PSACC Handbook

                 

PSACC FAMILY HANDBOOK 2017-2018

WELCOME TO PARK SLOPE AFTERSCHOOL CENTER CORP (PSACC)!

Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. (PSACC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by PS 107 parents for the specific purpose of providing an affordable quality, out-of-school-time childcare program for PS 107 students. The program actively engages children, encouraging their cognitive, social, emotional, artistic and physical development in a safe and collaborative environment.

About PSACC:

The rich and nurturing afterschool childcare program is directed by PS 107 volunteer parents who make up the Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. (PSACC) Board of Directors. It is led by dedicated PS 107 teachers and PSACC staff and provides quiet time for homework, recreation, and a wide selection of classes in the arts, sports, languages and more. The program actively engages children, encouraging their cognitive, social, emotional, artistic and physical development in a safe and collaborative environment.

The Afterschool Center is located at PS 107 and operates every full day of the school year from the first day of school, September 7, 2017 to the last full day of school, June 26, 2018, excepting half-days, parent-teacher conference sessions, DOE school closures due to weather and other unforeseen events, and planned school event days in which they require full usage of classrooms.

Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. (PSACC) is a separate entity from the PS 107 PTA and families are welcome to volunteer in both organizations. PSACC is grateful for the continued support of the PS 107 Principal, Ms. Eve Litwack, and the entire school administration.

How the Program Works

Afterschool operates from school dismissal until 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday following every full day of school, except on event days noted above. Children are placed in groups by grade. At school dismissal time, your child’s classroom teacher escorts your child to the Afterschool program. Students are escorted to a classroom, where an Afterschool staff member is waiting with snacks. Once in their homeroom, students have a snack and grades first to fifth complete their homework during Homework Help. After snack, all children either take one of the many classes available for which they have enrolled or they have free play. By 5:50 pm, all will gather in a first floor classroom for pick-up.  Prices are based on the cost of Afterschool from 2:40-6:00 pm and include snack, homework help, free-play, and specialty classes.  There are no discounts or reduced prices for partial or non-attendance on days for which they are registered.

Snack

The Afterschool session begins with a nutritious snack provided by PSACC. Most of our snacks are nut-free; however, we recommend that parents with special concerns pack an afternoon snack from home for their child. Parents are welcome to pack additional snacks to suit the individual needs of their children.

Homework Help

Quiet time is provided for children who have assigned homework. A PSACC teacher supervises the homework period, ensuring that children concentrate on and complete their work independently. In addition, for grades second through fifth, a second teacher is available to assist during the homework period. This is not a one-on-one tutorial. The Afterschool teachers will check homework for completeness only, and not necessarily for correct answers. If you have a concern about your child’s homework, please speak to your child’s classroom teacher.

Children in grades first and second who have not finished by the time their group is ready for free play at approximately 4:00 pm are not required to complete their homework during Homework Help. If they wish to complete it during Afterschool, they may be re-located to a different Afterschool homeroom. Children in grades third through fifth are given the opportunity to work on their homework until 5:00 pm, although free play is available as of 4:00 pm. Parents are encouraged to review all homework assignments at home.

Classes & Activities

We offer a variety of classes and activities for all ages and interest levels including sports, languages, science, technology, music, and the arts. These are offered in two cycles: Fall (Sept-Dec) and Winter-Spring (Jan-June). You may register through our online system at http://www.psafterschool.org/myaccount/ and see course descriptions at http://www.psafterschool.org/2017-2018-specialty-class-catalog-and-schedule/.

Although classes are offered in two cycles, children are encouraged to enroll in a class for the full year. All children will be given the opportunity to choose to renew their class enrollments or request a new placement for the term starting in January.  Priority for placement in the Winter-Spring term is given to children who are continuing from the Fall term.  New placement requests will be considered for any seats that have become available.

Before children can be enrolled in specialty classes, they must have a completed registration record through the online system found at http://www.psafterschool.org/myaccount. Families must also register their child(ren) in their correct grade level and have paid the $110 yearly registration fee per child. Please note that registering for a grade does not guarantee placement in a particular specialty class, but must be completed prior to families being able register for classes they were chosen for in the lottery. Families with outstanding balances will be unable to enroll children in Afterschool specialty classes.

After children have left the premises at dismissal time, they may not return to school that day (for example, to attend a class or visit a friend in Afterschool) for the Afterschool program. This is for your child’s safety and the overall success of the program. These measures are designed to ensure that staff members are aware of the location of every child in the Afterschool program at all times.

We ask that children enrolled in a class not be picked up until the end of the class. Please do not enroll your child in a class that they can’t attend regularly and for the full time period, and be sure people authorized to pick up your child are aware of class meeting times. To assure the success of each class, PSACC reserves the right to remove a child from a class if he or she is routinely picked up early.

Free Play

Free play is vital in helping children to learn and share, play collaboratively, problem solve, and gain self-advocacy skills. Child-driven play also allows children to go at their own pace and to discover interests of their own. During free play, children will enjoy indoor and outdoor activities (weather permitting). Kindergarteners will be in the Little Yard on 13th Street. Kindergarten indoor play will take place in their homerooms, and will include games, free-building with Lego bricks, drawing, storytelling, or mini-art workshop.

Grades first through fifth gather in the Big Yard on 14th Street. Activities include physical exercise and age-appropriate games. For Grades first through fifth, the Game Room features a variety of board games, puzzles, free-building with Lego bricks and other activities. In addition, a quiet room where the Knitting Club meets is available for reading and drawing.

Pick-up & Dismissal

You must enter the school to pick up your child. Although you may see your child in the schoolyard, it is mandatory that you enter the school building and sign your child out of the program for the day. All dismissals and pick-ups must be from inside the school, regardless of whether a class has met off-site.

Children who are picked up before 5:45 should be signed out by their parents/caregivers in the “Sign Out Log Book” in the school office. Students picked up after 5:45 will go to dismissal rooms that are assigned to their grade level, and parents will go directly to waiting rooms to wait for these children to be dismissed by their teachers. Children not picked up by 6:05pm will be waiting in the main office and parents/caregivers will be called by a staff member.

  • Kindergarten & Grade 1 convene in Room 107; parents wait in Room 105
  • Grades 2 & 3 convene in Room 102; parents wait in the north hallway
  • Grades 4 & 5 convene in Room 108; parents wait in Room 106

When parents or caregivers enter these waiting areas, staff will be on hand in each room to assist them in signing their child out of Afterschool for the day. At the end of the day, parents may not wait in the vestibule of the school, and children will not be paged via walkie talkies.

One important safety feature of this procedure is that parents or caregivers must come into the school to sign their child(ren) out from Afterschool. No child will be released without being signed out of by an authorized parent or caregiver (with the exception of those 5th graders who have been explicitly authorized to walk home alone). You can add people authorized to pickup your child via the online Family Portal.  In addition, the school safety agent is required to maintain visibility of the front door and to ensure safe conditions for people entering and exiting the school building.

If children are indoors, they need time to pack up, put up their chairs, throw out their snack garbage, and then descend to the entrance desk. If children are outdoors, the staff needs time to locate them, and the children need time to gather their things and reach the entrance desk. We ask that you please be patient when picking up your child up from Afterschool before 5:45pm.

5th Grade Dismissal Option

PSACC has a special dismissal policy for fifth grade students. By signing and submitting the fifth grade self-dismissal waiver, parents and caregivers may authorize fifth graders to self-dismiss.  Please note that if there is a question regarding self-dismissal, PSACC will contact you to obtain or confirm your approval.

Enrollment

Registration and payment is required to attend the program. General registration for Afterschool begins on July 3, 2017 and specialty class enrollment begins on July 24, 2017.  Families will have between July 24th and July 31st to submit their specialty class request form. Families will be notified via e-mail of class placements on August 14th. The deadline for registration, specialty class requests, and payment submission is August 1, 2017.

To register for Afterschool, all outstanding balances must be paid, the non-refundable $110 yearly registration fee must be paid for each child attending, and all children must be registered via the Family Portal online for their grade attendance classes. Families with outstanding balances will not be considered for placement in our specialty class lottery.

Please note that fees are charged for the child’s attendance in the Afterschool program overall. The specialty classes are included in the cost of attending the program (with the exception of the additional materials and equipment fees for fencing and karate, which are purchased directly from the individual vendors).

At the time of registration, you must choose to enroll your child on a Monthly basis or on a Daily basis. Please see the fee schedule below for more information.

Program Fees

  • Registration Fee:  $110 per child. This is an annual non-refundable registration fee.  This fee covers your child for the entire school year or any portion thereof (no pro-rating).
  • Monthly Enrollment: The rate for a monthly child (unlimited use) is a flat rate of $345 per month ($3,450 per year) for each of the 10 months of school (Sept-June). There is a 15% discount for the first sibling, and a 30% discount for the second sibling. Payment for all ten months of school is expected, and each monthly payment is due on the last day of the month. We are billing one month in advance of usage. (Assuming full-time use, this plan works out to approximately $5.22 per hour for a single child and $8.50 per hour for two children.)
  • Daily Enrollment (One-Day or Two-Day per week enrollment):  The rate for a child attending one day per week will be $105 per child per month; the rate for a child attending two days per week will be $210.00 per child per month. There is a 15% discount for the first sibling, and a 30% discount for the second sibling.  (Assuming the child stays the full day, this plan works out to $9.10 per hour for a single child.  Beyond two days per week, it is more economical to pay the Monthly Rate.)
  • Late Payment Fee:  A $15 late payment fee will be applied to any account with a past due balance over 30 days. Payment is due on the last day of each month, one month in advance of usage. Payment for drop-in use is due upon receipt of the invoice and must be received within 2 weeks to avoid a late payment fee. The consequences of chronically late payments may include dismissal from classes and activities.
  • Drop-in Use:  Drop-in use will be billed at $30 per day.  Registered children are welcome to utilize drop-in days on an as-needed basis, however, due to limited class space and the need for consistency within classes, drop-in attendees are not able to attend specialty classes on drop-in days.  In order to utilize a drop-in day, please e-mail director@psafterschool.org to notify the Afterschool director of attendance, as well as your child’s day teacher so they are aware they should be transitioned to Afterschool.
  • NSF Check Fee:  A $20 returned check fee will be applied for any check returned unpaid (stopped or due to insufficient funds).
  • Late Pickup Fee:  A late pick-up fee of $3.00 per minute for every minute after 6:00 pm will be charged.

Dropping a Class/ Changing Enrollment Type

If your child is registered for a class and you are on a One-Day or Two-Day enrollment, you will be expected to pay for the session regardless of attendance.  For this reason, if your child is dropping a class, it is essential that you notify us by emailing at: billing@psafterschool.org and copying director@psafterschool.org.  Families are able to change enrollment type once per session (Fall/ Spring) and any change to enrollment type must be made in writing only to: billing@psafterschool.org, copying director@psafterschool.org.  All changes in enrollment type must be made at least thirty days prior notice to the change.

Late Pick-ups 

Please be on time! As noted above, families will be billed $3.00 per minute for every minute after 6:00 pm. To avoid late fees, parents should make prior arrangements to have an authorized friend or backup person pick their child up if they know they might be late. Chronic or excessive late pick-up is inconsiderate to the Afterschool program staff and may result in your child’s dismissal from the program. 

Billing and Payments  

Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. relies on fees being made on time.  Each family is required to pay in full their $110 yearly non-refundable fee per child.

When you register for the program, you must choose your enrollment type; this will identify how you are billed.  Billing choices are by monthly installment, paid at once (at the beginning of each session), or scholarship.

We are pleased to offer a monthly payment plan to all families.  You may have your monthly payments automatically withdrawn from a credit card (Mastercard and Visa only) saved in your Family Portal account.  Alternatively, you may choose to be invoiced monthly via email, which enables you to pay by check or enter a credit card (Mastercard or Visa) at that time.

If you are paying by check please make checks out to: Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. and mail them to: 358 7th Avenue, PMB 106, Brooklyn, NY 11215 or you may drop off the check in the Afterschool mailbox in the main office at PS 107.  Checks can only be dropped off whenever the school office is open.  Please make sure your child’s name is written in the memo section.  We do not accept cash.

Request to change Enrollment type must be made in writing no less than 30 days prior to that change.  If there is an overpayment on your account from a change in enrollment, we will give you a credit on your Afterschool account. We do not offer a refund on your credit card.  

The Park Slope Afterschool Center Corp. Tax ID # is 45-3137193.

Scholarships

Each year, PSACC offers financial assistance to attend the Afterschool Program in the form of partial or full scholarships. Information on scholarships, application process and link to the application form is available on our website at www.psafterschool.org/scholarship or by going to “About” and then “Scholarship” from the PSACC website home page.

Applicants must complete the PSACC Scholarship Application and provide documentation of financial need. One guideline used to determine scholarship eligibility is household income levels that qualify for free or reduced lunch, which are published each year by the Federal Government. Please contact PSACC at director@psafterschool.org with any questions about the application process.

Application approval is at the sole discretion of the PSACC Scholarship Committee. A child whose parents have applied for a scholarship may attend at no cost until the review process has been completed.

Scholarship applications must be submitted annually.  They do not automatically continue from year to year.

Important Dates

The Afterschool Program follows the school calendar, available in the PS 107 Parent Handbook and online at http://schools.nyc.gov/Calendar/default.htm.

Please see the full schedule of PSACC events at http://psafterschool.org/events.

Behavior Policy

The PSACC Afterschool Program seeks to uphold the Community Standards established as the code of conduct at PS 107. The Afterschool Program staff is responsible for providing a positive experience for children; however, if a child cannot live within the PS 107 Community Standards, or if a child’s behavior adversely affects the experiences of other children, a child may be dismissed from the Afterschool Program. Parents are expected to discuss the policies of the Afterschool Program with their child, and ensure their child understands that a consequence of his or her unacceptable behavior could be dismissal from the Afterschool Program.

All members of the Afterschool community are expected to conduct themselves in a calm and respectful manner at all times. Family members, Afterschool staff, teachers, and instructors who face an issue that cannot be resolved in an initial conversation should contact the Afterschool Board for a resolution.  Please refer to the complete PSACC Behavior Policy.

Community Service Program

Middle and High School students who are PS 107 graduates may apply for a volunteer position in the Community Service Program. Graduates will be assigned regularly scheduled jobs assisting Afterschool teachers and staff. They will learn through experience about the responsibilities and benefits of public service in a safe and fun atmosphere. Community Service jobs may include reading to younger children, helping with homework, playing board games or sports, and assisting in classes. Further information on the volunteer program is in the Community Service Handbook.

Parents/guardians of all prospective Community Service volunteers must complete the PSACC Community Service Application before admittance into the program. The application includes a section where children can specify their areas of interest. For more information, please contact the Executive Director, Sandy Phillips, at director@psafterschool.org.

Community Service applicants will not be permitted to participate in the Community Service Program until their parents/guardians have been notified of their acceptance in the program and informed of their assignments in the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to volunteer – what should I do? We have many opportunities for parent volunteers. Let us know of your strengths and interests, and we will match them with the program’s needs. Please contact Sandy Phillips, Afterschool Director, at director@psafterschool.org.

When does it make sense to enroll on a monthly basis? If a child will attend Afterschool 12 or more days each month, then enrollment on a monthly basis is cost effective.

How do I alert PSACC to a change in the time or the authorized pick-up person for my child? How do I get a message relayed to my child during Afterschool? Please contact the Executive Director, Sandy Phillips, by calling or sending a text message to (347) 786-0483.  You may also email her at director@psafterschool.org, however, if the matter is time-sensitive, please call or text rather than emailing.

Who can answer my question about the program or billing? Please contact Bookkeeper Deborah Nocella at billing@psafterschool.org or speak with the Executive Director by calling (347) 786-0483.  A note may also be placed in the Afterschool drop-box in the school office. In addition, Afterschool will communicate regularly through the weekly PS 107 PTA Konstella digital newsletter; you can request to receive this at www.ps107.org.

How can I make a suggestion for the program, or recommendation for a class? PSACC welcomes your ideas! Please send your suggestion or recommendation to director@psafterschool.org, and your message will be routed to the appropriate PSACC contact. A note may also be placed in the Afterschool drop-box in the school office.

Is Afterschool open when school is closed for half-days, inclement weather or other emergencies?  Unfortunately, our staff is not available on these days, so the program is closed.

Is Afterschool in session during school vacations? PSACC does not offer mini-camps during the Winter, Mid-Winter or Spring recesses.

Will I be notified if my child’s class is cancelled?   If we receive enough notice from an instructor, we will be able to notify parents, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. All outdoor classes are subject to weather conditions so please assume that in bad weather outdoor classes will be cancelled. If a class is cancelled, the daily rate still applies and no refund will be given if a child attends the Afterschool program on the day a class is cancelled.

When can I visit my child’s class?   Families and friends are invited to the open class sessions in December at the end of the Fall cycle, and to the open classes in May, and showcases held in June at the end of the Spring cycle. We hope you can make it! Everyone enjoys this celebration of the children’s hard work and creativity. We ask that parents do not come to class otherwise, as it can be disruptive.

Can my child bring a cell phone or electronic game to Afterschool?  Consistent with school rules, children are not allowed to use electronic games or cell phones during Afterschool.