Merri Loo Handbook




Merri-Loo Community Preschool was incorporated in 1968 and is a private, non-profit, cooperative organization serving the Goffstown area.  We welcome all families and do not discriminate because of race, gender, color, religious affiliation or income.  A Board of Directors, composed of Merri-Loo parents, administers the school.  Merri-Loo is fully licensed by the State of New Hampshire on the basis of:

            1.         Educational requirements of the staff.

            2.         Number of children per teacher.

            3.         Health requirements.
            4.         Building inspection and standards for play and room space per child.

            5.         Type of program.

            6.         Equipment and materials.

            7.         Fire regulations.




Merri-Loo Community Preschool is a cooperative school inviting parents, a child’s first teachers, to work with the classroom teachers to create a positive, safe, and fun learning environment.  Merri-Loo uses thematic units to provide developmentally appropriate activities.  Merri-Loo combines teacher-directed learning centers with small and large group activities for a developmentally appropriate program.



In-house registration begins the first week of February.  Alumni may register the second week of February.  Outside registration begins the third week. Announcements are made at school and in the local newspapers.  For more information, please call the school at 497-3350.

Parents will be provided with the required health forms for their child.  Shortly before classes officially begin, there is an open house where the children will have the opportunity to meet their teachers and their classmates.  There will also be a MANDATORY parent’s meeting.  Further information will follow. 

All children must be fully toilet trained by the start of school.  State regulations do not permit diapers or pull-ups in class.



We have two types of tuition rates, cooperative and non-cooperative.  If you choose the lower cooperative tuition rate, we require that you make a commitment to the school by selecting one of a number of cooperative jobs available.  We have various jobs to choose from.  See “Cooperative System” for more information regarding available jobs.

Should a family not meet its cooperative responsibilities, the family will be required to pay the non-cooperative tuition rate.  The non-cooperative tuition is higher and waives parent responsibility for assisting with the daily operation of the school.

Regardless of the tuition rate chosen, all parents are expected to become involved in Merri-Loo fund-raising, Family Fun Day, and charitable activities.  Merri-Loo, with the exception of the teachers, is run entirely by the cooperative parents.  It is very important that all parents actively participate in the operation of Merri-Loo to ensure its success.



Tuition will be paid following a payment plan of 10 equal payments, the first of which is due at package drop-off. The remaining 9 tuition payments for September through May are due on the 5th of each month. Please note that the final payment must be made by May 5th in order for your child to participate in his/her graduation exercises.  You can drop your payment in the tuition box in the hall or mail it to:  Merri-Loo Preschool, P.O. Box 194, Goffstown, NH, 03045, to the treasurer’s attention.  Payment booklets will be included in the registration packet.  If there is a valid reason for a tuition payment being late, please notify the treasurer to work out a payment schedule.  Parents who do not make special tuition arrangements and have not made their payment by the 5th of the month, will have an automatic $5.00 late charge added to their account.  Parents who fall two months behind will be asked to remove their child from school.  Merri-Loo will charge a $10.00 fee for any returned check, plus any additional fees imposed by our bank.

The non-refundable registration fee is $50.00 per child and $25.00 for the second child from the same family.  Fees are due with the return of the registration form, which will then hold your child’s space.   If, after payment of the registration fee and the first tuition payment, you choose not to send your child, the first tuition payment will be refunded only if we are able to fill the position.  We offer the option of paying the tuition in full in one lump sum, due by September 1st.

Please be aware that tuition, although paid over 10 installments, is tuition for the entire school year.  The school’s budget is based on the anticipated payment of the entire amount.  Because of this, the school is unable to excuse payment due to illness, school holiday, snow day, absence from school, or other unforeseen events that may cause the closure of the school building.



The rates* for this year are as follows:

    Pre-K $180 $212 $278
    Nursery $112 $145 $212
Paid in Full before 9/1 (5% Discount)      
    Pre-K $1,710 $2,014 $2,641
    Nursery $1,064 $1,377  $2,014

Prepaid tuition is non-refundable.

For those families who qualify for the child care tax credit, Merri-Loo’s tax I.D. # is 020275201.

Please contact the treasurer should you need a statement of tuition for tax purposes.

*The Board of Directors retains the right to increase tuition payments after due consideration of enrollment and monthly expenses.

The Nursery class is held on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, not to exceed 16 students.

The Pre-K class is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, not to exceed 19 students.

We do not offer advanced placement.  All children will be placed at the appropriate level, consistent with the Goffstown school system.



Please do not drop off your child before class time.  Extended care is not offered.  In order to provide a coordinated program for the whole group, as well as for your child’s peace of mind, we ask that parents be punctual (within 5 minutes).  Parents are required to accompany their child into school and assist him/her with removal of outerwear.  Please be sure that the teachers are aware of your child’s arrival before you leave.
Please be aware that the teachers use time before for preparation and classroom setup.  No one should be in the classroom during this time.

The classroom door will remain closed until the start of class.



Most young children have no firm concept of time.  Even a five-minute delay in going home when his/her friends have already left can cause worry.  You must be prompt in picking up your child.  The nursery class ends at 11:30 AM and the Pre-K class ends at 1:00 PM.  If you are more than 10 minutes late picking up your child, a $5.00 late fee will be charged.  Children should not be left unattended in the parking lot or in parked cars.  The parking lot abuts a very busy road and we must all be extremely attentive.
Please inform teachers when there is a change in the person who routinely picks up your child.  We ask that you fill out the “Drop off and Pickup” sheet on the front door if the need arises.  Your child will not be allowed to leave with anyone else unless the teachers have been notified, the person is on your alternate pick up list, and they present a picture ID. 

Any person, including a parent, who appears to be incapacitated and unable to take responsibility for a child will be prevented from picking the child up.  An alternate parent or emergency contact person will be contacted. 



1.         You will usually be notified two weeks in advance about field trips.  The teachers will decide how many drivers/chaperones are needed and these will be chosen on a first come first serve basis.  (Sign-up sheets are posted in hallway.)  If you wish to be a field trip driver, you must check “yes” on the questionnaire regarding field trips.  Our insurance company needs this information in advance.  If we don’t have you on our list, you will not be able to drive for the year. All parents who transport other students on a field trip are required to furnish proof of current automobile insurance and a photocopy of their valid driver’s license for insurance purposes.  Field trip drivers also need to fill out a “Criminal Record Release Authorization Form”.
2.         Siblings are welcome on some field trips as long as they don’t interfere with the chaperone’s ability to supervise the children. Siblings may be excluded from a field trip due to space or age requirements.  Depending on the field trip, the sibling may be charged an admission fee.
3.         State law requires all children under the age of 18 to be in a seat belt while in a moving vehicle.  Additionally, state law (January 2004) requires that all children age 6 and under or who weigh under 60 lbs. be in a child restraint seat.
            4.         Children are required to wear their Merri-Loo T-shirts on all field trips.

5.         Smoking is not allowed on field trips, or when transporting Merri-Loo students to and from events.



The time immediately after school or in the evening can be reserved to meet with the teachers to discuss your child.  Please let the teachers know in advance.  Parents are welcome to schedule a conference anytime during the school year to discuss their child’s progress or any special needs. A mid-year and year-end progress report is issued for all students. Parent/Teacher conferences will be scheduled after the mid-year progress report.  If you do not wish to schedule a conference, please notify your child’s teacher.

Children should wear play clothes to school at all times.  From time to time, the children use creative materials that could permanently mark their clothing.
All clothing should be easy for the child to put on and take off.  Children appreciate this independence.  Please dress your child properly for the weather with boots, snowsuits, raincoats, etc.  For field trips scheduled in chilly weather, please dress your child in layers.  It is easier to remove clothing than it is to find extra clothing to keep him/her warm. 

If your child wears snow boots to school, please provide rubber-soled slippers or shoes for classroom use.



Board meetings are held once a month.  Please feel free to attend all board meetings.  Board meetings provide an opportunity for parents to discuss any aspect of the school administration.  These meetings can also help bring home and school closer together for a better understanding of the young child and his/her world.  Notice of upcoming board meetings will be posted in the lobby, including the agenda and the previous month’s meeting minutes.  It is expected that you attend at least one meeting during the school year.

Parent meetings are held in the fall and spring for Board elections and major policy decisions.  You will be notified of these dates.  Merri-Loo strongly recommends that at least one parent attends both meetings.



Smoking is not allowed in the school building, on the grounds, or during field trips at anytime.



We participate in Scholastic Book Club each month.  Book orders are sent home monthly.  These are quality books offered at discount prices.  Any orders should be brought to school and placed in the can marked “BOOK ORDERS.”  Checks should be made out to Scholastic Book Club.  You are under no obligation to purchase anything.  The school accumulates credits from orders, which are cashed in for free equipment or books for the classroom.

“Books are Fun” is a program allowing Merri-Loo families to purchase quality books at discounted prices.  Merri-Loo earns a free book for every ten books purchased.



A brief newsletter is sent home with your child each week.  This will serve to notify you of upcoming events, field trips or particular items your child may need, as well as summarizing the week’s program.  The newsletter is used for school business only.



Everyone will be asked to bring in a snack for the class, which includes juice, on a rotating basis.  You will be provided with a list of ideas for healthy snacks.  A group snack time is scheduled as part of Nursery and Pre-K’s day. In addition, Pre-K Parents will need to provide their child with a packed lunch for each school day.



Birthdays are a big event in your child’s life and they enjoy celebrating them with their friends at school.  Your child will be scheduled to bring a snack on the day closest to their birthday.  If his/her birthday falls in the summer, he/she will be scheduled for a ½ year birthday.  Cupcakes or any special treat is welcome.  We will provide candles.  Please contact the teachers with any questions.



The teachers will post sign-up sheets for contributions for each classroom party throughout the year. We typically have parties to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Graduation/End of the School Year.


CALENDAR: Merri-Loo follows it’s own school year calendar for classes, vacations and miscellaneous days off, with the exception of snow days.
SNOW DAYS:   We follow Goffstown public school’s snow days.  Full day cancellations apply to both classes.  One-hour delays will mean a one-hour delay for either class.  A 90-minute or more delay for Goffstown schools will mean the Nursery class is canceled, but the Pre-K class will adhere to the delay.
Stay tuned to any of the following stations: WMUR TV CHANNEL 9 (12 on cable), 610 AM (WEIR), 1370 AM (WFEA), 95.7 FM (WOKQ), 99.1 FM (WNNH), 102.3 FM (WKXL), 105.5 FM (WJYY).

OTHER CANCELLATIONS:  If you have questions regarding the opening of school, please call one of the teachers.


Children are more susceptible to illness when in a group.  In order to keep a healthy class, we maintain the following health rules.
1.             At registration we ask for a Child Health Form to be filled out by a family doctor.  The child MUST have had a physical within the last twelve months.  THIS IS A STATE LAW AND IS DUE BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Children will not be allowed to attend school without this certificate.  Forms over a year old are not acceptable.   A new medical form will be required each time the child has the new physical exam.   On the registration form we ask you to list special health conditions and allergies.
2.             Please keep your child home when you realize he/she is sick.  Please call the school and leave a message on the answering machine to let us know the reason for his/her absence.  If your child becomes ill while at school, we will call you so you can make arrangements to have him/her picked up immediately.
3.             If your child has a fever over 100 degrees, has vomited or had diarrhea, he or she is considered ill and should be kept home until symptom free for 24 hours.

4.             Nuisance diseases such as head lice, impetigo, ringworm, scabies, etc. are conditions that necessitate temporary exclusion from school.  If your child has a contagious disease, it is very important that you notify the school immediately thus allowing other parents to be notified of the condition.  In order to allow readmission, a note from your doctor’s office is required.

5.             We are not permitted by state regulations to dispense medicine.  If your child is on medication, it is the parent’s responsibility to administer it.

6.             Please do not request that your child stay inside during outside play.  Your child would be more comfortable staying at home until he/she is ready to join all group activities.

7.             Your child must be toilet trained.  We are prohibited by state regulations to change diapers and pull-ups.  If an accident occurs and the child does not have adequate clothing, the parents will be contacted.




It is imperative that we be able to reach you in the event of an emergency.  If your child becomes ill or is injured, we will immediately notify you or your emergency contact person(s).  In the event that we are unable to reach anyone and your child requires medical attention, we will transport your child, accompanied by a teacher, by car or ambulance to a Manchester hospital.  Our registration form includes a release, which allows us to proceed in finding professional assistance when we cannot reach you, or the person specified by you.



  • Please let the teachers know when your child will be absent or if there are any changes at home which may affect your child (such as: parent taking a new job, a new baby, a death in the family).


  • Be sure the teachers know your child has arrived in the morning and remember to pick your child up promptly.  Please bring your child inside upon arrival, and come in when picking up at departure.

  • Do not remove your child from the group without making sure that the teachers know your child is leaving.

  • Toys, candy, and gum from home are not allowed at school.

  • The phone number for Merri-Loo is 497-3350.  Please use it during class time only when necessary so that time will not be taken away from the children.

  • Your child should have some sort of school bag or backpack to take home papers, artwork, newsletters, etc.  Please be sure his/her name is on the outside of the bag.  Merri-Loo backpacks are available for purchase.

  • Nursery students need to bring a complete change of clothes in a labeled shoebox on the first day of school.




Merri-Loo has a large lending library of quality books and book/tape sets that your child may check out at no fee.  They are available for them to check out before or after class.  To return any book(s), place them in the “Library Book Return” basket located in the hall.  The teachers will assist with the borrowing procedure and we encourage donations of new or used books.  We require that families pay for any lost books.




Part of the Merri-Loo program is teaching the children the concept of giving to people less fortunate than themselves.  It has been a tradition of the school to help needy families at Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes Easter by providing assistance in the form of food and/or gifts, holiday decorations and Christmas caroling.  We contribute to the Goffstown Network.  Please be aware of these school activities at holiday time and help us by explaining these concepts to your child.




Once a year, Merri-Loo holds a fundraiser called “Family Fun Day”.  This is open to the public and welcomes all to a fun filled day.  Activities include face painting, children’s games, food sales, raffles and the silent auction.  The funds raised from this activity may be used for major purchases of school equipment, building improvements, or in emergencies.  The extra income provided by the fund-raisers is vital to the school’s financial future and allows us to keep tuition low.  Donated cash and merchandise are tax deductible to the extent of the law.


The involvement of ALL families is vital to the success of Family Fun Day (FFD).  Involvement in all of the following is required: planning, preparation, working a shift at the event, baking for the bake sale, etc.  Families who do not participate in Family Fun Day activities will be charged a fee of $75.00, regardless of the reason for not participating.  More information will be provided during the months prior to the event.


Other fundraising events will take place during the year as decided by the Board of Directors. 


Merri-Loo collects Box Tops for Education throughout the school year.  These are redeemed for checks twice a year.

Merri-Loo also participates in the Hannaford shopping for Dollars fundraiser as well as ones offered by Shaws and Stop n Shop.




If you would like to hold a fundraiser (such as a Tupperware party) during the course of the year to help Merri-Loo, please contact a Board member.  The Board must approve ALL fundraisers. Fundraisers are selected based on profitability for the school, as well as diversity of products for the community.







If you have chosen to take advantage of the lower cooperative tuition rate, Merri-Loo requires that you make a commitment to the school by sharing in its daily functions and operation.  This will be your cooperative responsibility for the year.  It is very important that all families take their cooperative responsibility seriously.  We depend upon each other to keep our children’s school running smoothly. 


The following pages contain a brief description of the jobs for which we need volunteers.  Cooperative job choices are made on the Merri-Loo Questionnaire that is enclosed with this handbook.  Positions are filled typically on a first come basis, as determined by the teachers and Board of Directors, and are based on anticipated needs for the school year.  The Board of Directors will notify you of your cooperative job assignment prior to the start of the school year.





(Problems or questions, please call the Vice President)


There is one parent helper per daily class session.  This person is responsible for the set-up and clean up of the classroom.  If there is a lull, the parent helper may assist the teachers with activities.  While this job does not require any teaching experience or special training, it does require a calm, responsible person who is capable of dealing positively with a large group of energetic children.


The teachers depend on the parent helpers to be at school on their assigned days to provide the extra hands, eyes, and love needed for maximum effectiveness.  The teachers reserve the right to make changes when necessary. IF A PARENT HELPER CANNOT WORK ON HIS/HER ASSIGNED DAY, IT IS HIS/HER RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND A REPLACEMENT.  You will be given a list of other Parent Helpers so that you can call someone to switch with you.




The parent helper…

·         Arrives at 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. (depending on the class) and may need to stay 15 minutes after class ends to complete vacuuming and general clean up.

·         Typically works 2 class sessions per month - usually every other week, unless there is a holiday.  The Vice President will determine the schedule.  If a Parent helper cannot work on his/her assigned day, it is his/her responsibility to find a replacement.

·         Will follow a checklist when they are in the classroom, as well as follow any instructions that the teachers may have.

·         Will be given a detailed set of guidelines before the school year begins.  There is also a brief introductory meeting held in the evening for all parent helpers, prior to the start of school.  All parent helpers also receive a list of class parent helpers and ‘in a pinch’ substitutes in order to find a replacement if needed.

·         Will attend all field trips that fall on his/her scheduled day.

·         Is discouraged from bringing along a sibling on his/her scheduled day.  If necessary, in a pinch, they may attend as long as they do not distract the teachers, the other children or you from doing your job.  They must be supervised at all times especially since the classroom setup and materials are not baby/toddler proof.

·         Must make up any missed scheduled days.  If you do not make up the day, you will owe $26.00 extra on the next month’s tuition.



(Problems or questions, please call the Secretary)


There are four cleaning teams.  Each team will clean once a month (or approximately nine times during the school year).  It will typically take 2-3 hours to complete the cleaning checklist.


The cleaners…

·         Must come in on the weekends between Friday 3 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.  In the event of a conflict, please notify the secretary to make other arrangements for cleaning times.

·         If your cleaning weekend falls during a school vacation, you will be asked to do some sort of seasonal cleaning.


·         Will be given a detailed set of guidelines before school begins, and there will be a brief meeting held in the fall.  The cleaners will also receive a list of all other cleaners in order to find a replacement if needed.



(Problems or questions, please call the Secretary)


There are two cleaners for Wednesday night cleaning.  Each will clean two Wednesday’s per month.  It takes approximately 1- ½ hours to perform this job.


The Wednesday night cleaner…

·         Must come in on Wednesday night after 3 PM.

·         Will need to be flexible around the school board meetings held one Wednesday evening per month.

·         The Wednesday cleaning is divided into 2 categories and rotates weekly.


·         Will be given a detailed set of guidelines before school begins, and there will be a brief meeting in the fall.  The cleaners will also receive a list of all other cleaners in order to find a replacement if needed.



(Problems or questions, please call the Teachers)


There is one librarian for the entire school.  This person is responsible for organizing, cataloging and general upkeep of the school library.  The librarian needs to be a well-organized person who is comfortable working both with the Teachers and on his/her own.


The librarian…

·         Cleans and organizes the classroom library weekly, including vacuuming, dusting and wiping shelves.

·         Files returned library books to appropriate baskets weekly or as necessary.

·         Labels and catalogs new library books.

·         Will be given a detailed set of guidelines before school begins, and will meet briefly with the teachers in the fall.


YEARBOOK EDITORS  (1 for the entire school)

(Problems or questions, please call the President)


There is one yearbook editor for the school.  The yearbook editor creates the school yearbook.  Well-organized people with artistic ability and/or computer skills would be great in this position.


The yearbook editor…

·         Will collect and catalog pictures taken of each class.

·         Will determine a theme or concept for the school yearbook and execute it, with help from the teachers and the Board of Directors.

·         Will provide the President with work to date (in the form of yearbook pages) at least every 2 months

·         Is encouraged to attend parties and field trips in order to take pictures for the yearbook.

·         Will receive digital photos in the form of CD’s or memory cards from which they will choose and print pictures for use in creating yearbook pages.


(Problems or questions, please call the Teachers)


There is one scholastic book order person for the entire school.  This person is responsible for collecting, ordering, and distributing scholastic book orders throughout the classes on a monthly basis.  This important program allows the school to earn points towards free educational products and equipment.  An organized and detail-oriented person would be an asset to this position.


The scholastic book order person…

·         Organizes and distributes monthly book order forms.

·         Collects completed book order forms and book order payments.

·         Completes master book order form and calls order into Scholastic, or places orders online.

·         Organizes book orders by class and returns order to school to be distributed the following school day.

·         Will be given a detailed set of guidelines before school begins, and will meet briefly with the teachers in the fall.



(Problems or question, please call the President)


There is one handyperson/painter for the entire school.  The school handyperson/painter will be asked to perform minor repairs, painting, and other odd jobs for the school.  These things can be done evenings or weekends.  A Board member or teacher will inform him/her when something needs to be done.


The school handyperson/painter…

·         Will be responsible for shoveling, sanding, and salting the school steps immediately following snowstorms.  For safety reasons, this must be done before the start of the school day.

·         Will perform occasional painting of furniture and walls.

·         Seasonal maintenance duties will include changing smoke detector batteries, raising/lowering storm windows, etc.

·         Will perform odd jobs as necessary as determined by the teachers or the Board of Directors.



(Problems or questions, please call the Treasurer)


There is one purchasing agent for the entire school.  The purchasing agent shops for the school’s supplies.  A shopping list is kept in the office, and the purchasing agent will be contacted by the Director to facilitate a purchasing schedule.  Merri-Loo will provide a membership to Sam’s Club, if the person does not already have one.


The purchasing agent…

·         Will set a shopping schedule with the teachers at the beginning of the school year.

·         Will put away all supplies that he/she purchases.

·         Will use pre-paid gift card whenever possible.

·         Will give the treasurer all receipts and the treasurer will reimburse agent with a check for the total.

·         A more specific list of duties will be provided.



(Problems or questions, please call the Coordinator)


There is one donation solicitor for the school.  This position is vital to the fiscal well being of the school. Motivation, creativity, and availability are all necessary for this position.


The donation solicitor …

·         Solicits organizations and businesses for donations for silent auction (at Family Fun Day) via letters, phone calls and personal contact.

·         Maintains records and database for all donations.

·         Sends Thank You letters to all who donate.

·         Oversees the actual auction during Family Fun Day & the counting of bids and determines the highest bidders after the auction.

·         Supervises the calls to the highest bidders and distributes all the items to the winners.











Please note that a Board position fulfills your cooperative job requirement and is typically a two-year commitment, but can be a one year commitment.  This is a great way to be truly involved in your child’s preschool environment.  Participation as a board member entitles you to a larger co-op discount.





·         Works with the handyperson/painter and yearbook editor.

·         Oversees all aspects of the running of the school, including Family Fun Day.

·         Organizes all Board and parent meetings and presides over them.





·         Works with the Parent Helpers and creates their schedules.

·         Makes up the class snack schedule for nursery and pre-k.

·         Orders and distributes school T-shirts.

·         In charge of all news/media correspondence, i.e. want ads, Family Fun Day ads, special events and press releases.

·         Presides over Board Meetings in the President’s absence.





·         Works with the purchasing agent.                            

·         Handles all financial matters, including working with the accountant. 

·         Collects proof of auto insurance and driver’s licenses copies for field trip drivers and submits to the state of NH.

·         Accounting experience preferred, but not necessary.





·         Oversees, trains and schedules the cleaners.

·         Records and types minutes at all meetings and distributes and posts them in a timely manner.

·         Organizes and types agendas for board meetings.

·         Arranges and schedules additional cleaning projects as needed.

·         Keeps track of cleaning supplies and orders new supplies when needed.

·         Mixes cleaning solution for use by the cleaners.





·         Handles all aspects of registering students - including school tours, if needed.

·         Handles the updating and copying of the school handbook and tuition payment booklet.

·         Collects and files health forms for the state and ensures they are up to date.

·         Types (and keeps current) all class lists and labels cubbies.

·         Will follow-up by phone on all inquiries concerning registration.

·         Collects mail 2-3 times per week and disperses to Director.





·         Organizes and schedules all fundraisers and solicits donations as needed.

·         Maintains all fundraising records.

·         Responsible for Box Tops for Education program.

·         Organizes all holiday food/toy drives.

·         Assists the teachers with special event preparations and purchases.

·         Responsible for applying for, and monitoring, all grants through SAU 19.     


Merri-Loo Administrator,
Dec 13, 2011, 3:52 PM
Merri-Loo Administrator,
Sep 9, 2012, 9:14 PM