ABOUT THIS HANDBOOK
FOR MORE THAN 25 years Kathy Pucci has been a leader in dance education. It is her goal and the goal of the PPAC staff and Faculty to make Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) a leader in dance education in Essex County, New Jersey. At PPAC we believe that success comes as a result of providing solid training and quality service, as well as our underlying belief in the strength of our organization. We have created this handbook to offer our students and their parents a clear understanding of their commitments and responsibility to the school.
FOR OUR STUDENTS
The first step to becoming a successful dancer is making a solid commitment to your classes. Strong technique is a key ingredient and class is where you develop that technique. Come to each class prepared to learn and without personal distractions. Class time is your chance to focus on yourself, so try to leave your concerns or worries at the studio door. True progress is made when you look at each class as an opportunity to become better at what you love to do. Dance full-out, stretch a little further, become more aware of your technique, and make the most of every class.
Respect for the teachers is essential. Listen to each correction given, whether it's directed at you or another dancer. A correction is an honor; it shows you how much a teacher cares about your progress as a dancer. Always say thank you when a teacher or choreographer offers you constructive criticism. Nothing can stop those students who apply themselves in every class and appreciate their teachers' knowledge and experience.
FOR THE PARENTS: "WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER"
We believe that children's success depends on the support of their parents or guardians. Because your commitment to the process makes an enormous difference, we encourage you to be a part of your child's dance education.
Our programs rely on a positive atmosphere and educational experience for our faculty and students and their parents. Cooperation between all parents is expected. Showing respect-for other parents, the students, and the faculty-makes an important impression on the children. You are a role model for your child about how to interact with others in a professional setting.
Your child's presence at all classes is imperative. The spirit of teamwork and the lesson of dedication are a big part of our school's educational process.
Parents and teachers may look at a child's learning from different perspectives. However, we believe they share a common goal: to ensure that every child receives the best possible training, both physically and mentally. Mutual respect among our faculty and our students' parents provides the children with the ultimate care and education.
FOR ALL PARENTS AND STUDENTS
Understanding Dance Education
As a parent, you play an important role in supporting your student financially, but your emotional support is of equal-and perhaps even greater-value. Encourage your child to be the best that he or she can be regardless of what others may achieve. Dance is an individual art form and children need to be allowed to achieve at a pace that's comfortable. No two students will progress at the same rate, even if they experience the exact same training. It's important to encourage children to focus on themselves, give their all, and be satisfied with their own accomplishments.
Not all children will develop into professional dancers. One of the primary goals of our faculty is to teach life lessons and skills that offer children the best chance for success. Dance education encompasses far more than technique and the steps your children learn. We believe the discipline of dance training gives young people a better understanding of commitment through learning, experiencing the spirit of teamwork, and discovering what they can accomplish through hard work. Our goal is to educate the minds, bodies, and souls of our students, teaching them the skills needed for a successful life, whether or not they stay involved in dance.
You play an important role in supporting your student financially, but your emotional support is of equal-and perhaps even greater-value.
The school faculty meets regularly to discuss the students' progress and/or placement. It is our policy to offer appropriate opportunities to every child.
Placement decisions are derived from many years of teaching experience. Often a child is placed in a particular group or class where he or she will feel confident, in order to promote the development of self-esteem. Some students who are placed in a higher level become discouraged, only to lose their passion for dance. Others respond to the challenge of being in a class with students who are more proficient by pushing themselves to work harder. Placement is highly individual and the factors that go into the decision are complex.
During the first week of each month parents may observe classes from outer lobby or kitchen.
In-class observations take place during the first week in April. This is the chance for you to see firsthand what the classroom experience is like for your child. Please do not bring infants or other children to the in-class observation week.
Never disrupt class. During the in-class observation week (or at any time if the door to the classroom is open), please refrain from shouting instructions or distracting your child in any way.
Parents must notify the director/and or teachers regarding children who use an inhaler or who may require medications during their time at Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC). It is also important to inform the director and/or teachers about your child's existing medical conditions or learning disabilities at the time of registration and throughout the school year. Our teachers are trained professionals who are anxious to work with all children and personalities, and the more we know about your child, the better the dance experience will be for all involved. All information about our students is confidential.
Dos and Don'ts
Some parents may compare their child's progress or class placement to another child's. Watch for this behavior in your children as well and encourage them to focus instead on their own accomplishments.
Looking to other students for inspiration is good; however, making negative comparisons distracts children from focusing on becoming stronger dancers. In addition, speaking negatively about your child's teachers, fellow students, or other parents in front of your child--or other students--could result in problems far beyond your original concerns. Often children will imitate a parent's behavior with other adults or authority figures.
Children learn important lessons from their teachers and parents, acquiring behavior patterns through their example. Our school's faculty takes that responsibility seriously. It's our philosophy to encourage our students to feel, think, and act respectfully toward their peers, the adults in their lives, and themselves.
If you have questions or concerns about your child's dance education (such as progress or class placement), please discuss them with your child's teacher or the director. Talking only to other parents can lead to misinformation and confusion. Please contact the school office to set up an appointment; do not approach your child's teacher or the director between or during classes or make contact outside of the school.
If you do request a conference, please listen carefully to what your child's teachers have to say. They spend a significant amount of time with your child and offer expertise in the field of dance education.
Class placement of students is highly individual and the factors that go into the decision are complex.
We work hard to make the dance experience organized and fun. Keeping you informed is one of our primary goals. Please read all newsletters and other school information.
Newsletters and important updates are printed and handed out to our students at the conclusion of class. The same newsletters and updates are emailed to you and posted on the Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) website and Facebook page.
If you have any questions regarding the information distributed, we encourage you to contact the office at (973) 223-9200 or Studio Manager (201) 341-3206 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
We answer email on a daily basis, except on weekends. Feel free to email questions to the office at Puccipac@gmail.com OR Puccipac.Barbara@gmail.com.
Website - www.PPACNJ.com
We are constantly updating our website. News, important parent and student information, contact information, and more are available online 24 hours a day.
Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/Pucciperformingartscentre
"Like" the Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) page on Facebook to receive daily updates on school events. Please invite your family and friends to "like" the school.
Please do not post questions on the school's Facebook page. Instead, please email them directly to Puccipac@gmail.com OR Puccipac.Barbara@gmail.com.
School closures due to severe weather conditions will be announced by noon on that day. Notifications of weather cancelations will be emailed, posted on the website and the Facebook page, and announced on the school's outgoing voicemail message.
An annual registration fee of $25 per student and $35 per family covers the cost of mailings, insurance, handbooks, rehearsals, and so on. Registration fees are not refundable with the exception of preschool students who are determined to be unready for dance and may receive a credit for the following season.
Tuition and Expense Policy
Please understand that upon registration for a full-year course (36 weeks) you are responsible for the full-year tuition unless you notify us by filling out a "withdrawal" form at the front desk 14 days in advance. A $30 service fee will be charged if the bank for any reason returns a check or the credit card company for any reason denies the credit card transaction. If a balance is not paid within one (1) week of the date that balance was due, the account is subject to a $20 late fee.
We offer a 5% discount on annual tuition that is paid in full by September 30th and 4% discount on bi-annual tuition paid by September 20th and January 20th. PPAC offers the option of paying tuition monthly as follows: Full year tuition is divided by 9 and monthly payments are due by 1st of each month from September through May. (There is no payment due in June) Tuition may be paid by cash, check or credit. For parents who choose to keep a credit card on file tuition be charged directly to your specified VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
We will accept cash, checks, or money orders for tuition payment if received by the 1st of the month. Please write your child's name in the memo portion of the check. If you pay with cash, please ask for a receipt.
Please note: tuition is based on the season regardless of how many weeks are in a given month. Tuition payments average out to four classes each month.
Tuition does not include the registration fee, dancewear, shoes, costumes, recital tickets, private lessons, or special events.
Dress Code Requirements
Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) maintains a dress code to encourage concentration and a sense of inclusiveness (variations in attire can be distracting and contribute to feelings of inequality). Uniformity in dancewear allows the teachers to assess how well the students are implementing the technique being taught, problems with alignment, and other important aspects of dance training.
Students should carry their dancewear, shoes, and other belongings in a dance bag. Please print your child's name on the bag as well as on all of its contents.
Dancewear is to be kept in good repair and laundered on a regular basis.
Boys age 10 and older must wear a dance belt.
Watches, jewelry, and safety pins should not be worn to class. Stud/post earrings OK
Dance shoes should never be worn outside.
Female students should wear their hair tightly secured and styled away from the face; a neat bun is preferred.
Students are expected to observe good personal hygiene habits. Deodorant is required for students age 10 and older.
In order to maintain a happy, healthy, professional environment, students are taught the importance of being a part of the group. We encourage students to have respect for other students, the teachers and staff, and studio property, and we foster the development of good habits and compliance with rules of conduct.
Our staff and faculty are trained to use constructive techniques of discipline to maintain class control and handle individual misbehavior.
Children who exhibit unacceptable behavior or attitudes are told what is wrong and directed to a positive alternative approach or behavior.
If a child strikes another child, the two are respectfully separated and each is asked to explain what happened. They are then asked to help solve the problem, talk to each other, and reconcile with one another.
Children who are disruptive will be respectfully asked to stop the behavior. If the behavior is repeated, they will be reminded of it and told how it affects others. If the disruption continues, the children involved will be asked to sit down for a short period of time (usually three to five minutes) before rejoining the class.
If a child's misbehavior continues to disrupt the class, the parent or guardian will be called to pick up the child.
Termination of Enrollment
In certain circumstances, when it is in the best interest of one or more students, it may be necessary for the school owner or director to terminate a student's enrollment. Every effort will be made to correct a problematic situation before terminating enrollment. Reasons for termination of enrollment include the following:
Disruptive or dangerous behavior by students or their parents
Abuse of other children, staff, or property
Inability of Pucci Performing Arts Centre to meet the child's needs
Arrival and Departure
We encourage students to arrive 10-15 minutes before class starts.
For their safety, children under age 10 should be picked up immediately after class. Students ages 10 and older must be picked up no more than 15 minutes after their class is completed.
All students are expected to attend their regularly scheduled classes. Each class offers a step forward in the educational process. A missed class could leave a child one step behind the other students. During the months of February through April, choreography for the recital will be taught and rehearsed. It is important for children to feel completely confident with the choreography and the year-end performance. Missing class during this period could result in frustration for the students and their teachers and classmates.
Dance is a physical activity that requires the body to be warmed up in order to execute movement safely. Late students miss the proper warm-up and/or barre and therefore may sustain injury. Students who arrive more then 10 minutes late may be asked to observe class for reasons of personal safety.
Safety issues and legal responsibilities make it impossible for us to allow students to bring visitors into the classroom. Students should not invite siblings, other relatives, or friends to their classes with the exception of special events such as "Bring a Friend Week" and in-school performances.
Makeup Classes & Teacher Substitutions
Students who miss a class will have the opportunity to make it up with another similar class. Please check with the office to determine the best makeup class for your child. Tuition will not be reimbursed or credited due to student absences. Due to additional dance performances, choreography work, sickness, or personal reasons, substitute teachers may be needed at times. All substitutes are highly qualified and must be treated with the same respect as the regular teacher. Substitute teachers are also a benefit as they expose students to a different style of teaching so everyone wins.
Pucci Performing Arts Centre reserves the right to substitute teachers or change teachers for any classes offered throughout the year. In the event that we cannot offer an appropriate substitute the class may be canceled and rescheduled or tuition will be credited at the discretion of Pucci Performing Arts Centre
Lost and Found
Please mark all dancewear, shoes, and personal items with your child's name. We will make every effort to locate and return lost items; however, we cannot be responsible for any items that your child brings to class.
Colds, flu, and other contagious diseases occur frequently and spread easily among children. To help protect your own child's health and to minimize the possibility of contagion at school, please keep your child at home if you observe any of the following symptoms:
• Nasal discharge that is green or yellow
• Complaints of ear pain
• Consistent cough
• Severe sore throat
• Eyes that are pink, burning, itching, or producing discharge
• Diarrhea or vomiting
If these symptoms or other conditions deemed contagious are observed in your child during a class, you will be called to pick up your child immediately.
When your child has a fever, please keep him/her at home until the temperature returns to normal. If there are any lingering signs of illness, such as glassy or watery eyes, listlessness, and drowsiness, please keep your child at home. This will help to ensure that the illness has passed and that your child will be well enough to resume class activities the following week.
Although we have never experienced an emergency evacuation at the school, we are prepared for such a circumstance. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in all classrooms and in the lobby. Students are to evacuate quietly and walk in single file as quickly as possible to the designated area, where teachers will check roll. Students and teachers are to return to classrooms and buildings when the all-clear signal is given.
Parking Lot Rules & Safety
The school is home to children of all ages. Please enter and exit our parking lot with extreme caution. Never park your vehicle in any area that is not a designated parking space. If you park in a space that is very close to the building or its windows, please do not leave your car idling. Please do not allow siblings to play in the parking lot.
PLEASE NOTE: The spaces adjacent to Mount Pleasant Ave. are 15 minute parking ONLY.
Parents and students should not enter the "office space" of the school. Please feel free to communicate through the open window of the office.
Use of the teacher cell or telephone is limited to emergencies only.
Parents and students should never interrupt a class in session.
Only water is allowed in the studios. No food, drinks, or gum.
We love babies and young children and appreciate the chance to meet our students' siblings. However, our priority is the safety of every child on the school premises. Children must be supervised at all times and are not free to run around the lobby or classroom areas.
Please do not dispose of dirty diapers inside the school. Large trash cans outside the studio are better suited for such disposal.
No cell phones or computers may be used during class time. (This means no emailing, Internet use, or text messaging.)
Students and parents are restricted from contacting teachers by phone, email, text messages, etc. All communication with teachers or the director must go through the Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) office.
Never speak negatively about teachers, students, or parents from other schools.
Never recruit students from other schools.
All students must show respect for their teachers at all times. Inappropriate behavior could result in dismissal from the school.
Food and Drinks: Food and Drinks are not permitted in the dance rooms or the dressing room. A water
bottle is permitted in class. Food/Drinks must remain in the lobby or in areas designated for eating.