CriticalDance Forum

Students & Parents handbook
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Author:  Joanne [ Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Students & Parents handbook

I am thinking of doing a definitive handbook for students and parents at my school. Although I give out information for various things ( i.e exams, shows, uniform etc) at appropriate times I thought it might be useful for all at the school to have a general reference point.

Some of the things I was thinking of including are:

Contact details, best mode and times of contact
Exam procedures
Uniform list and how to get it
Show - rules and what is expected
Payment details
History of school and teachers.

Are there any other things you would like to see in a handbook for your school or things that are in your handbook that you have found useful and think my students and their parents may find useful? What sort of format do you think works best and is the best presentation to get people to read it?

Any ideas`or suggestions would be gratefully received.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

Our school handbook (and we are not a large school) always states that we "reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." This protects the school when faced with the problem of dealing with unusual situations (like the time our school had the parent from h--- who threatened to sue our school on numerous occasions!) We also have a section on "Class Decorum". Not only does this deal with class etiquette (excessive talking, gum chewing, etc.), but it addresses harassment issues (adults towards students or students harassing other students). We have rules about eating and drinking in the studio listed in our handbook. Don't you hate the smashed food and sodas spilled in the waiting areas! There should be some addressing of attendance policies. Included in this should be some suggestions for being punctual picking children up; if a child walks to ballet class and they do not arrive at class, parents will be notified; if adults other than parents pick up a student, a written note from parents is required, etc. These are just safety issues which are important, common sense sort of things which seem good to spell out to parents.

Author:  spangles [ Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

I don't actually own a studio as yet but is definitely on the agenda at some point in time. Things that I would definitely include would be:
1) Section on Public Liability.
2) General Conditions and Safe Dance Practice.
3) Definitely an Application form that can be
detached from the handbook.
4) Contact details
5) First page of the handbook would discuss the
schools: vision, purpose, philosophies, goals
and mission. Perhaps history of the school.
6) Curriculum
7) School activities (ie) choreographic displays
competition work/results, annual assessments/
examinations (incl) previous years results
annual concert information, demonstrations,
workshops, annual award/speech days
8) I would give information re.Social Club.I
would introduce a social club to help with
fundraising to help with costuming, exam fee's
etc. whild building a rapport within the studio
9) Promotional Products for Sale

Hope the above is of some help. Please, Please, Please compile a list and post as I think it would be greatly received by all. thanks for a great thread. :)

Author:  Joanne [ Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

Thanks Guys for your input - they are all great suggestions.

I was thinking for class etiquette I may entitle it somethin like What we expect from Students, What we expect from Parents, What you should expect from us and break it down into bullet points.

I will certainly post when I have drafts/final edition etc but this will probably not be until the New Year.

Thanks for the suggestions so far and if there is anything anyone wants to add then that would be great. I would love to hear from some students and parents as to what they would like to see included in such a document.

Author:  balletowoman [ Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

All of the above, and I would add a section (to return to you) on parents' contact number in case of emergency; a waver (signed) to authorise you to hospitalise a child in case it's needed; allergy by the child.

On your section about what will be expected from you, it would probably be good to spell out what teaching requires (ie, hands on correction if you practice it). Probably best to ask for parents to get back to you if they disagree with this practice (as it's quite fundamental they DO agree and if not, they need to let you know). Add a little paragraph about maybe your responsibility (how your teachers are selected, how they will show corrections and how you expect of them to only correct hands/head/feet... Basically what will be expected to be touched -I know it's a nitpick, but legally it's important to remind it).

In the section about what to expect of students, I have recently added a section on hygiene as I think it's important to educate and expect a minimum level of cleanliness too. :roll:

Author:  Dean Speer [ Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

A studio that I know of used to have parents find and sign a certain section or passage of their handbook to ensure that it got read. Rec'd something off of tuition. A good deal!

Author:  spangles [ Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

I also agree there should be something in there re touch! I personally do have that on the bottom of my enrollment forms that must be signed and sent back at time of enrolment. I also in each and every class, ask student permission to touch also. All my students and parents are aware of this practice and are all quite happy with that!

Author:  Joanne [ Mon Dec 20, 2004 4:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

They are all great suggestions - thanks.

I shall keep you all posted.

Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Dec 20, 2004 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Students & Parents handbook

The school I work for has a very extensive handbook ( 30+ pages) which includes but is not limited to:

1. the mission statement
2. class conduct - includes statement on touching
3. attendance policy
4. dress code
5. school calendar and tuition schedule
6. contact info for the school
7. disciplinary procedures
8. observation and evaluation procedures
9. a sign-off sheet - so we know who has read it and who hasn't

Email me if you have any specific questions.

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