The Extended School Program of the Alcoa City Schools was initiated by the Alcoa City Board of Education in recognition of the fact that, in today’s economic environment with many families finding that both parents need to work in order to meet the costs associated with raising a family, those families served by Alcoa City Schools require a support system. This system must allow for adequate care and supervision of children beyond the hours which have traditionally been set aside for public education. The school building and grounds, having been uniquely designed for children and being available after scheduled school hours, provide a suitable and safe environment, in addition, offer an environment where enrichment activities and homework supervision can be provided to enhance the development and growth of children.
The purpose of the Extended School Program is to provide an environment in which children can be safe and educationally stimulated during the hours when there is no adult supervision in their home. By using available school facilities and the support system of trained school personnel who can assist in planning, we provide a program that benefits emotionally, socially, physically, and educationally.
This is a program designed with the families of working parents in mind. It is not baby-sitting, however, any parents, working or non-working, may enroll their children in the Extended School Program.
The Extended School Program exists to serve you and your children. Strengthening your ability to function as a family unit is a major priority of the program. The Extended School Staff wants to model and reinforce good child rearing practices and to help with the demands put upon you in your role as a parent, thereby reducing your family stress. The Extended School staff wants to participate with you in the joy of seeing your child mature and empathize with you when you have concerns. Our staff understands what a challenge each child is! No amount of training or experience ever completely prepares any one for parenting responsibilities. Each child is unique, and each day with children offers new surprises. By working together, we hope to strengthen and support one another. The staff needs your trust, encouragement, and support as much as you need our service. Your ideas and suggestions for improvement are always welcome. Thank you for the opportunity of working with you for the betterment of the children.
The program is planned and conducted by staff who are trained to meet the developmental needs of children and who will provide positive adult models. The staff has the responsibility to provide an educationally rich environment that offers a variety of opportunities for a child to learn. The staff must also provide a safe, supportive, nurturing environment where a child can feel secure, loved, and at ease with adults and peers. The program is designed to supplement and support the child’s experiences at home and at school by offering a well-balanced program planned with the input of the children, child’s parents, the child’s teachers, and professionals in the school-age child care field. Supervised homework sessions will be provided at the request of students, parents, or teachers.
The primary activity will be “play”, meaning that, within reason, students will be given optimum opportunity to make choices and to pursue their own activities and ideas at their own pace. Through “play”, each child will be exposed to and will be able to explore new areas of interest. They will develop creativity, will learn problem-solving skills, will grow in independence, will make plans and implement them, and will grow in skills by learning to cooperate with and to provide support to others. Every effort will be made to have each child feel accepted and, in turn, to accept others. Through active, outdoor motor skills and play, children will have the opportunity to relieve stress, develop coordination, and improve the neurological functions that impact perceptual skills.
Recognizing that each child is unique, and each child and each child’s family may have special aspirations for the individual participant’s time in the program, the staff will seek student and parent input into total program planning as well as make themselves available for conferences with students and parents, upon request.
Enrollment is open to students enrolled in Alcoa City Schools, but must be limited based on the availability of resources needed to maintain program quality. Students will be accepted in order of registration on a space available basis, ALL CHILDREN MUST BE POTTY TRAINED. Temporary enrollment is available to assist families at times of parental illness, unexpected family emergencies, or hospitalization of a parent. To register and enroll a child, contact the program Director.
An annual non-refundable registration fee of $30.00 per student is required and is payable upon the child’s registration. This fee reserves your child’s space in the Extended School Program for the school year.
Parents are required to provide proof of private insurance or to purchase insurance through the school. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT MEDICAL CARE BE READILY ACCESSIBLE TO EACH CHILD SHOULD AN INJURY OCCUR WHILE IN THE PROGRAM.
Parents have a responsibility to keep all necessary contact information current so that Extended Program staff will be able to locate a parent or responsible party immediately in the event of an emergency.
PAYMENT OF FEES
Regular weekly fees, based on a weekly or daily rate, are due and payable each week. Payments for occasional daily use are due on the day service is provided.
The preferred method of payment is by check. Checks should be made payable to “City of Alcoa”, If cash is given, a receipt will be completed and given to customer at that time. Upon request, a statement at the end of the year will be provided as documentation for your income tax return if needed.
Payment should be mailed, placed in payment boxes or handed to the staff member who is on duty at the desk. Staff members who are working directly with children are expected to give full attention to the children in their care and should not have to deal with administrative matters.
In cases of joint custody where parents share child care responsibilities and payment, there will be one account for the child. Parents need to decide which weeks they are responsible for and which weeks they paid for. One statement will be issued to each parent for income tax purposes with ALL payments. Parents should keep up with the amount they individually paid by check number or receipt numbers.
LATE PAYMENT FEE
All fees are due the week of service provided. If you fail to pay by Friday, a $10.00 late payment fee may be charged. Please keep all fees current. This will assure your child a space and will help keep rates reasonable. If your account gets 2 weeks past due you will be asked to find other arrangements and your child will not be allowed to return. Unfortunately any past due balance that is not collected within a reasonable time period will be turned over to a collection agency and the party will be responsible for all collection costs and/or attorney fees.
LATE PICK-UP FEES
There will be a late pick-up fee of $5.00 per minute! We close PROMPTLY at 6:00 p.m., if you are unable to meet this time on any given day you need to notify someone else to pick up your child.
It is the parent’s/guardian’s obligation to notify the director of the after-school program if an unexpected delay should result in the child remaining at the program after 6:00 p.m. closing time. If no contact has been made and the site director is unable to reach any individual authorized to pick up the child by 6:45 p.m. the Blount County Sheriff’s Department and /or the Department of Children’s Services will be notified.
Repeated pick-ups after the 6:00 p.m. closing time (3 or more times) will be grounds for dismissal of the child from the program.
CREDIT FOR ABSENCE
The Extended School Program cannot deduct single days missed from your fee. Your fee pays for direct operating costs; i.e., Extended School staff, snacks, craft and program supplies. All of these things must be available for the number of children we have in the program. When you enroll, you are reserving the time, space, staff, and provisions for your child whether he or she attends or not.
Please notify the Director prior to a vacation absence. Should you have an unusual circumstance regarding payments or absences, please discuss this with the Director as soon as possible.
At the beginning of each school year all parents of enrolled children will be asked to complete a contract which states their responsibilities of weekly fee payments. If you need to change this contract, please talk with the director. (i.e. A late pick-up changing to an early pick-up.) You will be held to this contract, paying the weekly fee regardless if your child attends one day or 5 days that week. You may only change your contract twice per school year.
You will also be responsible for your summer contract even if your child stops attending no matter the reason.
FULL DAY SIGN-UPS
When school is closed due to a holiday or in-service, Extended School will remain open if 20 or more students need our services. You must sign your child up in advance in order to avoid a drop in rate of $35.00 for the full day. The charge for full day service is $30.00 a day.
DROPPING OFF AND PICKING UP & RELEASING CHILDREN
The parent must personally check children in (in the morning) or out (in the afternoon). This is done at the desk in the designated area on a sign-in/sign-out sheet provided. CHILDREN WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO WAIT FOR PARENTS OUTSIDE THE BUILDING OR TO MEET PARENTS AT ANY OTHER LOCATION. Children WILL NOT be released to any person other than the parents or those persons authorized on the enrollment form. Please ask individuals not known to our staff to be prepared to provide identification. Our goal is the safety and protection of your child. Notify the director IN WRITING if a person other than those already authorized will be picking up your child.
Children will not be released to anyone whose behavior may place the child in imminent risk. If the person picking up the child is not the parent, the parent will be notified immediately and the child will not be released. If it is the parent who is picking up the child that is displaying risky behavior, 911 will be called immediately prior to the release of the child to the parent.
CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS
In order to deny any parent access to a child, the program must have on file a copy of the court order that denies parental access. It is the custodial parent’s responsibility to provide the document to the staff.
It is strongly recommended that non-custodial parents who are allowed access be listed on the enrollment form under “Authorization to Pick-Up.” The custodial parent may not prohibit or restrict the noncustodial parent access to the child while in care of the program if the noncustodial parent provides the program with a valid court order granting the noncustodial parent access to the child during program operating hours; provided, however, that such access is not otherwise prohibited by an Order of Protection or other legal document.
The program may place reasonable restrictions on access by any parent as needed to limit disruption of the child’s routine, e.g. limiting the number of days each week the parent may visit, the duration of the visit, etc.
In the Extended School Program, the goal of discipline is to guide the child in finding acceptable means of self-expression by setting limits, defining rules, and being consistent. Demands are simple. Children must not hurt other children or engage in acts that will put their own safety in jeopardy. Children must take care of supplies and equipment and share responsibility for proper use of the space provided them. Children must listen to the adults supervising them and respond appropriately.
When a child has problems expressing his wishes or feelings appropriately, then the staff is ready to offer alternative suggestions that will help the child achieve desired results. If persistent difficulties or major problems occur, parents will be contacted and asked to work together with the child and staff. Children in the program must have good self-discipline so that the program can be fun –fun for everyone!
We also ask that you do not ask Staff to enforce any type of punishment, which you have given your child for something which has not happened at “Extended School”. Your child will need to function with other children in the group.
Each time the child has difficulty participating in the program, and parents are contacted, will result in a strike against that child. After three (3) strikes the child will be asked to leave the program for one week. Upon returning, if the child receives an additional strike he/she will be asked to find other daycare arrangements. If a child deliberately causes physical harm to another child or staff member, the student may be asked to leave the program immediately.
The director will be the only person to give a child a strike. Although the staff do have guidelines to follow when giving a strike, the director will consider each case individually based on the circumstances of each discipline situation.
When a child has problems expressing his wishes or feelings appropriately, the staff is ready to offer alternative suggestions that will help the child achieve desired results. If persistent difficulties or major problems occur, parents will be contacted and asked to work together with the child and the staff. Children in the program must have good self-discipline so that the program can be fun –fun for everyone! The following are some examples (though not limited to) a child would receive a strike.
Attempting to/deliberately causing physical harm to a child or staff member.
Destruction of property by deliberately abusing equipment or facilities.
Attempting to leave school grounds or designated areas without permission.
Taunting or teasing others…cruelty will not be tolerated!
Foul and/or obscene language or gestures.
Inability to follow rules to the point it disrupts the operation of our program.
Playing in the bathroom.
The program cannot care for sick children. Please do not send your children to the program if they are ill. The staff is concerned for the health and welfare of each child; therefore, we require that your child be picked up as soon as possible in the event that he or she becomes ill at the program. IF SCHOOL CLOSES DUE TO ILLNESS THE EXTENDED SCHOOL PROGRAM WILL ALSO BE CLOSED!
Except in extreme weather conditions, children will be allowed to play outdoors. A child will be allowed to play outdoors unless a doctor's excuse is brought to the director.
Children may need to go outside for a short time (30 – 40 minutes) during group time. Please be sure your child is dressed appropriately. We will not go outside if the weather does not permit us to do so. (i.e. Raining, snowing, strong winds, etc.) Anytime the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees F) or above 95 degrees F we will not go outside. Please understand that your child has options during the majority of the time that he/she is in our care but on occasion, such as group time, they may be outside.
Please do not send notes saying your child is too sick to go outside. If your child is too sick to participate in our program they should not be present.
Parents are advised to give medication at home on a schedule other than the time children are present at school. If parents wish the Extended School staff to administer medication, Alcoa School Board Policy will apply and the parent must notify the staff. Extended School staff will pick up the medication indicated and the parents’ instructions from the school office. Children must not be sent with the medicine, in any form, in his or her possession. This rule applies to both prescribed and over the counter medications. All medication must be in its original container. The child’s name must be clearly written on medication to be administered and parents must complete the proper forms (prescription and non-prescription) which are available in the school office or with the site director. The parent must also instruct staff if the doctor has indicated any possible side effects of the medication.
Medication will only be given to the child for whom it was prescribed and it will not be given if it appears to be “out of date.”
Medication must be made available to Extended School staff. I.e. Inhaler, epi-pen, etc.
TO WHOM TO DIRECT PROBLEMS
All the Extended School staff and all those involved in the planning of this program want to provide a quality of service that pleases you. Staff, are human, however, and there will be times you are not completely satisfied. Please direct any concern you may have to: Ms. Marion Madore, (981-2617).
By requirement of law and by specific intent based on the program philosophy, the Extended School Program of Alcoa City Middle/Elementary Schools permits and encourages equal access to services and employment regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicapping condition. Two limitations apply. Services are specifically limited to elementary and middle school-age children enrolled in Alcoa City Schools .
Throughout the year, the Alcoa City School Extended School Program may request donated items. These requests may be for specific items from the home, work place, or simply items that an individual feels may be useful to the program. Any donations will be appreciated and will help to keep our fees as low as possible.
If school is closed due to a flu epidemic then the Extended School Program must also remain closed.
HELP WITH CHILD CARE EXPENSES
The Alcoa City Schools Extended School Program will accept those children who receive childcare assistance from the Department of Human Services and Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority. If you need assistance, please contact DCS at 981-2350. If you sign up for a full day, you will be responsible for $10.00 payment.
We at the Alcoa City Extended Day Care are in contact with Central Office Staff regarding emergency situations. If emergency weather is expected or an emergency situation arises, you may be contacted to come and pick up your child early that day. Please understand we know it may be inconvenient at times but we want all the children to be safe and secure.
Children have the right to:
Find equipment where it is intended; safe, reliable and in functioning condition.
Use all the equipment and space on an equal basis.
Have his or her ideas and feelings respected.
Be accorded discipline that is fair, equitable, and respectful of them as persons.
Express his or her anger, frustration, disappointment, joy, etc. in an appropriate manner.
Express his or her creative ability, explore and discover.
Continue developing his or her full potential.
Have a safe environment free of hazards.
Have a safe environment that offers a variety of choices: physical, quiet, indoor, outdoor, creative, dramatic play, and exploration.
Have a right to voice his or her opinions about the rules and activities.
Have staff members that care about them, enjoy being with them and enjoy helping them grow.
Children need to be responsible for:
Coming to the program immediately after school, unless they advise an Extended School staff member.
Remaining with a staff member at all times and notifying a staff member if he or she needs to go to another area.
Dressing appropriately for indoor and outdoor play.
Respecting the rules that guide them during the day and for controlling his or her feelings so that his or her actions do not harm anyone in the program.
Learning to take the consequences of his or her own actions.
Sharing equipment and facilities with all children in the program.
Not willfully destroying or harming any equipment or property in the building while they are in the program – either the school’s, another child’s, or that of an adult working in the program.
Returning materials and equipment to the place they belong before taking out a new activity.
Carrying out an activity which has been started.
Using the restroom facilities on their own.
Parents have the right to:
Know their children are in a safe environment where they are free to select from a variety of activities and the child/staff ratio is not over 1/15.
Know what types of programs and activities are being planned and to be offered feedback on the kinds of activities the children enjoy.
Know when their children will be going any place other than where the program is usually held.
Know if their child is misbehaving and to spend time talking with the staff concerning a solution.
Voice special concerns and consideration not covered in this handbook and to discuss special cases where occasional exceptions may be made from the rules set forth in this handbook.
Parents have the responsibility to:
Observe the rules of the Extended School Program as set forth in this handbook and in any additional policy statements.
Know about any change in policy or procedure.
Let the staff know their child will not be attending for the day. Send a written note to their classroom teacher if the child will be attending the program for the first time or as a drop-in.
Inform staff if a child has been exposed to a communicable disease.
Sign out their child at the end of the day; to notify a staff member when taking a child from the program; and to notify a staff member when a previously authorized person other than the parent will be picking up the child.
Share his or her concerns with the staff members and the Advisory Council if the program is not meeting their child’s needs.
Listen to concerns that staff members have about their child’s behavior and to work through an agreeable solution to any problems that might occur.
Keep the child’s record up to date with changes in phone numbers, addresses, medical providers, or family status.
Pick up children at the time scheduled.
Replace any equipment that their child is responsible for misusing.
Notify staff of planned vacations and other absences in advance.
Notify staff when a child is to be withdrawn at least one week in advance.
Pay fees on time.
When addressing staff members concerning problems and/or concerns, do so in a calm manner. If parents are disruptive to the program and/or abusive to staff or other children, they will be asked to find other childcare arrangements immediately.
Meet with staff within a timely manner to discuss behavioral plan for child.
EXTENDED SCHOOL PROGRAM
Pre K 1:50 - $ 65.00/week
EARLY BIRD 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $40.00/week
PICK UP 2:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. $50.00/week
FALL, CHRISTMAS & SPRING BREAKS $30.00/day
PAYMENTS ARE DUE EACH WEEK. IF YOU DO NOT PAY YOUR WEEKLY FEE BY FRIDAY OF THE WEEK ATTENDED YOU WILL BE CHARGED A $10.00 LATE FEE EACH WEEK YOU ARE PAST DUE. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR WEEKLY FEE IF YOUR CHILD ATTENDS 1 0R 5 DAYS PER WEEK.
Due to the fact that the Alcoa City Schools Extended School Program is totally funded through parent’s tuition, the staff will strictly enforce the following policies:
___ Payments are due the week of service rendered.
___ You will be charged a late fee of $10.00 per week, for each week you do not pay.
___ If you do not pay by the end of two weeks, you will be asked to leave the program.
___ All payment for services rendered must be remitted within one month. Unfortunately any past due balance that is not collected within a reasonable time period will be turned over to a collection agency and the party will be responsible for all collection costs and/or attorney fees.
___ Our Extended School programs close promptly at 6:00 pm. You will be charged a late fee of $5.00 per minute per child for each minute you arrive after the closing time.
___ You must sign your child up in advance for full days throughout the school year. If you fail to do so, service may not be available. If services are available and you do not meet the deadline for sign up, you will pay the drop in rate of $40.00/day/child.
___ You are required to fulfill any commitment for full days or for summer care regardless if you child attends.
If you have any questions about the above policy, contact: Marion Madore
Please check one:
___ I have access to the Internet and can read the Parent Handbook off the www. website. Alcoaschools.net ___ I need a hard copy of the Parent Handbook because I do not have access to the Internet.
I have received, read, understand and agree to the above policies set forth by the Alcoa City Schools Extended School Program.