Program Activities - Before School Program

The Before School Program is based at each of the three elementary schools in our school district: Birch, Chatterton and Levy-Lakeside. Our Before School Program (BSP), which begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 8:40 a.m. is designed to welcome children and to respond to their physical and emotional needs in such a way that the children will be ready to start school in a positive frame of mind. Our aim is to have a calm and pleasant environment for our children where they feel welcomed and also wake up at their own speed.

Unlike our After School Program, where children all arrive at one time, we plan our activities in the Before School Program to allow for children to arrive at different times. The activities that children choose to participate in during the Before School Program are designed to end in such a way that children are prepared to start the school day in a reasonably happy frame of mind. Our staff make a special effort to provide activities that children can participate in without waiting. Children may also bring their own breakfast snack to the morning program.

After the child enters the Before School Program area with his/her parent and is signed-in and greeted by our staff, they are free to chose an activity that interests them. For example, children might elect to play with Legos, participate in arts and crafts projects, play table games or complete homework assignments.

Children assist in putting away materials at the end of each session (8:40 a.m.) and are encouraged to point out to our staff the kind of activities, games or craft projects that they would like to engage in the next time they arrive at our Before School Program. For your child's safety, parents are reminded that they must not drop off children outside the school building or outside the Before School Program classroom. Parents must escort their child into the Before School Program classroom and sign the daily attendance sheet indicating the time/date that you dropped off your child.

Important Note: In the event that there is a delayed school opening (10 a.m.) due to inclement weather (e.g. snow or ice, etc.) The Before School Program will be closed. Parents will be notified by telephone by the school district whenever there is a delayed school opening.

After School Program

The After School Program is also located at each of the three elementary schools in the MUFSD school: Birch, Chatterton and Levy-Lakeside. The After School Program is open from 3:00 p.m. (or regular school dismissal time 2:50/2:55 p.m.) to 6:00 p.m. on all full school days. We are closed whenever MUFSD schools are closed and we do not operate a summer program (please see the official MUFSD school calendar for school holidays).

The Merrick After School Program offers structured as well as non-structured activities for our children. Routine activities, including student arrival, departure, snack time, participation in various program activities and maintenance of the school facility are important for the health, comfort and safety of the children who are cared for in our school-age program. Program staff are constantly planning ways to help our children to learn from and to enjoy the time spent in our program when they spend their afternoons with us.

At the start of the After School Program, and after daily attendance is recorded, children are involved in age-appropriate activities. Time is set aside for snack and children are given ample opportunity to complete their homework assignments. Parents are reminded that our program is recreational in nature and staff are not permitted to assist children with their homework assignments (grades 1 through 6). After snack, children will participate in a variety of activities (e.g. board games, manipulative toys, arts and crafts, computer and low organization games in our gym). Children also have supervised play in our school playground (weather permitting).

Our After School Program schedule is planned with the knowledge that our children have had a long day in school and need time to unwind and release stress. Each child in our program will have at least 45 minutes each afternoon for quiet homework time (grades 1 through 6). Arts and Crafts is also a scheduled afternoon activity and children may have the opportunity to work on craft projects several times a week. Children will also spend time each afternoon on the outdoor school playground (weather permitting) or school gymnasium. Activities in the gym are geared towards recreation and are not instructionally based. Supervised free play activities are built into the program to enable children to safely participate in sports activities that they might enjoy.

Parents are encouraged to pick up their children from our After School Program no later than 6:00 p.m. Parents who pick up after 6:00 p.m. will be charged a late fee of $10.00 for each 15 minutes/or part thereof that you are delayed beyond the 6:00 p.m. closing time. The late pick-up fee will be added to your next month's tuition bill and will be due along with your regular tuition payment. We recognize, however, that there will be times when you are delayed due to inclement weather, unusual traffic delays, public transportation delays or unexpected emergencies. Please be assured that in the event of an unusual parent delay in pick-up, our staff will supervise your child until you or someone designated by you pick up your child. It is a good idea to have a neighbor or relative pick up your child in the event of a major delay.