Sunday School (Preschool & Elementary Age) Policies
Sunday School Classes
Preschool class is for three, four and five year olds who are not yet in Kindergarten. Three year olds have the flexibility to move between Sunday school and Emma’s Place (the nursery) on different Sundays.
Primary class is for Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Children must be in one of these grades to attend these classes. The curriculum is becoming more age-specific with writing and reading activities. Younger siblings are asked to stay in the appropriate preschool or kindergarten class.
Intermediate class is for 3rd -5thth grade. Children must be in one of these grades to attend this class. The curriculum is age-specific and not appropriate for younger children, concerning reading, writing, and thought processes.
Parental Commitment and Registration
Parents are asked to register their children at the beginning of the school year or as their children initially attend Sunday school. If they have previously been enrolled they are asked to update the children’s information (e.g. address change, school change, etc.) annually. This includes acknowledging by signature, receiving and understanding a copy of the policies for Sunday school (this document).
Consistency creates a sense of community and parents are asked to strive to have their children attend Sunday school on a regular basis. This also respects the commitment the volunteer teachers are making to our children.
Sunday school is a ministry of volunteers. Parents are asked to volunteer for at least three events during the school year. These can be as a Sunday school helper, helping with special events, as a summer Sunday school helper, etc. Parents who have children in both the nursery and Sunday school need only to commit to volunteer three times total to either ministry.
Visitors are children whose families are not regular attendees of Transfiguration, or who have attended Sunday school only twice in the current school year. When visitors come alone or with a current attendee they are asked to participate in the age-appropriate class. We understand that, as this experience can be intimidating the first few times or if their host is in a different class than they should attend, the visitors may join their host’s class. If, after two visits, it is determined that the child(ren) would like to attend on a regular basis then we ask that the child(ren) be officially registered in Sunday school. At this time the child(ren) are asked to attend the age-appropriate class.
Only designated teachers and helpers are allowed in the classroom areas. Parents are allowed to visit at any time. Any other individual will be asked to leave the classroom areas.
Children will not share bathrooms with the congregation during Sunday school. To uphold safeguarding standards, the upstairs “community” bathroom door will be open during the Sunday School hour. The Preschool and Primary classrooms each have their own bathroom. If a church worker needs to take a child to the bathroom, they must stand at the door so that they may be observable by others, or work in pairs. Washing up after crafts is handled differently than someone using the bathroom. The door remains open and the church worker may go in help the children with washing hands.
Policies concerning the “2 person rule” for staff are as described in Procedures for Leaders in Children and Youth Ministries.
Transfiguration has 4 building etiquette rules: 1. Walking feet 2. Respect closed off areas, 3. Stay inside and 4. Supervise children.
Children are not allowed to run in the halls or on the stairs nor can they use the elevator without an adult. Before or after Sunday school and anytime children are not in a planned program, parents are responsible for the safety of their children. This rule also applies if children go outside.
We have 4 building etiquette rules: 1. Walking feet 2. Respect closed off areas, 3. Stay inside and 4. Supervise children.
Hours of Operation
The Sunday school for the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration serves children three years old through 5th grade. Sunday school meets weekly during the year on Sunday mornings during the 10:00am service in Edwards. Children begin with a “children’s sermon” in the regular service. They then attend their age-appropriate class. Children return to the service to join the congregation in The Lord’s Prayer. Summer Sunday school is multi-age, three years old through 3rd grade, meeting weekly during the 10:00 am service in Edwards. 4th and 5th grade children will meet with the Youth Minister upon availability during the summer.
Director of Children’s Ministries
The Director of Children & Youth Ministries is responsible for the staffing, curriculum and continuity of the Sunday school. The Director will be available most Sundays to oversee the Sunday school and help where needed. When the director is not available, a Director-appointed supervisor will oversee Sunday school. Communication is essential to effective operation of the Sunday school. The Director will make every effort to communicate regularly and openly with staff, volunteers, and families.
Screening of Paid and Volunteer Staff
Church workers who will have custody or supervision of minors, whether in a compensated or volunteer position, are required to follow the screening and application procedures outlined in Procedures for Leaders in Children and Youth Ministries.
Supervision of Volunteers
Volunteer staff will meet regularly or on an as-needed basis, with the Director of Children and Youth Ministries to openly discuss problems, accountability, curriculum, policy clarification, personal feelings and issues that affect the Children and Youth Ministries.
Volunteers must have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through Holy Baptism, and be engaged actively in a personal journey of faith. If the volunteer is not currently a member of Transfiguration, they will be asked to participate in the incorporation class to become a member within six months of volunteering with the Children & Youth Ministries. Prior to service regular church workers must attend a Diocesan-sponsored workshop entitled Safeguarding God’s Children. Since consistency creates a sense of security for the children, volunteers are asked to keep their commitment to the Children and Youth Ministries to the best of their ability.
Volunteers will not be asked to help more than two Sundays a month. They are asked to use some of their free time for personal prayer, worship, and to receive teaching on a regular basis.
Each Sunday school class will have two to five adult teachers who will alternate teaching on Sundays. The teachers will remain with the same class throughout the school year, to provide a more consistent environment for the children. Teachers may substitute for one another when there is a schedule conflict. The Director of Children or designee will be in the teaching rotation for all classes. Preschool, Kindergarten and Primary classes will have helpers to assist the teachers. The teacher conducts the class and the helper assists the teacher. Parents, other church workers and youth in the 7th grade and older can work as classroom helpers. The Intermediate class will not be staffed with helpers.
Parents needing to be with preschoolers or kindergarteners as they transition into Sunday school will be given copies of Sunday school policies and a copy of Guidelines for Appropriate Affection in Ministry with Children and Youth (Attachment A).
When a teacher or helper cannot keep their scheduled commitment, it is their responsibility to contact a replacement within the class staff. If this is not possible they will contact the Director of Children and Youth Ministries to notify her/him of the problem.