


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.  Payment is due at time of pickup, paid to the teacher which had to stay over, and if not paid it will be added to your account and must be paid with your next tuition payment.



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.





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 Dunnams 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 Dunnams Private School will administer medication if required.  All medicine must be labeled with the childs name and in it’s original container. Medicines must be given to the teacher, NOT left in childs bag or backpack.  A DHR required medicine form must be filled out properly before the center can administer any medicine.  Your childs teacher has these forms and can instruct you on how to fill it out.

NO MEDICINE CAN BE GIVEN WITHOUT THIS FORM 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 .  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 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 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. Dunnams Private School WILL NOT be held responsible for any toys or items brought from home.






You will be given a list of supplies that you will need to bring on your childs first day of school. Most of the items will be personal items that will not be shared but there are a few items such as air freshener, cups or paper towels that will be community items.  Please understand that these type of items will occasionally need to be replenished. We ask that when your teacher advises that these things are needed that you do replenish them in a timely manner.  We promise to use these community items wisely and as sparingly as possible..


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 childrens items.  This takes away from quality time from the children.  Please label all clothing items such as jackets, hats and scarves.



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 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 childrens 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.



Dunnams 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.  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 childrens 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.






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.


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


  1. The child is sent to Mr Dunnam’s office.


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


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


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


  1. Child is dismissed.



Obviously the severity of the child’s 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, 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.




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 their mouths they will be asked immediately to spit it out or turn it over to the teacher.  If a child has a birthday party and the parent of the 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 childrens parents for them to take home and distribute. Small candies and gum are a choking hazard and we do not allow it to be given out on site.




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.




Although we at Dunnam's have an open door policy in regards to looking in on your child or children we do not allow in room visitation unless its on special days I.E (Festival Days Part Days Etc) or for extreme / special reasoning.  Thru 40 years of experience we have found that more times than not a parent, grandparent or sibling visiting in the room causes disruption and anxiety with most students resulting in them not abiding by the established rules of the room or causes them to be disobedient to the teacher.  When one child becomes disruptive then the others tend to follow suit which makes for a long day for all.  If you do wish to look in on your little one we ask that you do so thru the observation window of the door or thru a window if available or we can possible pull your childs class up on the computer in the office if previously arranged.

No Smoking


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

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


Grades K4, K5, 1st, 2nd


FIELD TRIPS.  During the school year the K4, K5 and 1st Grades will take an occasional field trip.  Typically 3 to 4 during the entire school year.  These field trips are required to be attended by at least one parent or family member / adult.  During these trips if your child is unable to go due to lack of a parent or guardian able to attend, you will need to make alternative arrangements for your child’s care on that day as your child’s teacher will be with the group and not at the school.  We take these trips for educational purposes, to allow the children to have fun time as a group away from school and to also encourage parental participation in the children’s school life.





If your child is enrolled in the afterschool program WE DO allow the older children to bring electronic devices with them to the school to utilize for entertainment and education. BUT!!!!!  Please be aware.  DUNNAMS SCHOOL WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE INCURRED TO ANYONES DEVICES AND OR TOYS DUE TO BEING LOST, DAMAGED, DESTROYED OR STOLEN. 

Our teachers due all that they can to keep the children busy and to control chaos and this is easily achieved when the children obey the instructions of the teacher.  If you wish to eliminate all possibility of your childs devises from being harmed, please instruct them to keep them put away or to give them to their teacher upon arrival to the room.






Afterschool Suspension


Parents please be advised that if during the transportation from Westhills to Dunnams, if your child does not follow instructions in order to cross the road in a safe manner they will be suspended for minimum of 2 days. Again we do all we can but if your child is not taught to listen and obey our instructions we are limited on how well we can protect them.



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 prices, 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.



In Closing


We thank you for choosing Dunnams 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 agrees to abide by the rules and procedures addressed within this book 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 Dunnams 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 Mr Kyle 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 childs teacher or to the office.









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