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Policies + Procedures

DOWNLOAD THE HCS AFTERSCHOOL LABS POLICIES + PROCEDURES

Program Overview

Afterschool Labs takes students on an exploratory journey into a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) disciplines. Students become experts on the theme of each ten-day STEAM module as they deepen their knowledge through inquiry-based learning and interactive experimentation. These lessons are designed to foster collaborative thinking, problem solving, and teamwork. In addition, Afterschool Labs provides time for snack, free play, homework, and team building challenges. Tuition for Afterschool Labs includes all snacks and educational supplies, as well as quality instruction from a team of trained Afterschool Labs Teachers.

Program Locations

Afterschool Labs operates at twenty sites throughout Huntsville City Schools. For a complete list of Afterschool Labs sites, visit the Sites + Schedules page.

Operational Hours

Afterschool Labs operates daily from the time school is dismissed (including early dismissal days) until 5:45 PM; a 15-minute grace period that ends at 6:00 PM is given as a courtesy and should be used for emergencies only. After the grace period expires, late pick-up fees are charged. Consistently late pickups may result in termination of service.

Daily Schedule

Afterschool Labs operates daily from the time school is dismissed (including early dismissal days) until 5:45 PM; a 15-minute grace period that ends at 6:00 PM is given as a courtesy and should be used for emergencies only.

Due to variations in school dismissal time, the schedule provided below may fluctuate.

Time Scheduled Activity
School Dismissal - 3:45 PM Snack + Free Play
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM Study Stars + Learning Centers
4:45 PM - 5:45 PM Curriculum Component

Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to attend Afterschool Labs:

Must be enrolled in a Pre-K or K-8 Huntsville City School.

Must be at least four years of age.

Must be toilet-trained.

Must be able to participate in an environment where the teacher-to-student ratio ranges from 1:15 - 1:20.

Must be able to work with other children collaboratively on project-based activities in which supplies and workspaces are shared.

Must be able to safely play with other students without presenting a physical threat to others or oneself.

Must be able to participate in open areas, such as cafeteria, playground, and gymnasium, without risk of flight or need of restraint.

Registration Procedures

To register for Afterschool Labs, click enroll now. Complete the registration form, and pay the $30 registration fee. The registration fee must be paid in order to for the registration form to be approved. The registration fee will not be waived or refunded.

In addition, students must meet eligibility requirements in order for the registration form to be approved. If a student has an Individual Health Plan or an Individualized Education Program, additional information may be requested prior to approval of the registration form.

The registration form must be approved in order for students to attend Afterschool Labs.

Forms

Attendance Policy

Attendance for Afterschool Labs is not required. However, parents are encouraged to notify Lead Teachers of planned student absences. If a student does not arrive for Afterschool Labs, the Lead Teacher may notify the parents/guardians of the student’s absence.

If a student is not on the Afterschool Labs roster, then the student will be walked to the school office to sit with the school office staff until the parent/guardian picks up the student. If the parent/guardian does not pick the student up before the office staff leaves for the day, then DHR may be contacted.

Student Pick-Up Procedures

Once students report to Afterschool Labs, they may not leave the premises until an individual who is authorized for pick-up has checked them out. With written parental notice, classroom teachers, community professionals, or social workers may meet with students during program hours without the supervision of Afterschool Labs staff. To do so, such persons must sign out the student and indicate the student’s location within school premises while away from Afterschool Labs staff.

If, during an emergency, an individual authorized to pick up a student is unavailable, the parent/guardian must contact the Lead Teacher to confirm other arrangements.

Students should be picked up by 5:45 PM; a 15-minute grace period that ends at 6:00 PM is given as a courtesy and should be used for emergencies only. After the grace period expires, late pick-up fees are charged. Consistently late pick-ups may result in termination of service.

Student Nutrition

Upon arrival to Afterschool Labs, each child will receive a USDA-approved snack and beverage. Afterschool Labs enforces the new Healthy Snack regulations outlined by the State Department of Education. Healthy snacks fuel healthy play and experiential learning.

Personal Belongings Policy

Students are responsible for their own belongings; Afterschool Labs is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged items. No toys or electronic items may be brought to Afterschool Labs. If seen, these items will be collected and returned to the parent/guardian at pick up.

Severe Weather Days

The Superintendent of Education for Huntsville City Schools determines whether or not schools are open for service during inclement weather. In the event that a school closes early, Afterschool Labs will also close, and media announcements will be made. Parents/guardians are responsible for consulting media and school site information to determine if Afterschool Labs is operational. Parents/guardians who have an email address on file will receive email alerts.

In rare cases, the Superintendent of Education will determine that regular school hours are not threatened by imposing weather but that afterschool events are endangered. Under those circumstances, Afterschool Labs will not operate. Media announcements will be made, and parents/guardians who have an email address on file will receive email alerts.

On days when the Superintendent of Education has canceled school or subsequent activities, tuition will not be refunded or credited.

Health + Safety

If a student should become ill or injured during operational hours, parents/guardians will be contacted and a pick-up recommendation or requirement will be discussed. Afterschool Labs Teachers have a right to contact ambulance or emergency services for any student that is experiencing a medical emergency.

A parent/physical authorization form must be completed, signed by the child’s physician, and filed with the student’s school before Afterschool Labs staff may administer either prescribed or over-the-counter medications to students during program hours.

Information concerning allergies or health restrictions must be listed on the student’s registration form. In addition, if needed, an Emergency Treatment Plan must be on file at the school if the student has a potentially life threatening condition such as diabetes, asthma, seizures, or severe allergic reactions. Nurse care is only provided at Morris Elementary.

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that the student’s medical information is kept up-to-date with the school and Afterschool Labs. Any updates should be communicated to the Lead Teacher.

Afterschool Labs does not offer accident insurance for students. The signature of the parent/guardian on the registration form signifies that they understand and accept this limitation and intend to assume full responsibility for any/all expenses incurred due to injury during operational hours. The signature of the parent/guardian further authorizes the program to release their information to responding emergency medical personnel.

Student Rights + Responsibilities

It is a privilege and an honor to serve your child in the Afterschool Labs program. We strive to deliver the best experience possible, combining a curriculum grounded in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) with a safe, fun program, delivered by a caring and committed staff. The following rights and responsibilities are being shared in order to convey the behavior expectations for the children in the program.

Afterschool Labs students have the right to:

  • Attend a safe, welcoming program.
  • Expect courtesy, fairness, and respect from the staff.
  • Express their needs to their teachers.
  • Resolve disputes peacefully.
  • Have fun, along with meaningful learning experiences.
  • Afterschool Labs students have the responsibility to:

  • Follow all behavior guidelines.
  • Respect the rights and property of others.
  • Refrain from hurting other students verbally or physically.
  • Respect and follow the guidance of Afterschool Labs teachers.
  • Refrain from using words or gestures that are disruptive or disrespectful.
  • Parents/guardians play an important role in partnering with Afterschool Labs for their child’s success in the program. Self-motivation and personal responsibility are keys to future success. Towards that end, Afterschool Labs uses a behavior tracking system based in positive psychology. Many students use similar systems in their daily classroom, and this will be a way for parents/guardians to get feedback on their child’s behavior during his/her participation in Afterschool Labs.

    All students start each day with a smiley face colored in on their behavior tracker. Students may have their behavior tracker colored to the plus sign if their behavior is exceptionally good on that day. However, students will have their behavior tracker colored to the minus sign for behavioral issues. You will be notified when your child’s behavior tracker is colored to the third minus sign. A student who has three minus signs colored for three days in a row may be removed from the program based on the Lead Teacher’s recommendation.

    While Afterschool Labs recognizes that our role is to coach students to success, there are some behaviors that Afterschool Labs will not tolerate. Students who engage in any of these activities may be removed from the program at the time of the first incident.

    These behaviors include:

  • Rude Disobedience
  • Vandalism
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Violence
  • Tuition

    STANDARD WEEKLY ENROLLMENT

    Enrollment for each week automatically occurs unless the account holder de-enrolls the student by 3:00 PM on Wednesday of the week prior to the student’s last week of attendance. The account holder is responsible for payment of tuition and fees for each week that the student is enrolled regardless of attendance. Tuition is non-refundable unless the student is sick for the week or a death occurs in the family.

    • Registration Fee: $30 per year
    • Weekly Tuition: $45 per week

    DAILY DROP-IN ENROLLMENT

    Enrollment for each day occurs each day that the student attends. The account holder is responsible for payment of tuition and fees for each day that the student attends. Tuition is non-refundable.

    • Registration Fee: $30 per year
    • Daily Tuition: $15 per day

    Please Note: Each time you switch enrollment between Standard Weekly Enrollment and Daily Drop-In Enrollment, you will be charged a $15 re-enrollment fee.

    Student Discounts

    MULTI-CHILD DISCOUNT

    Tuition for a third child enrolled in Afterschool Labs is reduced to $30 per week, and tuition for a fourth child enrolled in Afterschool Labs is reduced to $20 per week. This discount is only available to account holders with more than two children enrolled in Afterschool Labs standard weekly enrollment.


    EARLY PAYMENT DISCOUNT

    Tuition for Afterschool Labs is discounted 5% for the fall semester and spring semester if the accounts holder pays for an entire semester of Afterschool Labs standard weekly enrollment by the first day of school each semester.

    Late Payment + Late Pick-Up Fees

    If Afterschool Labs tuition remains unpaid after 6 PM Monday, then a $5 late payment fee will be added to the account balance. For every seven days that the account remains unpaid, an additional $5 fee will be added to the account balance. If an account remains unpaid for two weeks, then the student will be de-enrolled and unable to attend Afterschool Labs until the balance is paid.

    If students are picked-up from Afterschool Labs after 6:00 PM, then a late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. At 6:01 PM, a $10 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. For every minute after 6:01 PM, an additional $1 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance.

    Payment Methods + Procedures

    Account Holders may access registration and tuition information for Afterschool Labs through the Parent Portal at any time. Accounts are billed each Saturday for the following week of Afterschool Labs. Payment for each week of Afterschool Labs is due every Monday for the current week. If an account remains unpaid for two weeks, then the student will be de-enrolled and unable to attend Afterschool Labs until the balance is paid.

    To access the Parent Portal, click register + pay. Account holders have three payment options:

    AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS

    For each week of Afterschool Labs, the account balance is automatically deducted from the credit/debit card on file every Monday morning. Afterschool Labs accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards. Payments for Afterschool Labs will appear on credit card statements as Blue Pay.


    ONLINE PAYMENTS

    For each week of Afterschool Labs, the account holder pays tuition online through the Parent Portal by credit/debit card by 6 PM Monday. Afterschool Labs accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards. Payments for Afterschool Labs will appear on credit card statements as Blue Pay.


    ONSITE PAYMENTS

    For each week of Afterschool Labs, the account holder pays tuition via check or money order by delivering the check or money order to the Lead Teacher at their site by 6 PM Monday. Checks must be made payable to Huntsville City Schools and must include the following information: student name, Afterschool Labs site, account holder name, account holder phone number, account holder driver’s license number, and account holder address. Money orders must include the following information: student name and Afterschool Labs site. Checks and money orders will not be collected onsite any other day except Mondays. Huntsville City Schools’ Finance Department only allows two returned checks per year before check writing privileges are suspended until the close of the current calendar school year.

    Student Withdrawal Policy

    Account holders must withdraw students by 3 PM Wednesday the week prior to their last day of attendance. If account holders notify Afterschool Labs after 3 PM Wednesday, they are responsible for paying tuition for the following week.

    Account Holders must notify the Client Specialist at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 256.382.1057 of the decision to withdraw a student. When a student is withdrawn successfully from Afterschool Labs, the account holder will receive a confirmation email. If a student is not properly withdrawn, tuition and late payment fees for Afterschool Labs may accrue.

    The following methods do not constitute a successful withdrawal from Afterschool Labs:

    Notifying the student’s school and/or withdrawing from the school/school system.

    Notifying the student’s Teacher.

    Notifying the student’s Lead Teacher.

    Childcare Management Agency (CMA) Policy

    Clients of the Childcare Management Agency (CMA), a government childcare subsidy program for eligible participants, must abide by the chronic absenteeism regulation. This regulation states that CMA will reimburse only five absences per calendar month for extended day care. With a medical excuse, CMA will reimburse up to five additional absences only.

    Afterschool Labs requires that the medical excuse be provided on the first day of the CMA client’s return. If a medical excuse is not presented to the Lead Teacher, the student’s account will be applied a fee of $9 per uncovered date of absence per absent child in a calendar month. This fee is set to compensate for administrative costs and the non-reimbursed tuition; it is in addition to the regularly scheduled weekly parent fee set by CMA. CMA will not reimburse any additional absences per student per calendar month, even if a medical excuse is provided.

    The State Department of Human Resources has instituted a computerized time and attendance system to monitor student attendance. Using the student’s pin number, parents/guardians must swipe both “Check In” and “Check Out” each day per student.  Failure to do this transaction will create the need to “back swipe” the following day.  Only 10 electronic transactions are permitted per day.  Student payment accounts will be assessed a fee of $10 (part-time) per every non-reimbursable day of service due to negligence or disregard past the CMA deadline.  This fee is set to compensate for administrative costs and the non-reimbursed tuition; it is in addition to the regularly scheduled weekly parent fee set by CMA.

    Full-time services offered for Fall Breaks, Winter Breaks, and Spring Breaks are enrollment-dependent and must be paid in advance of the week(s) of service.  The cost for full-time service is non-refundable post deadlines. Should there be either an unreported change in plans or cancellation post deadline, the Childcare Management Agency will not reimburse cost. This cost will be assessed to the student payment account.  Summer Break is not a prepaid service.

    The Childcare Management Agency subsidizes tuition fees only. All other fees, such as the “Absent without Excuse” charge, “No Swipe” fee, application/registration fees per child, late payment and late pick-up penalties, as well as activity fees, are the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian. For information regarding eligibility requirements for this program, please contact the Childcare Management Agency at 256.534.5110.

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    256.382.1057
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