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This Family Handbook serves as a policy guide for families and participants enrolled in Wildarts Afterschool at PS 163. We ask that you read the handbook thoroughly. COVID-19 safety information is at the bottom of the page.

Basic Program Information

Wildarts Program Hours

Monday-Friday 2:50PM-6:00PM. Programs will start right after dismissal from day school unless otherwise indicated.


Wildarts Office Hours

Wildarts office hours are generally 2:00pm-6:00pm, but are subject to change based upon programmatic demands. Therefore, we encourage you to schedule appointments.


Contacting Wildarts

Phone: (646)389-6508

Email: info@wildartsnyc.org

Address: 163 W. 97th St. New York, NY 10025

EIN: 834662515


Wildarts Program Closing

In the event that program will be closed, families will be notified through letter, robocall, or email. For inclement weather, please refer to your local media outlets to provide information concerning school closings. Wildarts is not in operation during early dismissal days, or when the NYC Department of Education mandates the closure of School Age Child Care Programs.


Scheduling Conferences

Wildarts staff are always happy to discuss a participant’s progress or address any questions or concerns you may have regarding the afterschool program. While drop-ins are not discouraged, we ask that you understand that a meeting may need to be scheduled based upon the availability of administrative staff.


Visitors

Parents/Guardians are welcome to visit the Wildarts Program. For safety reasons, all visitors are required to sign in with school safety upon entering the building and follow appropriate COVID-19 protocols. Participants not enrolled in Wildarts are not permitted to visit unless accompanied by an adult.


Lost and Found Items

While we do our best to help participants stay organized, Wildarts is not responsible for personal property of participants. Items that are lost or found can be turned in or looked for at the office. Please report lost items to the office as soon as possible.

Enrollment and Attendance

Enrollment

Families can enroll in Wildarts online at wildartsnyc.org. Enrollment is paperless and automatic payments are required. Enrollment in Wildarts is on a quarterly basis regardless of your payment plan. We offer a quarterly and 10 month payment plan for each school year. Wildarts does not prorate or refund tuition for families who choose to cancel enrollment before the end of the quarter enrolled. Wildarts does not prorate or refund tuition for school cancellations due to inclement weather or school cancellations shorter than 14 days. In the event of a school shut-down lasting longer than 14 days, tuition will be prorated and refunded for the duration of the closing.

Attendance

Wildarts offers flexible enrollment for the Core Program. Core Program participants may attend from 2-5 days based on enrollment. Families are required to notify Wildarts if the specified days they wish to attend per week will change. Families may change the specified days they attend in a given week (due to doctor's appointments or other scheduling conflicts), but Wildarts does not allow participants to accrue make-up days for use in future weeks due to staffing requirements.


Wildarts does not offer flexible enrollment for the Pre-K program due to staffing requirements. Pre-K participants may only be enrolled 5 days per week.


Regular attendance is encouraged for full participation in the Wildarts Program. Participants are working on completing projects and developing skills to be showcased during culminating events. Families who attend only part of the Wildarts week may find that their participants are not able to be included in culminating showcases (Ex: participants who consistently miss theater classes will not be cast in the Spring Musical).


Arrival

Wildarts participants who attend PS 163 are brought to the cafeteria to join Wildarts at regular school dismissal (2:50PM daily) by their PS 163 classroom teachers. Wildarts is not responsible for updating your child's dismissal plan with their school teacher. Families must notify teachers of the days their children attend Wildarts.


Wildarts participants who do not attend PS 163 must be brought to the arrival desk just beyond the main doors of PS 163 no earlier than 3:10PM each day. Participants must be checked in by Wildarts staff at the desk before they are allowed to enter the program. Wildarts is not responsible for the transportation of children to the Wildarts program from any other school or program. Families are responsible for arranging transportation to Wildarts at PS 163 if their child does not attend PS 163.


Early Dismissal

Participants may be picked up early by an authorized representative at any time during the Wildarts program. Wildarts recommends families allow 10 extra minutes for early pick-up as it typically takes some time for participants to stop their activities, pack their things, and walk to the lobby.

Dismissal Policy

Wildarts dismissal takes place in PS 163 vestibule just inside the main doors.

Wildarts can only release participants to authorized individuals. Families can update their authorized individuals in the Hi Sawyer system used to enroll. Identification will be requested upon pick up. In cases of a change in custody, please speak with the Program Director as a court order may be needed to remove a parent/guardian from the authorized pick-up list.

Wildarts dismissal is between 5:30PM and 6:00PM sharp. We ask that families do not arrive for early dismissal between 5:15PM and 5:30PM as it disrupts the flow of traffic to the regular dismissal locations and causes confusion.

Please pick up your participants on time. Parents/Guardians of participants who arrive late for dismissal will incur a late fee of $25.00 for late pick up to cover the cost of supervision. If you cannot make it on time to pick up your participant, the Program Director may be forced to leave the participant in the custody of local authorities.

Self-Dismissal

Participants may dismiss themselves with written permission from a parent/guardian. Participants will be allowed to self-dismiss at 5:30PM daily, and participants will not be released before that time. Early Dismissal must be requested in writing by a parent/guardian for a participant to be released early.

Programming

Curriculum

Wildarts provides a hands-on, arts-and-academic integrated, project-based, multi-intelligence approach to teaching the academic curriculum in after school during the school year. The characteristics of Wildarts’ afterschool are: learner-centric, arts-in-education integrated instruction, strong partnership with daytime school community, highly trained staff in the area of positive youth development, and Teaching Artists and Activity Specialists with expertise in their respective disciplines.


Homework Help

Our program provides homework help in 45 minute blocks according to your participant’s schedule. Wildarts prioritizes arts education. We do not guarantee that homework will be completed during program hours, but we strive to ensure each participant completes what they can. We also cannot provide extra homework time for participants who have not finished their work under any circumstances due to staff/participant ratios.

Program Expectations

Participant Conduct

Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that respects themselves, their parent/guardian, and the Wildarts Program. This expectation applies to all participant conduct regardless of whether the participants are in Wildarts Program or at Wildarts Program event, as well as the time they are away from Wildarts Program. Participants and parent/guardian understand that the Wildarts Program reserves the right to impose expulsion, based upon conduct which occurs outside of the Wildarts Program. Expectations for general conduct that have been adopted are:


  1. Participants will refrain from using inappropriate language. Obscene language or language intended to hurt another will not be tolerated.

  2. Participants will exercise courtesy and kindness when dealing with others, as well as not harass, abuse, bully, tease, threaten, torment, humiliate, or intimidate other participants either physically, mentally, or emotionally.

  3. Participants will respect Wildarts staff and all DOE personnel by trying new things, listening and following directions, and being a team player.

  4. Participants will show respect for the Wildarts Program facilities by keeping hands and writing utensils away from the walls, tables, floors, and windows. Unnecessary waste or intentional damage to Wildarts Program property or facilities will not be tolerated.

  5. Participants will show respect for others by not taking things that do not belong to them.

  6. Participants will be honest at all times.

  7. Participants will be representatives of their Wildarts Program in the community in which they live and will observe this conduct code at all times.


Disregard for, or violation of, these standards will be dealt with according to the Wildarts Behavior Management Protocol.


Wildarts Behavior Management Policy

The behavior management policy exists to help each participant achieve the ability to govern themselves from within. As the participant’s ability to govern themselves in this way increases, there is less need for imposing rules and regulations upon them.


Staff will use mediation and conflict resolution skills to address participant behavioral issues. This should be positive and proactive. Participants can be restricted from activities but only for short periods of time, and never for the duration of an activity. Misbehaviors may be addressed in the following ways:


Taking a Break

Participants will be given verbal warnings when their behavior is causing a disruption to the class or a disruption to their learning and enjoyment of the program. If their behavior continues to distract themselves or others from learning and fun, they will be asked to take a break. Participants will be separated from the main activity and given a very short amount of time to calm down, reflect, or recharge. When they are ready, they will return to the group.


Behavior Documentation

Participant Documentation Forms will not be used as a first means of discipline. Once a staff member has given many verbal warnings and exhausted other options, such as giving the participant a special job, giving the participant a break, and having a conversation staff to student, the staff member may document the behavior in a participant documentation form. These forms are used to guide productive conversations between staff, participants and parents about how to change the unwelcome behaviors into positive behaviors.


Suspension

Only the Program Director has the authority to suspend a participant. Suspension is only considered in very serious cases of violence, bullying, intimidation, vandalism and theft, consistent refusal to be supervised, or after many other forms of lesser disciplinary measures have been tried and proved unsuccessful. In this case, a participant will face suspension for 1 or more days. For very serious infractions, the Program Director has the ability to suspend a participant immediately.


Expulsion

Only the Program Director has the authority to expel a participant. If a participant is suspended 2 or more times, that participant may be facing expulsion. Depending on the severity of the infraction the Program Director has the right to expel a child immediately.


Physical Altercation

If a participant gets into a physical altercation with another participant, that is cause for an automatic suspension. The parent/guardian will be called and those participants will be sent home for the day.


If, at any time, parents/guardians have questions or disagreements regarding the behavior management protocol, it is their responsibility to immediately discuss these questions or differences with an administrator, and not to share their grievances with other parents/guardians, faculty or participants.

General Health and Safety

It is of utmost importance that Wildarts provides a safe environment for our participants. Because of this commitment, the following rules will apply:


Distribution and Consumption of Medication:

Parents/guardians are requested, whenever possible, to schedule medication to be given at home. Wildarts is not licensed to administer medication.


Participants are not to carry any medication (prescription or over-the-counter) on their person with the exception of prescribed inhalers for asthma. Participants with inhalers must submit a signed order from the doctor to Wildarts.


Participant Illness

If a child has been ill during the night or became ill upon awakening, please do not send the child to Wildarts Program. Participants with low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other acute symptoms will have their parent/guardian called to arrange for them to be picked up. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached by phone, the emergency contact person(s) listed in the participant file will be called.


If the participant is found to be ill, and a parent/guardian cannot be reached, Wildarts will not dismiss the participant. The participant will only be released to the custody of a parent/guardian or EMS.


Wildarts will call EMS in emergency. Wildarts does not administer medications.


Please maintain accurate and current information for the emergency file. Any addition or deletion for emergency contact person(s) should be updated immediately in the Hi Sawyer platform.


If signs of contagious conditions are recognized, the exclusion of pupils from Wildarts Program will be done on the basis of the following symptoms (there may be additional symptoms not included in this list):


100 degrees of temperature or above

Persistent cough

Unrelieved headache

Excessive sore throat

Diarrhea

Nausea and/or vomiting

Abdominal pain

Excessive sneezing, running nose, or

Unidentified rash

Head lice (CCS has a nit free policy)

Tearing red, inflamed eyes with thick mucus discharge

Listlessness

Extreme sleepiness


If your child has been ill at home with any of these symptoms, please keep him/her home until these symptoms have subsided for 24 hours.


*A note should be sent from the parent/guardian or physician if a child is restricted from participating in any activity

Emergency Drills

Fire – In case of fire, it is imperative that the building be emptied quickly and calmly. Fire drills will be held periodically during the Wildarts Program year to practice clearing the building quickly, and staff will instruct participants on proper procedures during a fire.


Lockdown – May be implemented in situations involving intruders.

COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Prevention:

Participants will be required to wear masks during the Wildarts program except when eating/drinking. If a participant does not have a mask, they will be given a mask to wear*. Wildarts will regularly use hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


During meal times, participants will remain in their groups at socially distanced tables. During unstructured outdoor play, participants will be asked to maintain appropriate social distance whenever possible, and shared equipment will be sanitized after use by the group.


Wildarts staff are required to be vaccinated. Wildarts staff will follow COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Health. For more information about DOH mandated COVID-19 protocols for SACC licensed programs like Wildarts, please visit https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/covid-19/


*Participants may provide proof from a doctor if they cannot wear a mask for health reasons.


COVID-19 Infection

If a participant or staff member in the Wildarts program displays any symptoms of COVID-19 illness, they will be asked to leave the program immediately and will not be allowed to return to program until they can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.


Wildarts must be notified immediately if your participant tests positive for COVID-19 for the health and safety of others in the program. If a participant tests positive for COVID-19, recent contacts will be notified and asked to quarantine for 14 days. In the case that a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, recent contacts will be notified and asked to quarantine for 14 days.


Unfortunately, Wildarts is not in a position financially to provide prorated tuition or tuition refunds for days lost due to COVID-19 quarantine. Wildarts is a 501c3 nonprofit with very limited means, and we ask for your understanding and support in this matter.