E.2. Stay Informed and Connected

The UNOW Website:   http://unow.princeton.edu

The UNOW Website is designed for parent use.  The UNOW mission, vision, core values and program history is included on the website.  Hours of operation, calendar days of operation and closings, UNOW menu, and other events and articles on current topics in early childhood education.  The UNOW Family Handbook is also available on the website.  It is required that all UNOW families acknowledge the receipt and have access to the Family Handbook.

The UNOW Family List-serv

The list-serv is the most utilized means to communicate from UNOW administration to the general UNOW community.  Weekly menus, administrative updates, UNOW events, unexpected school closures, and UNOW Board meeting summaries will be sent through the family list-serv email.  In appreciation of your time and email space, the family list-serv will be used sparingly and reserved for the most essential information.  During the initial enrollment period, families supply their preferred email and written permission to be placed on the list-serv.

UNOW Newsletters

Efforts will be made to keep families informed through periodic newsletters sent via the family list-serv.  Administrative updates and notes from the Director are sent out monthly.  There is a newsletter called Wing Nuts and Bolts generated by the classroom staff and program coordinator with a certain age grouping of children; infant and toddler age group and  the preschool age group (2 ½ to 5).  Also, a school wide newsletter will be distributed three to four times per year.  Individual classrooms may send out weekly or monthly news depending on the age group and classroom timing of events.

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards in the main lobby and next to the classrooms are posted with pertinent information to families.  In our main lobby you will find our State License and NAEYC Accreditation Certificates in addition to the weekly menus, informational flyers and community events.  Family bulletin boards are placed outside of each classroom to provide the daily schedule, curriculum plans or current activities occurring in the classroom, and health and wellness information.

UNOW Community Directory

An email and phone directory of classrooms, UNOW staff and families is gathered and distributed annually. Families must provide written permission and supply preferred email address and phone to be included in the directory.  The directory encourages families to network and reach out to each other as well as access contact information to classrooms teachers, program coordinators and administrators.

Professional emails

All UNOW staff have a @princeton.edu email address to communicate among colleagues and families. Each classroom has a laptop and a tablet available for professional communications to families. Email is an effective method used by teachers and reserved to communicate non-emergency or less urgent information. Families may also reach out through email to teachers or administrators with individual questions or concerns.  All emails will be responded to in a timely manner and when teachers and staff are scheduled out of the classroom and away from children.

Tablets and Tadpoles Communication Software

Tadpoles is a communication software whereby teachers can record information and photographs of their child involved in play and send directly to families.  Families of children 2 ½ and under will receive daily updates on care needs such as toileting, eating and sleeping patterns. Families will register their preferred email in Tadpoles in order to receive information from teachers.

Phone calls

There are phones in every classroom.  Families may call the classroom directly.  Teachers are often busy in the classroom and their attention is on the supervision and safety of the children.  You may leave a message and they can get back to you at a later time in the day.  Teachers may also contact families by phone if there is an immediate situation such as illness, a medical emergency or change in behavior.  Sometimes a personal phone call is the best way to converse with families to make certain determinations of what is happening with their child during the course of a day.  If at any time families are unable to reach teachers in the classroom, please contact the main office line (609-258-7280) and someone will respond to your call. 

Conversations at Drop off and Pick up

Making a little extra time at drop off or pick up can be a good opportunity to provide teachers with some brief information or updates on your child’s experiences at home.  Sometimes it is important for teachers to know if a child had particularly difficult time sleeping, or other experiences that may impact the child’s day at UNOW. Topics requiring more lengthy or confidential discussion may be brought to a scheduled meeting at a more convenient time.

Cell Phone Free Zone

All children’s areas are considered a cell phone free zone.  All teachers, administrators and families are asked to abide by this policy.   Parents are encouraged to put their phones away when walking into children’s play areas.  Teachers may want to share information with parents at pick up or may want to inquire about the child’s evening or weekend at drop off.  Cell phone free environments are a wonderful way to promote communication and attention to children.

Social Media and Photo Sharing

Photographs or other identifying personal information of staff, children and families of UNOW must not be posted on any social networking site or webpage without express written consent by the individuals and the UNOW Director.  Families may post photos of their own child (ren) at play in the center on a social networking site to share with others.  However, families and staff are not at liberty to post photos of other UNOW children on social networking sites, blogs, personal websites, etc.; even if those children are photographed during play with their own child.  UNOW families, staff and Board members are required to sign the receipt and acknowledgement of this policy.

Assistance with Language Translation

UNOW is a welcoming environment for all, including those who speak languages other than English.  UNOW will provide written materials in different languages upon request.  Please let teachers know if a translator is needed for parent/teacher conferences or any other conversations and we will do our best to provide support.  Multiple languages are spoken among the UNOW staff and families and every effort will be made to provide support to families who need a translator.