Welcome to AUCP!

Congratulations! We are so excited to welcome your family to our community! Below is your guide to what’s next, including key steps to formalizing enrollment for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. If you have any questions at all during this process, please feel free to email Membership Co-Chair Julie Fitzgerald at loveoutdoorpreschool@gmail.com.

Please accept or decline enrollment via email to Membership at loveoutdoorpreschool@gmail.com within 48 hours of receiving your acceptance letter. If you do not accept/decline during that time-frame, we will move your child(ren) to the waitlist and offer your spot(s) to another family.

Next Steps for Enrollment

To secure your spot(s), you must submit the Family Roles and Responsibilities Agreement and pay the non-refundable $120 Family Registration Fee (covers the cost of background checks for co-oping parents) and the tuition deposit (credited to May 2025 tuition). Both should be completed from the Jovial Family Portal.

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AUCP Withdrawal Policy

If a family wishes to terminate its AUCP membership at any time, they must give 30-day written notice to the Board President or to one of the Membership Co-Chairs. Families are responsible for both tuition and co-oping duties during that time-frame. Because AUCP operates on a 9-month budget cycle (September-May), withdrawals initiated within 30 days of the first day of school will be charged prorated September tuition. Withdrawals after September 1, 2024, or later will require payment of a full 30-days’ tuition. Any withdrawals initiated before April 30, 2024, will be eligible for a refund of May 2025 tuition, if we are able to fill the vacated spot(s). Tuition deposits/May 2025 tuition will not be refunded to families that withdraw after April 30, 2024.

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Enrollment Forms & Requirements – due May 20

All enrollment forms and requirements must be submitted by May 20, EXCEPT for the TB screening, which must be completed after August 14.Before submitting your forms, please review them to make sure that they are filled out properly and completely.

As the county and state require these forms for preschool licensing, AUCP is very firm on all enrollment form deadlines. Your child will not be able to attend the first day of school if all enrollment forms have not been received.

We track completed enrollment forms and requirements in Jovial. It may take a couple days for completed requirements to be reflected there. Several forms must be notarized. Our Program Director, Diann Vaughan, can notarize them for you. Our New Family Playdate on Tuesday, May 14, is a great opportunity to get your forms notarized and submit any other completed forms. Otherwise, you can email Diann directly at diannvaughan@comcast.net. You can submit most forms via Jovial, but we’re happy to collect forms in person or via email. Reach out to Membership (loveoutdoorpreschool@gmail.com) if you have any questions about these forms/requirements.

Family Forms

  • Committee Selection Form: Every family is assigned a job each year to help contribute to the administration and upkeep of the school. We use the information submitted in this form to give you a role that suits your interests and skills. Most new families will be assigned to a committee, while returning families are often offered more specialized roles (e.g. room parent, Board member, Board assistant, etc.).
  • COVID-19 Liability Waiver: Required for each family before the first day of school
  • Family Information and Consents Form: Licensing is very strict on how these forms are completed, so please fill out all fields. Make sure that the following have been completed correctly:
    1. Contact information for BOTH parents. You may need to click a plus sign next to each name to display these fields
    2. All emergency contacts must have street addresses
    3. You must input business hours phone numbers and email addresses for all parents with an employer listed on the form. If you don’t want to share that information, you can input personal phone numbers or email addresses in their stead, but those fields cannot be left blank or input with N/A.

Student Forms

  • Emergency Release: Each child must have an Emergency Release on file. This form must be notarized (Diann can notarize for you). If you have it notarized by a third party, you can submit it via Jovial.
  • Proof of Child’s Identity: Original documentation (e.g., US Passport or Birth Certificate) must be submitted in person for review by one of the Membership Co-Chairs, President, or Directors (the form and documentation may be presented at the New Family Orientation or Parent Welcome Night in September).
  • Proof of Student COVID-19 Vaccination: We strongly encourage all eligible students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is currently not required, but we are collecting proof of vaccination as some quarantine/masking/etc. rules may apply differently to vaccinated and unvaccinated students as outlined in the COVID-19 addendum to the Parent Manual. Students are considered fully vaccinated if they have received 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine or 3 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. AUCP reserves the right to require vaccinations at any point during the school year. Please submit vaccination cards via Jovial (parent and student cards can be submitted in the same form).
  • Virginia Health School Form: The most recent physical examination must be within the past 12 months for children over two-years old or at ages 2-years-old and 4-years-old. Please note that 1) the bottom of page 1 must be signed and dated by a parent; 2) the bottom of both page 2 and page 4 must be signed and dated by a physician; 3) the TB assessment on page 4 is required for all students over one year old and must be done after May 1st. If your child is due for a check-up with his/her pediatrician over the summer, please let us know and we will accept the health form after that appointment. Health forms can be submitted in person or via Jovial.

Additional Medical Forms – both must be signed by your pediatrician and can be submitted via Jovial using the health form upload form

Co-oping Parent Forms/Requirements – must be completed for each co-oping parent

Since our co-oping parents act as teacher’s aides in the classroom, they are subject to the same background checks and requirements as teachers. These requirements must be completed before you can co-op in the classroom.

  • Central Registry Background Check: Please email Program Director Diann Vaughan at diannvaughan@comcast.net to request access to the online portal. You will receive an email directing you to the portal, where you can submit the information needed to complete your Central Registry Background Check. You must submit the form within 2 business days of receiving the email. Please note that there are incorrect instructions on the form: it says to fill Maiden Name in with “NMN” if you don’t have a maiden name, but, instead, you must input your Last Name at Birth if you don’t have a maiden name.
  • Fingerprinting for Background Check: Each co-oping parent is required to have their fingerprints taken as part of their background check. You can schedule your appointment here. Fingerprint results will be sent directly to AUCP. Here is important information that you will need when filling out the online form: Facility ID:  104758 (This should auto-populate AUCP on the application); Field print code:   FPVADSSChDayCntrVol
  • Parent References: Each co-oping parent must have TWO parent references submitted on their behalf. Please make sure your references know to include a narrative as part of their submission (otherwise, they might sign and submit a blank form). References can be submitted via Jovial or emailed to loveoutdoorpreschool@gmail.com.
  • Proof of Co-oper COVID-19 Vaccination: COVID-19 vaccination is required for all parents co-oping in the classroom. Please submit vaccination cards via Jovial (parent and student cards can be submitted in the same form). If you aren’t vaccinated, please reach out to Diann at diannvaughan@comcast.net for alternative ways to contribute.
  • Sworn Statement: Each co-oper must fill out a Sworn Statement every five years. Please submit Sworn Statements via Jovial. If you have lived outside of the state of Virginia within the past 5 years, you will need to submit separate forms for each state. If you have lived out of the country within 5 years, there are no additional forms to submit.
  • Tuberculosis Screening Certificate: Required for each co-oping parent prior to co-oping in the classroom. Must be done every two years. For new AUCP co-opers, the screening MUST be done between August 14th and the first day of school (if it is done earlier than this, it will have to be redone). TB tests are not required unless indicated by the screening. We will hold TB Screening Clinics at AUCP in August/September and will provide more details as they’re finalized, or you’re welcome to have it completed by your primary care provider or by the Health Department. TB screenings completed at an AUCP TB Screening Clinic will be collected there; all others should be submitted via Jovial.

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Jovial Basics

We use Jovial to manage billing and enrollments. Here’s a quick start guide, but more details are below. The Family Portal has three tabs: Home, Billing, and Forms. The Home tab includes your family information, your billing summary, announcements (usually important forms), your enrollment requirements (discussed in detail below), student info and enrollments, and caregiver contact information. Please make sure that the family and caregiver information is correct, as it is used for our membership directory. You can make corrections when you submit the Family Information and Consents Form or in the Address Change Form.

The Billing tab includes a link to pay your balance and an itemized statement that can be used for FSA claims. Tuition is due on the first of the month. You can pay via ACH or credit card; if you pay via credit card, we ask that you donate the credit card fee. You will receive an email reminder 5 days before the due date and again on the 1st of the month. You can opt to automate your payments:

  1. From the home screen, go to billing and click on Make E-Payment.
  2. Scroll down to Choose Payment Method, and click on Saved Bank Account.
  3. In the dropdown menu, click on Setup AutoPay with this payment method.
  4. Then click on Agree.

The Forms tab houses all of our enrollment forms, but you should rely on the requirements section on the Home tab to access any applicable forms. For any requirement associated with a Jovial form, there will be a brown button that links to the applicable form.

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What to Expect – Spring/Summer

We understand that the enrollment process can be a bit overwhelming. In an effort to help prepare you, below is a summary of some of the information that you can expect in your inbox over the next several months.

AUCP Communications

AUCP utilizes email listservs as the main way to communicate vital information to our members. You will be added to them automatically in June. The Announcements listserv is used for school-specific information and is only for current families. The Community listserv is for all current families and alumni and can be used for sharing information that may interest the community at large (community events, items for sale/free, etc.).

To send an email to the Annoucements listserv, address the email you want distributed to announcements@aucpva.org. Our Announcements listserv is moderated, so your email will not be distributed right away, and you will not receive a notification that your email has been approved.

Our Board Secretary will send an email in June with more information on these listservs. In addition, you will receive access to our internal Google Drive in June.

Additionally, most classes have informal WhatsApp chats for parents to communicate with each other about swaps/subs, playdates, birthday parties, etc.

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Mark Your Calendar

We’re still finalizing the calendar for the upcoming school year, but here’s the calendar for the 2023-2024 school year to give you an idea of what to expect.

Informal play dates will be held weekly throughout the summer from approximately 10 am to noon. This is a great way to meet other AUCP families. Further information about these play dates will be sent out via our AUCP Announcements listserv.

Additionally, each class will have its own class playdate the week before school starts. Playdates are held on the AUCP playground and are a great way for your child to get comfortable with the school, meet fellow classmates, and to meet their teacher. You will also have a chance to meet your Room Support Parent, who will act as the classroom liaison with your teacher throughout the year.

More information about these events will be forthcoming.

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Class Assignments

Teacher assignments and specific class assignments (your child’s animal, Panda days, and Stay & Play days) will be announced by the end of June. If you requested a specific day for the 1s (Panda) or 2s (Kangaroo/Koala/Wallaby) classes, we will do our best to accommodate you but cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice. If that’s an issue, please let Membership know. In late August, you can expect to hear from your classroom Room Support Parent with details about your child’s class, teacher, class playdate, allergies, and more.

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Co-op Schedule

You will receive an email request for input over the summer from our co-op scheduler asking for any preferences/constraints on your co-op availability for the entire year. If you have more than one child at AUCP, you will only be assigned to co-op on days that all children are in class. Look for an email from our co-op scheduler over the summer asking for any preferences and/or constraints on your co-op availability.

If your schedule changes, you can always swap with another co-oping parent later. You’ll learn more about this at New Parent Orientation, but, in short, when looking for a swap, first reach out to the parents in your class via your WhatsApp chat and then email the Announcements listserv.

For the 2024-2025 school year, there will be a co-op buyout option. Families that opt in will have fewer scheduled co-ops. The cost for these buyouts will be $90 per co-op shift, and payment will be spread across 8 months of tuition (May tuition was paid upon enrollment as your tuition deposit).  The per co-op cost is set to help AUCP cover its staffing costs.

Families can indicate (via a Google Form) how many co-ops they’d like to buyout, within the following limitations for the school year:

  • Kangaroo/Koala/Wallaby – up to 2 co-ops
  • Penguin/Puffin – up to 3 co-ops
  • Dolphin/Eagle – up to 4 co-ops
  • Pandas do not currently have a buyout option, but that could change depending on response from the older classes.  

Please note that buyouts will only be honored if AUCP can find appropriate staff to cover them. We anticipate being able to cover buyouts and will know prior to the start of the school year. 

We also have a group of co-opers that will cover your co-op shift for a fee ($65 for Panda; $60 for all others). You may use subs for up to 25% of your co-oping duties. The Paid Sub List will be distributed in September, but you can send an email to the Announcements listserv to secure a paid sub, just as you would for a swap. Details will be also available in the Parent Manual.

On your assigned co-oping days, you are expected to arrive by 9 am (8:45am for the Panda class), and stay until 1 pm (or until clean-up is complete). You can bring your child(ren) with you in the morning. Pandas can be dropped off when you arrive to co-op and picked up after you’re done with clean-up. All other students must stay with you if you bring them to set-up. After school, your child(ren) can stay with you in the room and look at books while you clean up, or frequently other parents will volunteer to take co-opers’ child(ren) to the playground. We highly recommend having someone else watch your children during this time, as clean-up goes a lot quicker when there aren’t little ones around.

On days you are not co-oping, you can repay the favor by offering to watch other children while their parents clean up. The beauty of a co-op is being able to help one another out, and the kids love the extra time on the playground!

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Committee Selection

The Committee Selection Form (available in the Jovial Family Portal) is used to indicate your committee assignment preference. Every family is assigned a job each year to help contribute to the administration and upkeep of the school. We use the information submitted in this form to give you a role that suits your interests and skills. Most new families will be assigned to a committee, while returning families are often offered other roles (e.g. Room Support Parent, Board member, Board assistant, etc.). Keep in mind that we do our best to match your preferences with the available roles and needs of the community. Our Board VP will send final confirmation of your assignment prior to the start of school. Your committee chair will contact you separately to give you an overview of the committee and responsibilities and to coordinate communications.

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Building & Grounds (B&G)

Each family is responsible for contributing some of their time and labor to help keep the preschool and playground a safe and fun place for our children to play and learn. Family requirements are 2 hours for one-day Pandas only, 4 hours for 1 child, 6 hours for 2 children, and 7 hours for 3+ children. At the beginning of the school year, you will see an email from our Board B&G Chair with additional information, instructions on how to sign-up for work parties, and other opportunities to earn your B&G hours. From playground clean-up, to classroom work parties, to miscellaneous jobs around the school, there are many opportunities to fit everyone’s skills and schedule. Either parent can participate to earn B&G credit, so it can be an opportunity for non-co-oping parents to get to know the school and other parents.

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Continuing Education

Classroom co-opers act as teacher’s aides, so state licensing requires that every co-oping parent completes 4 hours of continuing education (CE) each year. AUCP will host a variety of events to earn credits throughout the year.

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Panda Questions

If you are nursing, you are welcome to nurse your Panda at a convenient time during the school day. You can work with your teacher on the best schedule. There are a number of private spaces you can use. Please feel free to send in bottles of formula or milk for your Panda. We aren’t able to refrigerate bottles, so make sure to include ice packs. If needed, we can warm bottles using the microwave and/or hot water.

We don’t have designated nap times, but if your Panda needs a nap, your teacher will work with you on what works best for your child. Often, a nice stroller ride during outside play time can let your Panda get the sleep they need, or parking a stroller in a quiet corner of the classroom works, too. We also have a crib in the classroom if that works better.

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Outdoor Classrooms

Our 3s and 4s classes spend one day (Tuesdays for the 4s classes; Fridays for the 3s classes) every other week at nearby Long Branch Nature Center. Children spend the full morning – rain, snow or shine – outdoors in unstructured play and exploration. In the event of rainy weather, we establish our base camp at a nearby picnic shelter. In addition, our 3s enrichment classes, 2s classes, and 1s classes will schedule days at Long Branch during the year so that even our littlest friends can experience the wonder of a morning in the woods.

The outdoor classroom schedule for the 3s (Penguin/Puffin) and 4s (Dolphin/Eagle) will be shared at the beginning of the school year. The schedule for enrichment classes (Cheetah), 2s (Kangaroo/Koala/Wallaby), and 1s (Panda) will be announced by your teacher throughout the year. On your woods days, you will drop off and pick up your child(ren) at Long Branch (625 S Carlin Springs Rd.). On rainy days, you will drop off and pick up at a picnic shelter near Glencarlyn Dog Park. You will receive an email to let you know about the change in location.

Co-opers should arrive at 9:20 am and will leave after all students have been picked up. If you have multiple children at AUCP, ideally, you should have someone help you handle drop off and pick up. If that’s not possible, drop off and pick up in the woods first; then head to AUCP to drop off and pick up your other child(ren). It’s alright for your AUCP children to be a little late in the morning, but you should make arrangements for someone to watch them on the playground after school, as you will likely be about 15 minutes late for pick-up.

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Helpful Contacts

If this feels like a lot of information to digest, don’t worry! There are lots of people to help you along the way. New Parent Orientation will be invaluable for learning more, and you can always reach out to our Membership Chairs or your Room Support Parent. They are eager to help in any way, or can point you to the right people who can. Please note that our Board changes at the end of the school year, so these contacts may shift in June.

Julie Fitzgerald, Membership Co-Chair (loveoutdoorpreschool@gmail.com): Questions about class assignments, enrollment forms/requirements, changing enrollment, withdrawing from AUCP, etc.

Stephanie Phillips, Board Treasurer (aucp.treasurer@gmail.com): Questions about billing, tuition, etc.

Erin Turner, Board Secretary (erin.l.turner@gmail.com): Questions about AUCP listservs

Allyson Parker, Board President/IT Chair (arparker23@gmail.com): Questions about Jovial or our internal Google Drive.

Diann Vaughan, Program Director (diannvaughan@comcast.net): Scheduling an appointment to get forms notarized

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