Welcome to the SMS Lounge
During the past several years, the Sharon Public Schools has recognized the changing needs of the community it serves. The SMS Lounge program was designed to extend the day of the Public School System, and help meet the needs of parents by ensuring a safe and supportive environment for their children. In recognition of the developmental and emotional difference between elementary and middle school age children, The SMS Lounge was created to give Middle School students the freedom of choice in their after school activities, while still keeping an observant eye on them. Our program is non-academic in nature and includes creative and recreational programming, while also allowing valuable down time to hang out and socialize with peers.
Children attending Grades 6 through 8 are eligible to attend.
The Lounge program will be held at the Sharon Middle School, 75 Mountain Street, Sharon, Massachusetts.
Students will meet in the cafeteria following school dismissal. There they will receive snack and have attendance taken. Students will be dismissed from the cafeteria to join an activity or to the library for supervised lounge time. Lounge members will have a variety of activity choices each day, which include study time, cards, games, cooking, computers, and open gym.
Lounge Members will have the opportunity to join any of the Club programs that Community Education is offering. Club programs will run on Mondays and Wednesdays and will be staffed by Sharon Middle School faculty and staff. There will be no extra cost to join the Club offerings, but students will have to sign up for Clubs in advance and commit to attending the Club for all sessions. Potential Clubs are, Zumba, Yoga, Art, Magic Cards, Newspaper.
In order for the program to run we will need a minimum of 20 students to participate.
Sharon Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, homelessness, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
GENERAL INFORMATION and PROGRAM OVERVIEW
All information concerning a child in the After-School Care Program is of a confidential nature and will be treated as such. However, the Program Director or contractors may confer with school department employees, including teachers, principals, etc. to discuss matters concerning children enrolled in the program.
The SMS Lounge Program hours and days of operation are as follows:
Daily middle school: dismissal until 6:00 PM
Early Release Days: dismissal until 6:00 PM
SMS Lounge Program will be provided during the 180-day school calendar year. We will be closed on “No-School” days. (Refer to our Emergency Day Procedure.)
The SMS Lounge Program reserves the right to terminate or limit a student’s participation in its program when, in the judgment of the staff, the student’s behavior is inappropriate. Incident report(s) documenting the event(s) will be filed with the Director of the Program, and parents/guardians will be notified. The regular rules and policies as detailed in the middle school handbook are also followed in the SMS Lounge Program.
Residents from surrounding towns are welcome, and encouraged to enroll and participate in Community Education Programs.
Students will be officially accepted into the program only upon receipt of the deposit and completed registration documents. There is a 5% discount for three or more siblings. There is a 5% discount for tuition paid in full before the start of the school year. Discounts cannot be combined.
A. A $50 non-refundable registration fee per child is required with each enrollment. This fee is waived for completed paperwork submitted prior to noon on Friday August 1, 2018.
B. First months tuition is due at the time of registration.
C. A minimum of 20 children are needed to run the SMS Lounge program. In the event that 20 children do not signup for the program, parents/ guardians will be given the choice of a full refund, or to enroll in the After-Care program at Heights elementary.
D. When enrollment limits are reached, waiting lists will be established if all our space is filled regardless of date, and parent(s)/guardian(s) notified if openings arise.
E. Tuition has been established for the ten (10) month period, September through June, and has been divided equally over that time in the tuition schedule.
5 Days =$4,160; $416.00 per pay period
4 Days =$3,330; $333.00 per pay period
3 Days =$2,500; $250.00 per pay period
2 Days =$1,660; $166.00 per pay period
1 Day =$830; $83.00 per pay period
F. Neither financial reimbursement, nor credit, will be given for a child’s absence due to: emergency days; family trips; illness; religious events; snow days; vacations; or failure to make full use of the program.
G. In the event a child becomes totally unable to participate in the SMS Lounge Program due to illness, disability or otherwise, upon written request the Program Director may refund or abate tuition fees. Tuition fees will not be refunded in the case of a child’s absence, delayed attendance, early departure, or withdrawal from the program.
H. In the event a student enrolls for classes in the Sharon Public Schools’ Enrichment Program, neither credit nor adjustment will be given to either the SMS Lounge Program or Enrichment tuition.
I. The Sharon Public Schools’ SMS Lounge Program reserves the right to terminate a child’s participation in the program if there is a delinquent tuition balance in excess of 30 days.
J. If a student has an outstanding tuition balance, he/she will not be eligible to participate in any other Community Education Programs, e.g. Enrichment Programs, Family Trips, Summer Programs.
K. Tuition in arrears of 45 days or more will result in a referral to legal counsel to begin collection proceedings.
L. There is a $5 late payment fee for all tuition payments not received on time. Three late payments may result in termination from the program.
M. Parents/Guardians occasionally find it necessary to register their children for additional After-School Care Program days, and may do so with the prior approval of the Director of Community Education. Because it may be necessary to obtain supplemental staff, a minimum of one-week’s notification is required. Payment of $24.00 per day, for any extra day(s) must be made in advance. It is very important that parent(s)/guardian(s) notify the middle school office in writing, as to what days their child will attend the SMS Lounge Program in general, as well as any additional days, change of plans, or attendance. This accommodation is dependent upon available space. In the event that a week’s notice is not possible, we will offer emergency care at the rate of $35. Emergency care may only be used twice in a school year
N. Schedule changes for attendance commitment can only be altered with prior approval of the Director of Community Education, and with a minimum of one-week’s notice. Please use the enrollment change form to communicate all changes. You are financially obligated for the first pay period, even if there are changes in your child’s schedule. Two or more changes to your child’s schedule will result is a schedule change fee of $25 per change.
O. Our staffs’ workday concludes at 6:00 PM, as they too have personal and home obligations and must be free to leave at the agreed upon time. Nevertheless, a staff member will remain with your child if you are late. Regrettably though we must impose a “Late Fee,” regardless of the circumstances creating the delay, so that we can appropriately compensate our staff. Parents/Guardians failing to comply with the 6:00 PM pick-up schedule, will be assessed an additional $5.00 for each five (5) minute interval after the first five (5) minute (one time only) grace period. You will be billed for these additional charges. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who are significantly late four times, that is twenty minutes or more, will be subject to the removal of their child(ren) from the After School Program. Chronically late pick-ups, 6 times are also subject to removal.
P. Tuition assistance is available on a limited basis, depending on financial eligibility. Qualification is based on the Federal Guidelines regarding Free and Reduced lunch. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must provide a copy of the approval form with your registration. All information is confidential.
Q. The Tax I.D. number for the Town of Sharon is: 046 001 295. Please make note of this for your records.
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PROGRAM
The Director of Community Education must be notified a minimum of 30 days in advance of your intention to withdraw your child from the program. Withdrawal with less than 30 days written notice, results in an obligation to pay full tuition for that pay period. The deposit/registration fees are non-refundable, and are not applicable to any tuition balance for any child leaving the program before the last day of the school year. Our programs incur staffing and other expenses based upon the total number of individual student enrollments, and operating costs associated with them projected for the full year.
EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS
The SMS Lounge Program will begin immediately upon dismissal from school on scheduled Early Dismissal Days and continue until 6:00 PM. There will be no extra charge for the additional coverage and supervision. It is during this time that special programming, field trips, and activities may be arranged outside of the school system for our students. Some examples of these activities include: bowling; ice-skating; maple sugaring; movies; roller-skating; swimming; etc. There are no additional charges for these out-of-school outings. Upon returning from all special programming events, regular care activities will continue until 6:00 PM.
A. All Community Education activities including SMS Lounge, and Enrichment Programs are CANCELLED on “SNOW DAYS” and for other system-wide emergencies. There will be NO Community Education Programs when school has been cancelled.
B. During the regular school day, if students are dismissed early from the middle school due to a storm, impending storm, or other emergency, there will be an SMS Lounge Program which will close at 4:00PM, unless the Superintendent determines that for safety reasons we close immediately.
C. In the event of an impending storm or other emergency while Community Education Programs are in session, we will stay with your child until you arrive.
D. Should you decide not to send your child to the program due to inclement weather or for any other reason including illness, early dismissal, appointments, family trips etc., it is imperative for you to notify the Community Education Office directly at (781) 784-1574. Informing your child’s teacher, nurse, or their school office, will not guarantee that the message will be forwarded to us. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) making arrangements to have someone other than themselves pick up their child must contact the Community Education Office. All emergency telephone numbers and the names of contact people for your child should be kept current, e.g. employment changes.
E. Official school cancellation announcements will be carried by radio station WBZ (1030); network television channels 4(WBZ), 5(WCVB), 7(WHDH); and Sharon Cable Channel 08.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
A. HEALTH CARE PROCEDURE
In case of illness or serious injury, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be contacted by using the telephone numbers recorded on the student’s Enrollment Information Form. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, we will contact the people listed as alternates on the Enrollment Forms. Children will be released only to those individuals listed on that form unless other arrangements are made by the parent(s)/guardian(s).
In an emergency situation where parent(s)/guardian(s) cannot be reached, the child’s doctor will be consulted when possible. If the emergency is life threatening, the child will be transported to the nearest hospital and parent(s)/guardian(s) notified as soon as we can make contact.
Our staff members will administer simple first aid for minor injuries, e.g. bruises, bumps, cuts, and scrapes. Our staff has been trained and certified by the American Red Cross in CPR and First Aid.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are encouraged to arrange distribution of medications so that their child can take the required dosage during regular school hours. EPI-PENs must be sent to our SMS Lounge Supervisor, regardless of whether the same medication has been submitted to a school nurse. We do not have access to the school health office after regular school hours. Children subject to anaphylactic reactions due to bee stings or other allergies must bring EPI-PENs to be kept with us at school, with special instructions by the attending physician for its administration. Only in an emergency situation will our trained staff be permitted to use the EPI-PEN on previously DIAGNOSED children.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of children with allergies must submit a complete list of substances, including food, which trigger allergic reactions, and a written description of the type of reaction usually experienced. The list will be shared with appropriate staff members to help limit exposure.
If a child is absent from school, or sent home early due to illness, then similar to procedure for after school sport activities, the child will not be able to attend the After-School Program later on that same day.
In the case of fire or other emergencies, children will be evacuated from school buildings in accordance with the fire drill plans posted in each room.
The Community Education Office must be notified promptly in writing, of any new and significant information not contained in the original registration forms and contract during the term of the child’s enrollment in the program. This would include changes in home or work telephone, as well as those people authorized to pick-up your child(ren). Changes can be emailed to Barbara Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event that we do not reach our enrollment numbers for the SMS Lounge. Parents may sign their child(ren) up for our After-Care program at Heights. For any Middle School child who participates in this program bus/van transportation will be provided to the After-School Care Program as well as the After-School Enrichment Programs. Students will board a specially designated COMMUNITY EDUCATION bus at the end of the school day, which will transport them from Sharon Middle School to Heights Elementary School. Parent(s)/guardian(s) are responsible for providing transportation home at the end of the day at 6:00 PM. It is important that your child is picked up on time. Those parent(s)/guardian(s) picking up their children after the five (5) minute (one time only) grace period will be subject to additional fees. (Refer to our Financial Obligations section, “N”). Students are released only to those listed on the Transport Release Form. Proof of identification is required.
The SMS Lounge Program provides a mid-afternoon snack to its students. Daily items served on a rotating basis include: Portion controlled packages of crackers and cookies, fruit snacks, baked chips, cereal bars, cereal bowls, yogurt, cheese sticks, fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen fruit bars, milk, bottled water, and 100% juice. Gluten-free snacks may not meet Sharon Public Schools dietary guidelines. If a child has a specific food allergy; e.g. nuts, berries, lactose intolerance etc.; it is mandatory that we be informed of the allergy by the parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should park legally, not in a Fire Lane or designated handicapped parking spot, walk into the library, show identification to staff, and sign-out their children on a daily basis. On the Transport Release Form that indicates who has your permission to pick-up your child in your absence or in an emergency, the age of that individual must be at least eighteen, regardless of relationship to the child.
The Lounge has a buzzer to allow access into the building. We ask that parents do not hold the door open for others, so that we may screen each person who enters our building.
STATE REGULATIONS GOVERNING CHILD ABUSE
The SMS Lounge Program abides by the same policies and mandates in reporting child abuse and neglect (Chapter 119, Section 51A), which are followed by the Sharon Public Schools.