First Week FAQ

Greetings Everyone!

We are so excited to launch a new cycle of in-person, on-site programming at our four host schools, PS 9, PS 334, and PS 452. Start-of-school butterflies are to be expected, but we can help to allay your concerns by addressing frequent question here:

How will my child get to afterschool? (This wins the prize for most often asked!)

In the case of children in grades K to 5, the daytime teachers will bring the children directly to us in the lunch room. In the lunchroom there will be a table designated for each activity and there will be a “‘table sign” that shows the name of the class and lists the children enrolled. The one exception to this routine is that our teachers will meet the Pre-K children (at PS 84) right at their classroom door. In any case, there is never an instance of a child wandering the halls wondering where to go! We’ve got that covered.

How can I help my child have a smooth transition to afterschool?

The most important thing is to review your child’s afterschool schedule with them at home, so they know what to expect at the end of the regular school day. Also, please be in touch with your child’s daytime teacher to inform them which days your child is attending afterschool. We will provide the school with a list of all enrolled children, but it’s important that you communicate with the daytime teacher directly. Especially at the start of the year, it will keep us all on the same page.

What should my child bring to afterschool?

No special equipment is needed, but participants in outdoor activities should check the weather in the morning and dress in appropriate attire. Later in the fall, this will mean hats and gloves and warm coats. Children should not bring toys or phones or electronics that would be distracting or could be lost or broken. (And it’s against school rules besides!)

Should I pack a snack for my child?

Yes. In past years, the afterschool provided a basic snack such as crackers or carrots, juice or milk. However, this year, to avoid spreading germs, we will not distribute snack (at least for fall cycle) and so we ask that parents pack something healthy that their children will enjoy. Please don’t send candy or sugary snacks or anything with nuts. We’re nut free for the safety of those with allergies.

Medication and Healthcare Issues

Arts and Athletics programs are not licensed to store or administer medications. If you child requires medication during afterschool hours, you should arrange to have it administered by the school nurse or by a family member. The exception to this is epinephrine. In compliance with Elijah’s Law, afterschool personnel at each of our sites have been trained in the use of the epinephrine auto-injector and this medication is store on site in accordance with New York State Department of Health (Office of Children and Family Services) regulations.

What COVID precautions are in place during afterschool?

Although COVID concerns have decreased, Arts and Athletics continues to follow guidance from the Department of Education and the CDC with regard to COVID precautions and best practices. All adults entering DoE buildings are required to be vaccinated and that includes all afterschool personnel. Mask-wearing is optional for children and teachers, but in the language of the DoE regulations face coverings are recommended while indoors. Additionally, afterschool activities have been selected that minimize spreading of germs. We recommend that parents pack an extra mask in case one becomes wet or soiled. Hand washing will be encouraged and hand sanitizer will be available, but it would be good for children to have their own, if possible.

When is pickup?

The daily afterschool schedule consists of a few main pickup times. Early session ends 4:20, so that is early pickup. Late session goes from 4:20 to 5:40, so there’s also a pickup time at 5:40. Outdoor classes go until 5:00 p.m. so they will return to the school building for pickup just before that time. The main thing to keep in mind is that our permit expires at 6:00 p.m. so pick up has to be completed and we have to all be out of the building by then.

What do I need to know about pickup procedures?

Well, it’s the first week and it might not go as fast as you’d like. We will have personnel at the front desk. Parents or caregivers will come in and find one of three alphabetized sign-out books containing a sheet for each child. The adult will write their name and time next to that date and then they can enter the building and collect their child. Please have identification ready. Once our front desk staff get to know you (and grandparents and baby-sitters and such) the IDs won’t be required and it will go much faster. The first days take longer but it’s all for the safety of your children, so please be patient.

What if I’m running late?

Please call. It happens. If you are late for a 4:20 or 5:00 pickup, we would have your child join a “Study Time” session where they can read quietly or work on their home work. If you’re late for a 6:00 p.m. that is more serious because it could jeopardize our permit. Like many afterschool programs, we state that we charge $5 per minute for pickup after 6:00 p.m. (We’ve never actually charged any of our families this fee, but it’s officially the policy, so please don’t test us!) The other thing about being late is that your children have had a long day and they’ve held it together in all of their activities and it tends to make them feel bad if they’re picked up late. But still, if you’re going to be late, please call. Neil’s number is 917-279-7345. (This is now the corrected phone number…I transposed two digits before!)