Homework Policy For After School Care

If any children are peering over your shoulder as you read these lines, hide the next sentence from them. 


The evidence that homework aids student achievement is inconclusive (Center for Public Education, 2007). 


Yet, for many students, not completing homework on time, or completing it incorrectly, can leave them at a serious disadvantage as they try to progress successfully through school. It is also important to note that well-designed homework, instead of just “throwing worksheets at students,” is more likely to have merit and can be a positive connection between school and afterschool programs. Combining well-designed homework with other academic enrichment activities in afterschool can provide a well-rounded package of expanded learning opportunities that contribute to school success and positive youth development.


Homework has maintained a role as a traditional component of the education system over many generations, although it has not been totally proven to be effective as a tool for improving students’ learning. A battle waged in recent decades over the value of homework did not come to a definitive conclusion, leaving both proponents and opponents with research they can cite to support either side of the debate.1 It appears that the presence of homework serves more to forestall a decline in performance (Morrison, Storino, Robertson, Weissglass, & Dondero, 2000) rather than to advance achievement; however, making homework completion just one element of a broader, comprehensive afterschool program enhances its value.


Despite the conflicted research base, school policies continue to mandate and teachers continue to assign homework. This reality is where afterschool programs must position themselves, regardless of any personal opinions on homework. The general charge of an afterschool program is to help students succeed in school; and if homework is required by the school, then many afterschool programs see homework support as part of that charge. Going a step further is to encourage staff buy-in and enthusiasm for a program culture that embraces homework time as useful and important, rather than a bore and a chore for all involved. 


This commitment to productive homework time can be bolstered by a program’s recognition that well-designed homework, as part of a broader afterschool initiative, not only can provide benefits to youth but also serve to reinforce some of the desired—and often required—yet hard-to-come-by program goals: (a) homework is a natural link between afterschool and school, (b) homework is a promising bridge between afterschool and families, (c) homework supports principles of youth development that are central to afterschool programs, and (d) homework help can be a hook to engage students in expanded learning and broader opportunities. 


Supporting the School Day and Connecting With Teachers


Homework serves as a natural point of connection between school-day staff and afterschool staff, whose roles are parallel yet often isolated. Many school-day teachers do not ask for help from afterschool, or even do not picture the potential for afterschool programming to aid in school-day goals. The practitioner who takes the first step to building relationships with school-day staff can demonstrate that program practices, such as homework support or tutoring, are working toward the same outcomes the school-day teachers hope to achieve. 


Once this common understanding has been reached, the relationship can be maintained through intentional and sustained communication. A regular schedule of check-ins via phone or e-mail or in person should be established. Tools such as a homework contract or a homework completion tracking document allow both sides to stay up-to-date without adding additional strain on job responsibilities. By using such tools and scheduling regular check-ins, afterschool staff can more readily ask school-day teachers for help with students’ more difficult assignments. In a time when 89% of students stress about homework (Met Life, 2007) this communication builds trust that makes students more confident in the program’s ability to be helpful and meet student needs. 


In rural Missouri, for example, the West Plains R-7 Before and After School Education program utilizes the regular school day homework planner to track student assignments and facilitate information sharing between afterschool staff and teachers. The planner includes space for both groups to sign and record relevant information each day. The program director also takes advantage of the school district’s data system to track student achievement, routinely meeting with teachers when students fall behind. This real-life example illustrates the kind of collaboration and mutual support that many afterschool programs have found to be a critical ingredient in boosting student achievement.


Opening up the avenues of communication between school and afterschool was the focus of a pilot project conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development during the 2010–2011 school year. This project, funded by the Heinz Endowments, was a partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools and five local afterschool program providers. The partnership developed a set of communication strategies based on research that indicates that formal communication between teachers and afterschool providers supports quality homework time in the afterschool setting. 


Linking together on homework can even open the door to more substantive school-afterschool collaborations—one of the hallmarks of quality afterschool programs.


Easing the Pressure off Families


Students are not the only ones whose stress levels rise with homework; in today’s society, with more single parents and more dual-income families, the demands of home life leave little time for parents to offer homework help. Most parents want their children to do homework, and they see the importance of connecting with what their children are doing in school, but dinner time, chores, and leisure activities compete with homework time. An overload of homework also competes with sleep, which suffers as a result for students, not just their overtired parents (Dudley-Maring, 2003). 


By providing a structured and supportive space for homework time, afterschool programs can become an ally of busy parents. This program role again opens up an opportunity for communication, in this case with families. The tools mentioned above, such as the homework contract, can include families as participants, and informal conversations about homework can reassure parents that their children are completing assignments, indicate what is left to be done at home with bigger projects or additional assignments, and provide a sought-after link by proxy from the parent to the school day. Through this link, an afterschool program kindles homework’s role as a cornerstone to facilitating family-to-school communication as it contributes to parents’ understanding of what school expectations are and offers direction for how they can support their children (Perlman & Redding, 2011). 


For example, the East Allen Family Resource Center in New Haven, Indiana, requires all staff to speak with parents who come to pick up their students in the program and share information about their students’ progress with homework. “We really love the parents who choose to pick up their students from the school. It provides such a wonderful opportunity for parents to see what their child is doing, the environment that is provided for them, and have face-to-face time talking with staff,” notes the program director. To reach parents who may not be able to pick up their children in person, staff routinely make phone calls to students’ homes to discuss student achievement. 


In considering homework support as one component of a family involvement plan, an afterschool program is again making strides in the direction of program quality. 


Using Homework Time to Enhance Youth Development


Within the body of evidence that exists about homework, studies have shown that homework does play a role in building skills that equip young people to be more efficient and motivated students and prepare them for 21st century careers. By completing homework, students gain soft skills such as greater self-direction, self-discipline, organization, and more independent problem solving (Protheroe, 2009). 


In four charter high schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, such skills are coupled with homework time in deliberate lessons taught through “mini clinics” by Foundations, Inc.’s Prep Zone Plus afterschool program. Mini clinics are quick (lasting about 20 minutes), relevant, and engaging lessons that address a variety of study skills and life skills, from reading for meaning to budgeting to selecting colleges. For students who complete their homework early or need extra assistance with certain skills, the mini clinics provide a robust but palatable lesson. Students feel that they are getting more for their time and gaining skills that will be useful as they progress toward college, careers, and independent life. 


From its experience of operating homework-based afterschool programs over the past decade, Foundations has learned that a substantive way to improve homework time and other elements of afterschool is to listen to young people in afterschool settings and solicit and use feedback from school-day teachers, administrators, and parents. 


Going Beyond Homework


Quality afterschool programs, even homework-based ones, build out engaging learning opportunities that go beyond homework and offer value-added programming. Often after homework time ends, students attend their choice of enrichment clubs (for example, robotics, chess, art, music, cooking, service learning) to round out their afterschool experience. Research shows that afterschool programs with multifaceted programming are more likely to achieve the greatest academic gains (Pearson, Russell, & Reisner, 2007). 


Starting in 2011 and continuing through 2012, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis has been working to go beyond homework and infuse academics into regular club programming. Through a grant from the Lilly Endowmentand a partnership with the Center for Afterschool and Expanded Learning at Foundations, Inc., Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis has focused on creating a sustainable approach to academically-focused enrichment across seven sites. Staff receive ongoing training on topics such as planning hands-on activities linked to academic standards, project-based learning, STEM, and literacy in out-of-school time. In turn, staff are supported by leadership teams to implement meaningful enrichment activities into a range of existing programming, from art projects to basketball tournaments. 


The enrichment opportunities offered on top of homework support help students see how they can apply what they’re learning to real-life situations, build confidence through the mastery of new talents or completion of significant projects, and understand the connections between what they are doing now and their future possibilities. 


Conclusion and Recommendations


Relationships with the school day, connections to families, youth development practices, and using the attraction of completing homework to engage students in expanded learning and broader opportunities are enhanced with a positive approach to homework.


Below are a number of key recommendations to make homework a positive component of quality afterschool programs: 


  • Set up systems for communication between afterschool instructors and school-day teachers that keep everyone up to date. Do the same with families.
  • Create a physical environment that encourages homework completion—include quiet space with individual desks for assignments that require deep concentration, bigger tables for study groups to gather, couches for catching up on reading, and a resource area with reference materials.

  • Build in opportunities for youth choice. Do some students study better when they can listen to music through headphones? Can students seek help from peers or adults? Can they choose which assignment they want to work on first?

  • Keep homework time active, even when all the assignments are done. Offer short, self-directed activities such as brain teasers, board games, or activity centers that students can enjoy while still reinforcing some academic and 21st century skills . . . not just worksheets.

  • Sometimes the best homework help is just directing students to the right resources they can employ to answer a tricky question. Refrain from giving them the answer; instead, empower them to find it on their own.

  • Be aware of families’ homework preferences. Some families want their students to complete as much homework as possible in the afterschool program; others may want to work with their children on some assignments at home, too.

  • Keep groups fluid, not static. Depending on the students, the assignments, and the day, change grouping arrangements frequently.
  • Expand your own view of homework as a positive element of expanded learning. Remember that you are a role model, and students may adopt your attitude toward homework.


If afterschool programs—and their school partners—use these recommendations, dogs all across the country can experience fewer stomachaches from the proverbial eating of the homework.


Additional Resources 


SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit – Homework
http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/toolkits/about_toolkits.html?tab=homework

Homework Sharing Tool (You for Youth web portal)

http://y4y.ed.gov/Content/Resources/DCID20110713104426.pdf

TASC Resource Brief
https://www.century21me.org/staticme21/academ_achiev/Research%20on%20Hom...

What Research Says About the Value of Homework: Research Review
http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Instruction/What-resea...

Homework Time, Afterschool Style

Homework Time, Afterschool Style. (2009). Mt. Laurel, NJ: Foundations, Inc.


Homework Zone Program Pack
​
Homework Zone Program Pack. (2009). Mt. Laurel, NJ: Foundations, Inc.


Footnotes

  1. See, for example, Ramdass & Zimmerman (2011), Cooper, et. al. (2006), Marzano (2003), for research that supports the use of homework. For research that is critical of homework, see Kohn (2006), Bennett & Kalish (2006), and Kralovec & Buell (2000). ↩

References


Center for Public Education. (2007). Key lessons: What research says about the value of homework. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org

Morrison, G. M., Storino, M. H., Robertson, L. M., & Weissglass, T., & Dondero, A.. (2000). The protective function of after-school programming and parent education and support for students at risk for substance abuse. Evaluation and Program Planning, 23, 365–371. 


MetLife, Inc. (2007). MetLife survey of the American teacher: The homework experience. A survey of students, teachers and parents. New York, NY: Author.


Dudley-Marling, C. (2003). How school troubles come home: The impact of homework on families of struggling learners. Current Issues in Education, 6(4). Retrieved from http://cie.asu.edu/volume6/number4/index.html. 


Perlman, C. L., & Redding, S. (2011). Handbook on effective implementation of School Improvement Grants. Lincoln, IL: Center on Innovation & Improvement. 


Protheroe, N. (2009) Good homework policy = Good teaching. Principal, 89(1), 42–45. 


Pearson, L. M., Russell, C. A., & Reisner, E. R. (2007). Evaluation of OST programs for youth: Patterns of youth retention in OST programs, 2005–06 to 2006–07. Washington, DC: Policy Studies Associates.


Absences

Parents should contact the program if a child will not attend the After School Program on a regularly scheduled day.  Please contact the program coordinator or leave a message with the school office to be relayed to the program coordinator prior to After School hours.  The program coordinator will check with the school office, the child's teacher, and, finally, attempt to call the parent in an effort to locate a child not in regular attendance.  If your child attends clubs or other afternoon activities, please give your program coordinator written notification so the child will not be expected in After School on those days.

Bathroom Accidents Policy

Unlike most kindergarten classrooms, we do not have constant access to the bathroom.  Children are given scheduled group bathroom breaks and individual ones when requested.  All children entering school and the After School Program are assumed to be potty trained (please see second paragraph of the "About Our Program" section of the ASP Homepage).

If your child has a bathroom accident we will call you. You will be expected to pick up your child or arrange for pickup as soon as possible within one hour.

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Behavior Management

Children are expected to comply with all regular school rules and regulations in addition to the Behavior Management Policy. Discipline will be handled by the program coordinator, the program group leaders, and, in some cases, by the school principal or assistant principal.

A parent is required to sign a copy of the Behavior Management Policy for each child at the time of enrollment.  A parent is also required to sign the Behavior Notice at the time a child's behavior is inappropriate. However, a parent's refusal to sign a Behavior Notice does not excuse inappropriate behavior of a child and does not prevent dismissal of the child if behavior warrants dismissal.

The basic policy includes methods such as talking to the child about the problem, removal of the child from the group, use of positive redirection whenever possible, limiting privileges, and/or consulting with parents.  Parents contacted about behavior problems are expected to cooperate with staff in assuring the elimination of inappropriate behavior.  One of the goals of our behavior process is to help children develop self-discipline and give them choices whenever possible.  Corporal punishment, sarcasm and yelling by the staff are not acceptable means of disciplining children in the program.

Limits are set on behavior to provide a safe and caring environment where children can play and learn.  Limits are set for three primary reasons: 1) to prevent children from injuring themselves or others; 2) to prevent the destruction of property, materials, or equipment; 3) to help children learn respect for themselves, other children, and adults.

A child may be immediately dismissed from the program if the child’s behavior is determined to be detrimental to the child or to the well-being of others in the program.  Immediate dismissal of an entire family may occur in the event of inappropriate behavior of parents who are on school property.  Adults are expected to model the desired behavior that is expected of the children.  Profanity, threats, or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.

A child who is dismissed due to behavior issues will no longer be eligible to attend at any time.

Breaks, Winter and Spring

Every effort will be made to offer care at selected sites during Spring and Winter Breaks.  Please check with your program coordinator for locations.  Registration is required. If you register, but your child does not attend, you are financially responsible for the tuition unless you give timely advance notice to the program coordinator at the site your child was to attend by the date specified on the registration form.  Field trips and extra activities are usually planned.  Please check with the program coordinator to see if any activity fees apply or permission forms need to be completed.

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 Checking Identification

After School Program personnel have been instructed to ask for identification from any unfamiliar person who arrives to pick up a child. Usually, this is not required after the first few weeks of school and staff becomes accustomed to family relationships. However, if a child attends a site other than the regular site for winter or spring breaks or a teacher work day, parents/caregivers should be prepared to present identification before a child is released. In addition, anyone who picks up infrequently (even if authorized on the child's application) should be prepared to present identification. 

Child Abuse, Reporting Suspected

After School Program staff will have in-service training on recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse as part of the orientation period.  We are required by law to report suspected child abuse.  If a staff member suspects child abuse, the program coordinator will be notified, the principal and counselor at the school and the appropriate After School Program Specialist will be informed, and a report will be made to the Department of Social Services.

Clubs

UCPS ASP is not responsible for children who attend a school-sponsored club during after school hours until the club sponsor signs the child in with UCPS After School Program.

Conferences

After School Program staff, including administrators, program coordinators, and group leaders, will meet with any parent who has a concern about a child or the operation of the program.  The first Wednesday of each month will be available for parent conferences.  If you feel you need a conference at any other time, please talk with your program coordinator.  If a resolution is not agreed upon, please call After School Program Central Services..

Emergency Drills

Emergency drills (fire drills, tornado drills, bomb threats, etc.) will be held as set forth by State Regulations and Union County Board of Education policies. 

  • Evacuation:    After School Program staff and students will follow evacuation map posted in each room to exit the facility.  Students are to line up quietly and follow the group leader.  Once outside, leaders will call roll to account for all students in attendance.  Everyone is to stay in the “safe area” until notified by the program coordinator to return to the building.
  • Fire Drill:     Each site is required to conduct a monthly, unannounced fire drill.  Each program coordinator will conduct the fire drill and record documentation.
  • Power Failure:   A power failure can be a safety factor especially if it occurs while children are in the restroom or a group is moving in a hallway from one area to another.  The group leader should contact the program coordinator by walkie-talkie to see if the incident is isolated or is campus-wide; keep the students calm until the power is restored.  The group may proceed to a lighted area if the move can be done in a safe, organized manner.

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Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Plan

Parents should be familiar with the ASP Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Plan that is designed to assist licensed child care programs to be adequately prepared to respond to the needs of children and others in the event of disasters and emergencies.

Enrollment

Enrollment is limited to children currently enrolled in UCPS in grades kindergarten through five, ages 5—12.  Enrollment is also limited to the available licensed spaces at each site and is restricted to regular users.  Children must enroll on a full-time basis. A child is enrolled in the program when:

  1. The parents are notified that there is a space available at the requested program site.
  2. A completed application packet and proof of insurance coverage along with the registration fee is returned to the program coordinator.
  3. There is no outstanding balance from a previous enrollment.

All children--Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (ages 5--12)--attending the After School Program must be registered with the program coordinator. Care is not offered for either preschool or middle school students. The program is not designed to accommodate children on a "drop-in" or occasional basis. If all available spaces are filled at a site, a child may have to be placed on a waiting list until space is available. A child will not be permitted to attend the After School Program unless the completed application and proof of insurance has been returned to the program coordinator and the registration fee has been paid.

Field Trips

Field trips may be planned by the program coordinator to offer extra learning and enrichment opportunities and to support weekly themes.  If a field trip is scheduled, all children in attendance must participate; additional staff are not scheduled to remain on site during a field trip. Parents will be notified in advance of any field trips so permission forms can be completed. Parents are responsible for any additional costs related to a field trip (admission charges, lunch, etc.). Activity Fund payments are non-refundable.

High Risk Activities, Participation in

The After School Program does not offer activities that are classified as high risk.  Planned activities are carefully monitored and supervised.  At least two people at each site are required to have playground safety training and CPR/First Aid.  Participation in any activity that could be considered "high risk" (i.e. swimming, etc.) will require prior approval from UCPS Central Services.

Holidays

The After School Program will observe the following holidays:  Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and July 4th (Summer Camp).  For specific dates, please refer to the current school calendar.

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Homework

Opportunity is given for children to work on homework during after school time. However, it is not the responsibility of the After School Program to ensure that a child's homework is completed or correct.

Hours/Days of Operation

The school calendar will be followed in all instances.  There will be no After School Programs on holidays, snow days, or days when school is dismissed due to inclement weather.  In the event of a makeup day on a Saturday, after school care will not be provided. The program will begin on the first day of school and end on the last day of school.  The hours of operation are from the closing of school (which varies at each elementary school) until 6:00 p.m.   The program will operate from 7:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m. on most teacher workdays, intersession (year-round), and summer camps.   On certain holidays, with advance notice to parents, programs may close one hour earlier.

Illness

If a child has symptoms of illness or signs of a communicable disease, he/she will be isolated from the other children while the parents are contacted and asked to pick up the child within an hour of notification.  A parent's failure to pick up a sick child may result in a child's dismissal from the program and a report being submitted to the Department of Social Services.  Any contagious illness may require a doctor’s note for re-admission. Staffs are expected to instruct children on State Regulations for washing hands as posted at each site in an effort to reduce contagious illness.  A child who is absent from school during the school day or who has been picked up due to illness may not attend the After School Program that day.

Insurance

The After School Program does not provide accident insurance.  All students must be covered by a personal policy held by parents or by the optional school insurance offered through Union County Public Schools.  An insurance waiver that is included on the application must be signed and returned to the program coordinator at the time of registration, along with a copy of the insurance card, before a child can attend the After School Program.

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Intersession (Year-Round Schools Only)

Intersessions are the intervals that occur between the nine-week sessions of year-round school.  Full-day care will be provided during the intersession at sites with a minimum enrollment of twenty-five students when enrichment is not offered  When the school offers enrichment week we will provide child care for after school hours only--not full-day care for that week. 

Parents will be able to register students for one or all of the weeks of Intercession. Registration is required. If you register, but your child does not attend, you are financially responsible for the tuition unless you give advance notice by the date specified on the registration form to the program coordinator at the site your child was to attend.

Medical Emergencies

In the event of a medical emergency that cannot be handled by the program coordinator, EMT personnel will be called.  Physician and hospital preference will be taken directly from the application completed at time of enrollment.  Then people will be contacted in the following order:  Parent or Guardian or Emergency Contact Person; After School Central Services.  It is imperative that each parent provide to the program coordinator current contact numbers, physician and hospital preferences, and place of employment.   An Emergency Medical Care Plan Sheet is posted on the Parents’ News Board at each site.

Medication Administration

Should it be necessary for your child to receive medication at the After School Program, the procedure is as follows:

  1. The parent must complete the Medication Administration Consent Form.
  2. Medicine must be brought in the original container.
  3. The child’s name must be on the container.
  4. The parent must provide clear and concise written directions for administration of medication to the program coordinator; directions should not be brought in by the child or given to any other ASP employee.
  5. The After School staff will not administer medication without written authorization.

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Newsletter/Parents' News Board

Each month a newsletter or event calendar is produced to keep families in each program informed about the events occurring in that program.  Parents should check the Parents’ News Board for program updates, snack menus, activity information, weekly lesson plans and themes.

Orientation

Parents are requested to attend an Orientation Meeting that is generally scheduled prior to or during the first week of school at each site and prior to Summer Camp.  This Orientation Meeting covers After School policies and procedures and gives parents an opportunity to ask any questions.  Parents may also request a copy of the After School Program Parent Handbook at that time. Not attending an orientation session does not alleviate a parent's responsibility to follow all established policies and procedures.

Parent Participation

Each After School Program site encourages parent involvement. Parents may meet with staff to discuss their child’s needs and exchange information. Parents are encouraged to participate several ways:

  • Attending orientation meetings and/or parent-staff conferences as needed or requested.
  • Volunteering to help in the program—reading stories, sharing a craft or game, accompanying staff and children on field trips (must have appropriate volunteer approval through UCPS Human Resources).
  • Participating in Career Week.  Discuss your job duties or a career that interests you.
  • Sharing enrichment ideas and outside resource leads.
  • Donating outgrown games, craft items, etc.
  • Participating in our Parent Appreciation programs.
  • Volunteering to help with our special projects such as Secret Santa or seasonal holiday parties.
  • Keeping all personal information current with the program such as home phone numbers and addressk parents' work and cell phone numbers, emergency contact phone numbers, etc.

Volunteers must complete the appropriate forms and must receive an approved criminal records check before volunteering.

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Parent/Guardian Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

After School Program staff cannot release a child to a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The group leader will contact the program coordinator if this occasion arises.  The program coordinator will notify emergency individuals listed on the application form to arrange a safe ride home for the child and parent.  If the parent/guardian does not cooperate and insists on removing a child from the program, the after school staff will call proper authorities.

Parents, Relationship with

Parents are welcome in our program at any time.  Staff will share brief information about a child’s day with family members on a regular basis, if this can be done without interrupting supervision of other children.  Arrangements can be made for lengthier discussion at a mutually agreeable time for parents and staff.  Staff members are to handle problems or issues with parents in a courteous, professional manner.  Parents are encouraged to offer constructive suggestions and ideas.

UCPS ASP is not responsible for and discourages any private agreements between parents and staff members concerning rides home or after-hours child care arrangements.

Ratio and Group Size

Group size does not exceed 24 children.  Staff/child ratio varies based on age group and SACERS rating:    

SACERS

1-4 Star Rating

5 year olds

1:15

1:14

6 year olds and older

1:18

1:18

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Refunds

The program coordinator submits a withdrawal slip to the ASP bookkeeper when a family withdraws from the program. If a credit balance remains after all charges and fees are posted the bookkeeper will submit a refund request to UCPS Finance Department. Checks will be cut and mailed based on the Finance Department's check writing schedule, usually at the end of the month.

Registration

All children—Kindergarten through Fifth Grade (ages 5—12)—attending the After School Program must be registered with the program coordinator.  Care is not offered for either preschool or middle-school students. The program is not designed to accommodate children on a “drop-in” or occasional basis.  At some sites all available spaces are filled and a child may have to be placed on a waiting list until a space is available.  All forms must be completed and returned to the program coordinator and registration fee must be paid before a child will be allowed to attend the After School Program.

Sign In/Out Procedure

Parents must sign out with the date and time for their child each day.  On workdays and Summer Day Camps, parents are required to sign in their child in the morning and sign out in the afternoon.  Children are not to be dropped off; a parent should accompany the child into the building.

A child will be released only to the person(s) (minimum 16 years of age) designated by the parent/guardian on the enrollment form.  Once a child is signed out by a parent/guardian the After School Program is no longer responsible for that child.  According to the State Daycare Consultant, children are not allowed to leave during after school hours from any area (classroom, playground, cafeteria, etc.) where a teacher directly supervises them unless an adult can physically walk that child to another area.  After School teachers have more than one individual child in their care at any given time and must have someone else come and get the child.   Since North Carolina Daycare Rules and Regulations govern After School Program care we must comply with all required rules and regulations. Therefore, parents must come into the gym or other designated area to sign out his/her child in the sign out book, and then walk to the area where the child is located, such as playground, art room, etc.  Walkie-talkie communication for a child to be sent into the sign out area for pickup is no longer accepted by the State. A parent's failure to comply with this State rule will result in the child's dismissal from the program.

Failure to properly sign in or out could result in incorrect fees being charged, and repeated failure to properly sign in and out may result in dismissal.

If a child is to be released to someone not listed on the application, the program coordinator must be notified. Staff will require identification from any unfamiliar person who arrives to pick up a child. A program coordinator may call the parent to verify any written or verbal authorizations to release a child to someone else.

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Snacks/Lunch

A nutritious snack supplied by Child Nutrition is available each afternoon.  A snack menu will be posted on the Parent Board at each site.  If your child has a food allergy please advise the program coordinator of that fact in writing.  If a food substitution is necessary, written documentation from a physician is required. 

On days when full-day care is provided (TWD and breaks), morning and afternoon snacks will be provided; parents are responsible for sending a bag lunch and drink on those days. 

During Summer Camp, morning and afternoon snacks will be provided by the program. Lunches will be provided on selected days during the week--parents will be provided a schedule and menu. Lunch will not be provided during the last week of Summer Camp due to the requirements of Child Nutrition.

If a child arrives after the scheduled snack or lunch times, the parent is responsible for providing snack/lunch for the child.  Since the program is licensed by the Division of Child Development,  if a parent elects to send lunch, each lunch must have the child’s name written on it and should contain two of the five components recommended by DCD (fruit, vegetable, meat or meat alternate, bread, milk).

Staff

There is a program coordinator at each location.  The duties of the program coordinator include managing the site, enrolling new children, purchasing supplies, collecting fees, and preparing bookkeeping information for Central Office.  There is a group leader assigned to each group of children.  The duties of the group leader are planning, supervising, and interacting with the group.

Each employee must pass a criminal records check before employment.  At least two staff members are certified in First Aid and CPR at each site. All staff members are required to get annual training in child care education classes, and must meet and maintain North Carolina state licensing requirements. Staff members will attend regularly scheduled staff meetings to review policies and procedures and to make lesson plans.

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Staff Meetings, Weekly and Monthly

Each site will conduct weekly and monthly site meetings.  Meetings may include items such as policies and procedures, state regulations, school age issues, staff concerns, program improvement and recommendations.  Staff will be given opportunity to share and offer input on program issues.  Meeting agenda and sign-in sheet for those attending will be submitted to ASP Central Office for verification.

Summer Day Camp

Registration is held in late February/early March for Summer Day Camps held at various sites from June through August. Lunch will be provided on selected days; parents will be provided a schedule and menu. Two snacks will be provided each day. Lunch will not be provided during the last week of Summer Camp due to the requirements of Child Nutrition. Summer Camps will be closed one week before the beginning of school so that maintenance work can be done in the buildings prior to the new school year.

Teacher Workdays

The program will operate on teacher workdays (TWD) between the first day of school and the last day of school when there is sufficient interest. (Exception: those TWDs during Winter Break.) A non-refundable TWD Fee of $10.00 per child will be charged to a parent's account to cover the additional seven hours of care and additional snack provided on a TWD. An effort will be made to place children at an alternate site if there is not sufficient interest at their regular site.

Registration is required to attend a TWD so adequate staffing can be arranged based on the number of children who plan to attend. If a child is not registered by the deadline, the parent will incur an additional Late Registration Fee of $10.00 per child.

Children must bring a bag lunch; morning and afternoon snacks will be provided.

Parents are asked to register by the enrollment deadline for a teacher workday to avoid the Late Registration Fee.

**NOTE: Care is not available on those teacher workdays prior to the first day of school or after the last day of school.

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Toxic Materials

All toxic materials will be secured from children as mandated by State Regulations.  Staff will check all space used by the After School Program to ensure that no toxic materials are present; if found, the program coordinator will be informed. Maintenance of facilities is handled by school custodians, so school personnel will be notified for material removal.

Transporting Children

In the event that children must be transported while in care of the After School Program, only certified drivers will operate approved school buses or activity buses.  Children will follow all Union County School System bus safety rules.  Approved staff-child ratio will be maintained.  A first-aid kit and emergency information for each child will be available.  Staff will have attendance sheets which will be checked at departure, during the trip, and when children board the bus for the return trip.

Tuition Prepayment, End of Year

End of year prepayment of tuition is requested so that the books for the regular school year may be closed out in order to open books for the Summer Camp. Please review the Parent Fee Schedule for the last month of school for the amount that is requested as prepayment.

Vacation Week--Summer Camp

A child enrolled in the After School Program for the entire school year (with tuition being charged from the first day of school through thte last day of school without a lapse) is entitled to one week's tuition credit if the same child enrolls in Summer Camp and starts on the first day of camp. The vacation must be taken in weekly increments (Monday through Friday), and the child must not be in attendance.

Requests for vacation credit should be made to the program coordinator two weeks prior to the vacation week to ensure that correct tuition is charged for the vacation week.

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Volunteering in After School

A parent who wishes to volunteer in the After School Program must receive an approved criminal records check prior to volunteering.

Waiting List

Each site is licensed by the state; thus enrollment is limited to licensing approval notice.  A child will be placed on our waiting list for the current school year IF the parent resides in Union County AND the child attends UCPS or is a rising kindergartner.  Enrollment in After School is contingent upon verification of enrollment in UCPS. Parents will be notified when a vacancy is available in the child's age group.  To keep a child’s name on the waiting list, the parent will need to notify the Program Coordinator each school year to add the name if there is still interest.

Weather/Emergency Closings

The decision to close schools, calendar changes/make up or to delay opening will be made by UCPS personnel no later than 5:30 a.m. and will be communicated to local radio and television stations. If possible, the decision will be made the evening before the closing or delay.  If no announcement is made on area radio or television stations, parents may assume that schools will operate on a normal schedule and the After School Program will operate on normal schedule. Parents may also check the ucPS website at www.ucps.k12.nc.us for up-to-date scheduling decisions.

Weather conditions sometimes worsen during the day after children have arrived at school.  If early dismissal is necessary, local radio and television stations will make the announcements.  If school is closed or dismissed early because of weather conditions, the After School Program will not operate that day.  If the school calendar changes, rates or credits will be adjusted to reflect changes.

  1. If school is dismissed during the school day, the After School Program will not operate.  (See exception, #4 below.)  Your child’s classroom teacher must be provided with the name and phone number of the person to contact.
  2. If school is closed due to inclement weather, the After School Program will be closed.  Fees will be prorated for any days missed due to inclement weather.
  3. If the weather becomes hazardous after 2:00 p.m., parents are encouraged to pick up children within one hour of notification.
  4. When school closes early due to extremely hot weather, after school care will be provided from the time school closes until 6:00 p.m., unless conditions are deemed unbearable. In that event, parents/guardians will be called to pick up children within one hour of notification.

Withdrawal from the Program

As a courtesy, the program coordinator should be notified ten school days in advance of the date a child is to be withdrawn. Failure to do so may result in additional tuition being charged.  A child may withdraw and re-enroll only one time per school year (including Summer Camp) without incurring another registration fee. Re-enrollment cannot be within 14 days of withdrawal date. Breaks, intersessions, and the week that tuition is not charged in December does not count as part of the 14 days.  A child who withdraws and returns is not eligible for vacation credit during Summer Camp.

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Year-End Tax Statements/Reimbursement Requests

As a courtesy to our parents, year-end tax statements will be produced by January 31 for all families with accounts in good standing. The statement will be in the name of the person who enrolls the child/ren. Statements for active families will be sent to the current site. Statements for inactive families will be available at the site that the child attended unless the family has a past due balance. If there is a past due balance on the account, the year-end tax statement may be picked up from ASP Central Services after payment of the past due balance. A year-end tax statement may be mailed if a parent provides a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Requests for duplicate tax statements will require a notice of two business days and a fee of $5.00.

Families needing childcare reimbursement statements should call the appropriate program coordinator; a one-week notice is required to fulfill these requests.

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