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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

Why is the District changing before- and after-school childcare providers?

Lower Merion School District’s goal is to provide the best possible option for parents. We asked for proposals from a variety of providers. A committee of parents, principals and district administrators reviewed and investigated the providers and their proposals. The proposal submitted by the long-time provider did not rise to the level of the other proposals and so a decision was made to recommend the new provider.

Why Right At School?

Right At School is a nationally-recognized provider focused exclusively on student enrichment for children in elementary and middle school. Right At School’s highly trained and passionate educators make sure the learning carries on before and after school in a fun and meaningful manner with fun-filled programs focused on building creativity, conditioning, character and confidence. Their programs are reliable (programs run every day school is in session for a full day), flexible (register for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days/week), and convenient (including a daily drop-in option).

Is this change affecting the Kindergarten wrap-around program?

The current provider, Montgomery Early Learning Center (MELC), will continue to provide the morning and afternoon sessions for kindergarteners through the 2018-2019 school year and the District will continue to provide bus transportation for that program.

Will the District still provide transportation to/from the Kindergarten site?

Concerning bus transportation for kindergarten families who will utilize both before- and after-care from Right At School and kindergarten enrichment from MELC:

While it is unique for a school district to provide four daily trips per student, we have determined that we will continue the level of service that is currently in place for our Kindergarten families for another year. That means children will be picked up and returned to their elementary schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

If we are currently at MELC for before/after care are we guaranteed a spot in the new program?

Right At School and MELC are committed to working together to honor registrations that have already been submitted. As long as there is enough physical space at the schools, Right At School plans to provide placements for all of those families based on registration data provided by MELC. In addition, Right At School will work with school principals to maximize licensable space and will hire enough highly qualified and trained educators to meet demand.

The Right Club (after-school care)

What is the Right Club?

The Right Club is after school every day that school is in session for a full day. Services begin when the school bell rings and continue until 6 PM. Parents can choose as many days as they’d like for their children to attend, and can change your schedule if needed.

What does a typical day look like in the Right Club?

Town Hall Meeting (~15 minutes) – At the school bell, children will gather in their after-school meeting location, where the educators will take attendance and serve a healthy snack. The day is then kicked-off with a Town Hall Meeting, where students will share news and special events, and the educators will set the schedule and expectations for the day.

The Right Moves (~10 minutes) – After a long school day, kids need to let out their energy. They’ll spend ten minutes dancing, doing yoga stretches, or team games; just enough time to get out their “wiggles” and refocus their energy on homework.

Homework Time (~45 minutes) – The onsite educators provide a quiet and supervised environment for students to work on their homework. If students complete their homework early, they will have quiet activities to choose. Students may choose to lengthen their homework time block if additional time is needed.

Daily Double/Enrichment (~45 minutes) – Kids will participate in fun, enrichment-based activities, such as arts and crafts, science experiments, drama, etc. Enrichment unit topics, such as “Energy Explosion,” “Imagination Exploration,” and “The Best We Can Be,” change every two weeks.

Fun Fitness (~30 minutes) – Students may be outside on the playground, or inside playing kickball or making up a dance routine. Either way, making time for daily movement and learning sportsmanship is an integral part of each day.

Free Play (~30 minutes) – Kids need time for self-navigation and free play! Right At School provides an ample supply of arts and crafts supplies, board games, card games, chess sets, and sports equipment available for kids to stretch their creative muscles!

What will my child eat for snack?

Right At School will provide a healthy, nut-free snack every day. Children are welcome to bring their own snacks from home if they prefer (please make sure they are nut-free). Some examples of snacks are fresh fruit (like apples, bananas, and oranges) fruit cups in 100% juice, whole grain crackers, granola bars, raisins and fresh items like yogurt, cheese, and hummus (when refrigeration is available).

On ½ days and on days when the school district is closed (vacations), will this new program provide care? Will there be an extra charge for that care? Will that care occur in the schools on the ½ days and days off?

Yes! Right At School will provide care on half days (at each school) and during breaks. Pending approval of the space by principals and District, break days are likely to be held at Penn Valley and Belmont Hills elementary schools. Half-days are included with after-school enrollment, even if they occur on a day when the child doesn’t usually attend. There is a $35/day fee for full days. Parents can sign-up for the specific days they need.

Will the new provider allow MELC wraparound students to stay at the schools for childcare when there are early dismissals?

Students who use the MELC wraparound and are enrolled in Right At School’s after-school program will automatically be enrolled for the half days. Wherever there is space available, Right At School will allow additional MELC wraparound students to enroll and stay with Right At School for half days. However, if programs are at capacity they unfortunately won’t be able to accommodate additional students.

I can’t pick up my child on a day when they are not signed up with Right At School. Can they do a drop-in?

As long as there is sufficient space at the school site, Right At School plans to offer drop-ins at a flat fee of $35 per child per day. Parents would have to register online or via phone by noon the day of for after-school and the day prior for before-school. They also hope to offer 10-day drop-in punch card for $250. Right At School will let families know prior to the start of the school year if these options will be available.

Right At School Staff

Who are Right At School Program Managers and educators?

Right At School prides itself on hiring amazing educators and preparing them with top-notch training. All staff have significant childcare experience and a passion for working with children. All staff meet and/or exceed Pennsylvania state licensing requirements.

Will Right At School be hiring MELC staffers?

All MELC staff will have a priority opportunity to apply for Right At School’s positions. Assuming they meet the qualifications and state licensing standards, Right At School would love to hire them!

What clearances have been done?

Right At School meets all requirements of the State of Pennsylvania and LMSD for fingerprinting and background checks. This includes Pennsylvania Criminal Background and Child Abuse Clearances, and FBI Clearance through the Cogent System to ensure that all staff are fully cleared to work with children.

What are the staff ratios?

Appropriate supervision is maintained at all times. Right At School’s average staff ratio will be 1:10, with no program conducted with a staff ratio exceeding 1:12.

What training do staff receive?

Right At School uses a best-in-class blended learning training model. Staff use Right At School’s Learning Management System to take online modules on topics such as safety, curriculum delivery and positive-guidance. Staff are tested on their knowledge in each area. Staff then do on-site scenario-based training with their before- and after-school teams. All staff then receive regular feedback and coaching from their Area Manager.

Is the staff trauma informed?

Right At School staff are equipped to support students of varying needs. In the case of students with trauma history disclosed by parents, they invite parents to meet with the program team to discuss signs and symptoms of trauma for the child, any methods that could be incorporated to be responsive to the child’s needs, and learn how to avoid triggers or anything could re-traumatize a student. Right At School would also volunteer to partner with school day teachers to align methods in support of each child’s needs.

Registration and Billing

What are the prices?

Right At School’s prices are 10% lower than what parents are currently paying, and families will now be able to register for 1-5 days per week, meaning they will only pay for the days they need.

Registration: $50/family

Early Adventures Before School Monthly Rates

  • 5 days a week = $255/month
  • 4 days a week= $238/month
  • 3 days a week= $204/month
  • 2 days a week = $153/month
  • 1 day a week= $85/month

Right Club After School Monthly Rates

  • 5 days a week = $395/month
  • 4 days a week= $368/month
  • 3 days a week= $316/month
  • 2 days a week = $237/month
  • 1 day a week= $132/month

Before and After School Combo Monthly Rates

  • 5 days a week = $515/month
  • 4 days a week= $481/month
  • 3 days a week= $412/month
  • 2 days a week = $309/month
  • 1 day a week= $172/month

Full Day Camp (at Belmont Hills Elementary School)

  • $35/day

I have more than one child with Right At School. Do I get a discount?

Yes! When siblings are enrolled in any Right Club option, there is a 10% discount on the bill for each additional child.

Are there discounts available for low-income children?

Right At School offers a 30% discount for students who receive free or reduced lunch. Right At School also accepts Pennsylvania Child Care Works state childcare subsidy. Please call Customer Service at 855-AT-SCHOOL (855-287-2466) during the hours of 9:30 am – 8:00 pm (EST) with any questions or if you need assistance applying.

Is there a military family discount?

Yes, there is a 10% military family discount.

How do I register and pay for Right At School?

Right At School plans to send emails to families who have already registered with MELC by May 1st with instructions on how to register with Right At School. Those families will have until May 9th to complete their registration and reserve their spot.

General Registration will open on May 10th. You can register and pay online using your credit card or direct checking account, at www.rightatschool.com. Just click on “Register” in the top right of your screen, then find and select your school.

Can I change my child’s Right Club schedule during the year?

Yes. Families may change their child’s Right Club class schedule at any time through our online registration system. For week-of schedule changes, please call Customer Service at 855-287-2466. There are no refunds or credits provided for the current month of service.

Can I speak to someone directly?

Families can also call Right At School’s Customer Service team at 855-AT-SCHOOL (855-287-2466) during the hours of 9:30 am – 8:00 pm (EST). Once the LMSD program begins, parents will be able to call their child’s Right At School Site Manager during program hours on a dedicated phone that each Site Manager carries. Program phone numbers will be found on the website on the Locations page.

For questions about packaged tuition discounts, contact Right At School directly.

Who gets priority registration?

As long as there is sufficient space at the school site, Right At School plans to offer drop-ins at a flat fee of $35 per child per day. Parents would have to register online or via phone by noon the day of for after-school and the day prior for before-school. They also hope to offer 10-day drop-in punch card for $250. Right At School will let families know prior to the start of the school year if these options will be available.