Parent & Student Handbook
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.
NOTE: Dates and/or expenses listed in this handbook are subject to change. Please check the website and your email newsletters for updates.
Key contact information for Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC):
19 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039
Studio telephone (973) 223-9200 Studio Fax (973) 667-2963
Director - Kathy Pucci - cell - (973) 851-3843 email - Puccipac@gmail.com
Accounts Manager - Ken Pucci - Kennypuc@aol.com - (973) 930-9943
Studio manager - Barbara Levee - cell - (201) 341-3206 email - Puccipac.email@example.com
Web Site www.PPACNJ.com
Like Us on Facebook www.facebook.com/pucciperformingartscentre
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:
“WEʼRE 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.
Our purpose is to provide the highest-quality preschool education in a secure, nurturing, and stimulating environment. Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) serves the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of the preschool students. We meet these goals with our age-appropriate curriculum and ongoing communication with parents.
The first few weeks of classes serve as an introductory phase to help students become comfortable with the overall dance experience, the classroom, their teacher, and their classmates.
Right from the beginning we focus on your child’s coordination, listening skills, musical awareness, and developing imagination. We accomplish this through age-appropriate music and song, simple stretching exercises, ballet and tumbling basics, and games in an environment of creativity. Some preschool students will incorporate simple tap-dance movement at ages 4 and 5.
Preschool students perform one dance routine in our annual recital.
Separation From the Parent
The process of separating from the parent as the child attends dance class is an important accomplishment of preschool children.
As children mature, they begin to identify themselves as independent personalities. In separating from you - the parent, your child is learning
- to develop an interest in the activities of the dance class
- to feel comfortable with other children in the class
- to understand that his/her parent will come back and pick him/her up
- to understand that all parents leave their children and come back for them.
- Emphasize what the child is doing at the dance class rather than what you do while he/she is in class
- Before you leave, see that the child is involved in an activity or is in the hands of a teacher
- Avoid prolonged good-byes.
- Ask the teacher for help in separation. We expect the crying (and usually the tears are for the parent’s benefit).
It May Not Be the Right Time
If your child cries or does not want to take class, don’t panic. If we push children and create more stress than they are already experiencing, they may come to perceive dance class as a bad experience. That kind of negativity could make them apprehensive about dance for a long time, which isn’t good for anyone involved. Never force your child into the classroom.
If your child stops attending class within the first month, the registration fee will be credited to the following year. We encourage you to have your child try again next year.
We recommend that children be encouraged to practice at home but not forced to do so. Repetition is one of the key elements for success with preschool dance students; the more they practice, the more confident they will feel. Practicing with your child allows you to join in the dance experience.
Dropping a Class:
Students are registered and her/his place is held in class for the entire school year, from the date the registration form is signed through the June recital. Unless the student is removed from class by having a parent or guardian sign and date the “Class Withdrawal Form”, the parent or guardian will be responsible for tuition payments through the June recital. The only way to withdraw from a class is to complete the “Class Withdrawal Form”. This will stop the billing process. If the customer does not give this written notice, monthly tuition will still be processed through auto-pay for the next month’s classes and they will be financially responsible for the amount. IF YOU ATTEND ANY PORTION OF THE MONTH, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FULL MONTHLY TUITION. Calling, speaking to someone, telling a teacher or e-mail are not accepted as forms of withdrawal.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CLASS WITHDRAWAL FORM In order to withdraw from a class you MUST submit your request 14 days prior to your withdrawal date. Upon receipt of this form monthly tuition will not be processed for the next month's tuition.
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.
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 small studio or office.
In-class observations are by appointment. 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.
You play an important role in supporting your student financially, but your emotional support is of equal—and perhaps even greater—value.
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 Donʼts
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.
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 questions regarding the information distributed, we encourage you to contact the office at (973) 223-9200 or Studio Manager (201) 341-3206
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, 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 determined by noon on that day.
- Notifications of weather cancelations will be emailed to students who have class on the day of cancelation.
- Cancelations will be posted on the website and the Facebook page, and announced on the school’s outgoing voicemail message.
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. We have a NO GUM policy.
An annual registration fee of $30 per student and $40 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. 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. PPAC requires that ALL families keep a credit card on file. Monthly tuition will be charged directly to your specified VISA or MasterCard on the 1st of each month.
We will accept cash, checks, or money orders for tuition payment if received BEFORE 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.
Each family will be given 1 Dress Rehearsal pass so that a parent may accompany participants to rehearsal. No additional passes will be given. Additional Dress Rehearsal seats are available for purchase at a discounted rate of $15.00 per ticket. *NOTE: RECITAL TICKETS GO ON SALE MONDAY, APRIL 3rd AT 9:00 AM. TICKETS ARE ASSIGNED SEATING.
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 & staff, and studio property.
We foster development of good habits & 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. If a child misses class, we encourage them to make up within 30 days in any other class.
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 or rescheduled. 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 • Fever
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 Mt. Pleasant Ave. are 15 minute parking ONLY.
Student and Parent Use of Social Media
Use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, and other online social-media vehicles is commonplace. This policy is intended to provide PPAC students and parents with guidelines to eliminate any confusion concerning the use of social media.
You DO NOT have permission to reveal any information that compromises Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC). By that we mean you are forbidden to share personal information about the director, other students or their families, or anything that is proprietary and/or confidential to them or Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC).
Students and parents should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on behalf of Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC).
Never post anything that could compromise the self-esteem of students who attend Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC).
If you post videos of class or rehearsals, don’t post any choreography in its entirety; Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) owns the copyright to all choreography taught at the school.
Respect the law, including those laws governing defamation, discrimination, harassment, and copyright and fair use. As stated in this handbook, parents and students should never post negative comments about other schools or teachers. Also, please do not post negative comments about school activities such as competitions, conventions, and performances or about the directors of those events.
Ensure that your social networking conduct is consistent with all of the policies contained in this handbook.
- Parents and students should not loiter in the "office space" of the school. Please make an appointment to come in with any questions or concerns.
- 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 trashcans outside the studio are better suited for such disposal.
- No cell phones or computers may be used during class time. (students must check their phones in the office before entering the studio)
- Students & parents are restricted from contacting teachers by phone, email, texts, etc. All communication with teachers must go through (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.
- We have a NO GUM policy.
Recital: Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 - 4:00 PM - West Orange High School
Dress Rehearsal: Friday, June 2nd, 2017 - 4:00 to 8:00 PM West Orange High School
There are no classes June 5 - 7, 2017 however, additional rehearsals may be scheduled for students ages 7 and older at the discretion of the teacher/choreographer. Parents and students will be notified of all additional rehearsals at least two weeks in advance.
Most students choose to perform in our Annual Showcase, although participation is not required.The precise place of the show will be announced sometime in the fall, as soon as we receive approval for use of an auditorium. Dress Rehearsal is scheduled the one or two days before depending on the availability of the auditorium. The show runs about 2 hours.
The schedule for the Dress Rehearsal will be issued a month in advance. You will be given a block of 30 minutes time in which your child’s class will be scheduled to rehearse. You are expected to be at rehearsal at least 20 minutes prior to your assigned time. We are usually on time, but please understand that it is a rehearsal and may not run exactly according to schedule.We will never rehearse a class ahead of schedule, however, we are not able to wait or re–rehearse for latecomers. This is unfair to the majority and to subsequent performers.
Each family will be given 1 Dress Rehearsal pass so that a parent may accompany participants to rehearsal. No additional passes will be given. Additional Dress Rehearsal seats are available for purchase at a discounted rate of $15.00 per ticket.
Cameras and videos are only permitted at dress rehearsal. It is a terrible distraction for the performers and cannot be allowed at the show. It is also a disturbance to the audience. All shows will be professionally videotaped and available for purchase.
A big part of dance training includes learning through performance. Although performance opportunities can help prepare some students for a possible career in dance, they also contribute to children’s success in non-dance activities. The experience helps build self-esteem and confidence, which can result in better in-school presentations, improved social skills, and strong college and job interview skills. The rehearsal process is a tremendous learning experience as well. It helps the children develop retention skills, and by working with their classmates on a group performance, they learn the positive aspects of working as a team to create the best end result.
We spend many hours determining the correct costumes for each class. They are always age appropriate and of the highest quality possible. Preschool students will need one costume; all other students will need one costume for each dance form they train in. Costumes include all accessories (hats, gloves, etc.), but do not include tights and shoes.
In an effort to ensure that costumes are delivered in time for school photographs and an organized distribution to our students, costume orders are placed during the December holiday break. Costume manufacturers do not accept cancelations nor offer refunds; therefore PPAC does not refund costume fees.
Costume Payment Schedule
Cost per Costume November 1 December 15
1st Class / Child ($85/per) $35 $50
2nd Class / Sibling ($70/per) $30 $40
Costumes are always age appropriate and of the highest quality possible.
Class photos will be taken on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC). Dates and times are subject to change. Please confirm your child’s time on the updated schedule to be distributed the week of February 27th, 2017. All students are required to be present for their class picture. There are no exceptions.
After the group photo shoot, students may choose to have solo portraits made in any or all of their costumes. There is no obligation to purchase photos. Please arrive at least half an hour before your child’s scheduled time since photo shoots tend to run ahead of schedule.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ACTIVITIES
The last week in October is “Bring-a-Friend Week.” Students may bring a friend to the school to experience a fun class designed for them and their guests. Students’ friends attend class free of charge during this week.
Summer Program and Camps
Each summer Pucci Performing Arts Centre (PPAC) offers Summer Onstage Performance Camp for both current and new students. Summer activities are for children ages 6 to 15. The 2017 Camp will run for 9 weeks, June 26th through August 18th. Kids can sign up for one week or multiple weeks. A complete brochure of all summer programs will be distributed in January. We suggest early registration to receive a discount.
We offer several birthday party options for both boys and girls. Parties are themed and can be dance or singing related. Birthday parties are scheduled for Saturday afternoons or on Sundays. Please contact the office for a complete brochure or visit our website for details.
A FINAL NOTE
WELCOME TO PUCCI PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE! We look forward to an exciting, rewarding season!