Our vision is to provide learning

opportunities, to increase healthy
behaviors, and to expand the school’s role
as a community resource.

Union
Community
Connections
Parent
Handbook

Contact Information
Phone: 802-225-8259
Fax: 802-223-9219
Union CC Program Director:
Diadel Ortiz
diadelo@mpsvt.org
Dear Families:

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your children to Community
Connections After-school Program. CC is the only after-school provider to be hosted at Union
Elementary School.

Our mission: “We are a diverse community, with a strong hold on educating our children inside
the classroom and after school. We are all equipped with the knowledge, support and enthusiasm
to help our students strive for success.”

Our vision: to provide learning opportunities, increase healthy behaviors, and to expand the
school’s role as a community resource.

The goal of CC is to provide a quality program that is safe, fun and affordable. Our programs
offer age appropriate activities under the supervision of a competent, trustworthy, caring and
qualified staff that understand and meet the needs of the children in our care. To meet the
physical, intellectual, social, emotional and recreational needs of children, our program will:

 Offer fun, enriching, academically oriented and recreational activities that help promote
confidence, self-esteem and responsibility,
 Provide children a safe and secure environment staffed by warm, friendly child care
professionals,
 Provide a relaxed atmosphere where children can socialize and make new friends, and
 Provide nutritional snacks.

At Community Connections, we believe that during the hours that the children are away from
home they should be provided with a quality program of well supervised activities that stimulates
new interests, encourages creativity and builds self-confidence, while providing their parents
with “peace of mind”.

This Parent Handbook outlines what you may expect at CC and summarizes our policies and
procedures. We hope it will be helpful. We look forward to providing you and your child with a
quality after-school program.

Sincerely,

Diadel Ortiz
Program Director
Union Community Connections

1
Programs
Union Community Connections provides a variety of programs for students in Kindergarten
through 4th grade.

Kinder Creations- At Kinder Creations, your child will develop skills and play in a safe and
happy environment. Children will grow socially and emotionally. They will develop their fine
motor skills through play, art, dance, music, movement and interaction with others. Most
importantly, your child will be learning to become an effective learner as they develop and
extend their communication skills, build their self-confidence, learn to be creative, and develop
skills that assist them with reading, writing and mathematics.

1st Graders- First grade is a year to explore and introduce a number of different concrete
building blocks of math, writing, reading and games. Mostly, your child will be engaged in
group play, building vocabulary words and becoming pioneers of the world. These activities are
inspired and driven by children’s interests and natural curiosities.

2nd Graders- At CC, 2nd graders will work together to solve problems, learn to express their
ideas clearly, and learn to appreciate differences. Children will model C.A.R.E.S. through group
activities. Art activities are done in a variety of media such as clay sculpture, painting, sketching,
and collage. Students work daily on developing physical skills. Activities range from organized
games, to hiking through the woods, and through playing games with younger students.

3rd and 4th Graders- CC will be packed with exciting activities, team-building games and
new programs geared for our 3rd and 4th graders. Programs will be fun and enriching, promoting
self-confidence, self- esteem, and responsibility. Community Service will be a big part of this
group. Students will be working together, learning to solve problems, and making decisions that
successfully contribute to their community. They connect local concerns with global issues and
gain an awareness of others.

C.A.R.E.S. is the school motto: Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control.

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Enrollment Sign-up
In order to enroll a child in any of our programs, we require the following:

1) A completed Registration Form
2) Current Copy of Immunization Record
3) Copy of yearly family income
4) A signed Parent Contract (back page of this book)
5) A signed Behavioral Contract (back page of this book)
6) Payments due first Friday of every month / every Friday per session.

All forms are available from the CC Program Director, CC blog (http://uescc.blogspot.com/) or
in the main office at Union Elementary School.

Fee Information / Schedule of Payments
Payment for Community Connections is expected the first Friday of every month. For large
balances, we will require that your payments be received weekly or bi-weekly in a timely
manner. If you have an outstanding balance, you must pay by the due date in order to
continue to send your child to our programs.

 All payments are due the first Friday of every month.
 If payment is received late, a $10.00 late fee will apply.
 You are responsible to pay for the days that your child attends the program and any
absent days and school closings. (You don’t pay for major holidays and vacation days
like winter and spring break)
 If we receive 2 late payments, the child will be dropped from our enrollment. No child
may attend the after-school program if payment has not been made.
 The child must be re-registered in the program and an additional registration fee must be
paid in order to return. (When space is available).
 Payments may be made by check or money order, and should be made payable to
Community Connections.
 Please make sure your child’s full name appears on the memo portion of the check.
 If a check is returned, you are responsible for a replacement check or pay in cash/ money
order. You can speak with the Program Director any time about a payment plan.

3
Policy on Refund and Credits
Community Connections requires parents and/or guardians to enroll the students prior to
attending any activities. All CC activities require payment before the activity begins. CC hires
and trains staff according to the group size expected.

After-school programs:

 No refunds for sick days, snow days, or school closings.
 No refunds for days the child does not attend.
 If the session schedule needs to be adjusted you will need to speak with the Program
Director.

Attendance Procedures
Student attendance is taken daily. If the student has attended school during the day,
parents/guardians are responsible for notifying the program staff if their child will be absent from
the after-school program. For your convenience, please call 802-225-8259 between the hours of
7:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. to report your child’s absence from the program or you may email the
Program Director- diadelo@mpsvt.org.

If a child is registered to attend the after-school program and does not report to the program and
is not on the official school absentee list or early release sign out sheet, the parent, guardian or
emergency contact will be notified to verify the child’s absence. This helps ensure the safety of
all the children attending our program.

Students enrolled in the after-school program are expected to attend on all days identified by the
parent/guardian during the initial enrollment process. Changes to the schedule must be
submitted to the Program Director as soon as possible in order to make the proper
accommodations for the staff and student. We ask you to let us know in a timely manner. If your
child is absent 3 times without informing us, we will terminate the registration. It is vital that
you call or email us.

*If you have paid in advance for a day of programming that your child misses due to absence or illness,
we will not refund credit on your payment.

4
Sign Out Procedures
Your child must be signed out with your initials, when picked up each day. Only persons
authorized in writing by you, the parent(s) and/or guardian(s), may remove your child from the
program. Staff members will request photo identification if the person picking up the child is
unfamiliar. Please be aware that we do this for the safety and protection of the children in our
programs.

Your child will not be released to anyone without prior written notice and/or a telephone call.
Students can be dismissed from CC at any time between 3:30-5:30 into the care of a
parent/guardian or a person who has been designated on the child’s registration form as a pick-up
person. However, we prefer to dismiss students at the end of enrichment classes, which is
generally at 5:00.

We use the sign-out sheet to track attendance and keep a record of which children are in our care
at any given time. Make sure you sign your child out. *After a reminder, children who are
picked up without parent initials will be charged a sign-out fee of $5.00*.

Late Pick-up Policy
The after-school program closes promptly each evening at 5:30. All parents and/or guardians are
expected to pick up their children on time. If you are unable to do so, it is your responsibility to
notify the CC Staff or Program Director that you will be late or are sending an alternate to pick
up your child. If the alternate is not on your emergency list, the Program Director or staff may
ask the person to show photo identification.

After the site closes at 5:30, a staff member will attempt to contact the parent, guardian or
emergency contact person by telephone. If a child remains at the after-school program after
closing time and neither parents, guardians nor emergency contacts can be reached, the local
police department will be contacted and the child will be released into the custody of the
appropriate law enforcement official. A $20.00 late fee will be charged after 5:30 with an
additional $5.00 for each 15 minute the child is in CC supervision. This fee is due upon
picking up your child or the next day.

*Three Late Pick-Ups will result in your child being dismissed from the program.*

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Sliding Scale Fee

Over $60,000 $50-$60,000 $40-$50,000 *Below $40,000
$17.00 per day/per $15.00 per day/per $13.00 per day/per $10.00 per day/per
child child child child
*Families earning below $40,000 should explore whether they qualify for assistance through the Vermont Child Care Subsidy
Program. If you cannot pay within the sliding scale, you will be asked to apply for subsidies.

Financial Assistance- We are a licensed child-care program. Subsidies can assist in paying
for your child to participate in all of our programs, especially if you also qualify for free and
reduced lunches. If you are unable to pay, your first step will be to apply for state subsidy. You
can obtain an application by going online to www.brightfutures.dcf.state.vt.us. *You must fill
out the forms and mail them to Bright Futures before the child can attend the CC program.*

Emergency Drop-in / Unscheduled day - *If we have space in the program*, we may
accept students on an emergency drop-in / unscheduled day (with 24 hour advance notice).
Student must have all forms completed on file for any emergency drop-in.*The fee is $20/ per
child.*

Extra fees- Occasionally, there will be additional fees to cover transportation or materials for
specific after-school classes. Details will be noted during specific programs.

Health/Safety/Medications
Every site is equipped with a first aid kit. Each grade group has least 1 staff member who is
trained and certified in CPR/First Aid. The Program Director or CC Staff will notify parents if
there is evidence of serious injury or illness. A written record will be kept of all injuries and
accidents requiring first aid. A copy of the accident report will be sent home to the
parent/guardian with the child, and a copy will be kept on file. In case of emergency, illness, or
injury to a child, the parent or guardian will be notified immediately. If the parents/guardian
cannot be reached immediately, the emergency numbers on the registration form will be called.

In the event of an emergency needing medical attention or considered life threatening, the
Program Director will call 911 and take other necessary emergency procedures.
Parents/guardians and/or emergency acquaintances will be contacted as well.

6
If your child must take a prescription medication of any kind, you must notify the Program
Director, leaders and complete a Medical Authorization Form. Over the counter medication will
not be dispensed without a doctor’s written authorization. All medication should be given to the
Program Director to ensure proper usage. Children are not permitted to have medication in their
possession to take on their own unless authorized by the doctor. Medication will never be given
to a child by a staff member without the proper written authorization. No medication will be
dispensed unless it is in its original container.

*Please inform us of any medical and/or behavioral issue your child is experiencing. We
want to ensure, your child’s experience at Community Connections is a positive one. From
time to time, we may want to communicate with school personal (classroom teacher,
guidance counselor, special education) to collaborate on how to help your child. For this
reason, we ask that you inform us of any changes in your child’s behavior.*

Personnel
We hire highly qualified staffs that are dedicated to providing an enriching and safe environment
for the children in our programs. Whenever possible, we hire people who have experience
working with elementary aged children. As a whole, our staff is committed to evaluating and
improving the way we work with children and run our programs. The professional child care
staff of CC will be provided with a variety of educational training throughout the year.

State regulations dictate our ratio of staff to children, and we strive to stay slightly below the
mandated ratios. We must have a ratio of 1:10 any time when there is a Kindergartener included
in the student group and 1:13 if all children present are in grades 1-4. We will only turn children
away from the program if and when we find ourselves in a situation where we would exceed our
staff: child ratios.

We run background checks on all of our staff and volunteers, according with state regulations.
Our staff members are all mandated reporters under the law, and we are required to report any
time we suspect abuse or neglect of the children in our care. There is a copy of the licensing
regulations available on our bulletin board at all times if you’d like further information.

7
Daily Activities
Upon dismissal from school, all children report to the CC designated classroom which will be
posted outside the main office and the CC classroom upstairs. Children are grouped according to
their current grade and are provided with a nutritious snack. Programs may vary, but children are
then dismissed for organized outdoor games, sports and playground time. At CC, our staff
understands the importance of homework. *Parents may choose whether they wish their child
complete their homework during the after-school program.* Our schedule blends educational and
recreational activities between the hours of 3:00 P.M. and 5:30 P.M. that may include: foreign
language, computer technology, reading, writing, math, science, drama, cooking, arts and crafts,
and physical education programs.

Sample Afternoon Program Schedule
Programming varies, depending on the group. However, our general schedule for after-school
program is as follows:
2:45-3:00 Dismissal from classroom, student walk to CC classroom/
assigned classroom
3:00-3:10 Welcome Activity
3:15-3:30 Snack*
3:30-4:00 Recess*
4:00-5:00 Program, Skill Building, Specials
5:00-5:30 Program, Skill Building, Specials, Homework,
**5:30 Pick-up**

*Snack and recess time may be switched depending on the classroom group. *

Snack
A mid-afternoon snack is provided for all children in the after-school program. We strive to
provide healthy snacks each day, consisting of a fruit or vegetable, a grain, and a drink (usually
water). We provide local produce when available and opt for whole foods when choosing which
snacks to offer. If your child has special dietary needs or any food allergies please let us know so
we can accommodate his/her snack. Snack is not a meal at CC. We serve snack according to
food portion size by group age. You can send in extra snack for your child if you want.

8
Weather
We follow the same guidelines for weather contingencies as Union Elementary School. We aim
to spend time outside every day-at recess and/or some program classes. Please make sure that
your child comes with appropriate clothing and gear for the weather.

*Extra Change of Clothes*
Parent in Kindergarten, first and second grade, sometimes children have accidents after school;
please make sure your child has a small bag of extra clothes for those unfortunate after school
days.

School Holidays / Early Release Day / School Closings
All after-school programs will be closed on the following holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving
Day, and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Break, New Year’s Day, and Memorial
Day.

 When Union Elementary is open for a full day of school, CC will offer after-school care.
 On school scheduled half-days, CC will not offer After-School Care unless otherwise
noted.
 In the case of unplanned school closures when there is no school, CC will be closed.
 If it’s a normal school day but the Superintendent cancels all After-school Activities. CC
is canceled.
 You will receive an Alert Now phone call on all numbers you have supplied at the
beginning of the year. I will also send a group email conferring CC is closed. You will
need to make alternative pick-up plans.

Community Connections Camp will be open on special in-service days, winter and spring
breaks. Parents/guardians will receive CC Camp information and registration. Space may be
limited and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

9
Exceptional Student Registration
Exceptional students may enroll and participate in the after-school program. However, CC staff
may not be trained in special education. To ensure that there is adequate and safe supervision for
all children in the program, the following procedures will be followed before a child may enroll:

 The parent or guardian must contact the Program Director to set up a pre-enrollment
conference, within 10 school days from the date of application. The purpose of this pre-
enrollment meeting is to determine if this environment is the right place for your child
and for availability in the program.
 At the conference, a discussion between Program Director, the parent and/or guardian
and school personnel will help determine if the after-school program is a good fit for the
student.
 We will also discuss if the child will need additional personnel. If training needs exceed
the expertise of the CC staff and if it’s fiscally possible, we will discuss obtaining
appropriate staff. This is determined on a case by case basis.

Students Belongings
All personal belongings, including jackets, lunch boxes, backpacks, etc. should be clearly labeled
to help avoid loss. Lost and Founds are available in the Cafeteria area, in case your child does
lose something. Please note that children are not permitted to bring any items to the after-
school program (such as toys, games, trading cards, electronics etc.). Community
Connections cannot be responsible for any lost, damaged or stolen belongings.

Parent Communication
Communication between our staff, school teachers and your families is crucial to your child’s
safety and enjoyment at Community Connections. To make it as smooth as possible, please
communicate any changes in writing (email or send in a note) or phone calls. During pick-
up/drop-off times we are glad to check in with you quickly about your child’s day.*If at any
time you would like to have a conference about your child, please email, send in a note, or call
us to schedule.* Our contact information is listed on the Parent Handbook’s front cover.
Communication is very important to us.

10
Email
In order to enhance our ability to communicate with families, we will make an effort to send
more information via email. If you have supplied an email address on your child’s registration
form, we will use that email address periodically to send out reminders, session and other
program information. If you wish to receive emails but you did not supply an email address on
your registration form, please contact the Program Director or a leader and we will add you to
our list!

We also have a Community Connections blog: http://uescc.blogspot.com/

Notification of Changes
It is extremely important that you notify the Program Director immediately of any changes in
parental, home address, employment phone numbers, pick-up procedures and behavioral issues.
We want to make sure your child’s information is always current.

Income Tax Information
Tax statements indicating the payments made to CC after-school program will be emailed to you
via PDF file. This document includes the school year not camp days. If your child attended CC
camp please contact:

Alex Rob
Community Connection
Executive Director
802-223-3456
arob@u32.org

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