After School Program Expectations

Student and parent expectations for the After School Program

Background

Fairfax County Public Schools does not provide any type of accident, health, or other medical insurance for its students, including those who participate in the after-school program.  If any injuries do occur to a student in the after-school program, school personnel will respond in the same manner that occurs during regular school hours.  The after-school program operates with reduced staff levels compared to regular school day activities.   Public health nurses, clinic room aides, public health attendants, and public health training assistants are not available.  At least one after-school staff member is certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or has received training, within the last two years, in emergency first aid and CPR.

Participation Guidelines

Participation in the middle school after-school program is a privilege.  The middle school after-school program is optional and participation is voluntary. Continued participation in the after-school program is contingent on the student's attention to school behavioral guidelines. All students must understand and agree to follow FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities, local school discipline and safety rules, and all safety and discipline rules regarding bus transportation while participating in the after-school program. 

While some structure is necessary for order and control, activities will be offered in a comparatively informal setting where students are given the opportunity to choose from a variety of activities.  All activities are conducted within group settings.  Students must be capable of acting responsibly and safely in a less restrictive atmosphere where the student-adult ratio varies, depending on the program activity, and may be as large as 20 to 1. A minimum number of participants are required for all program activities. 

In keeping with the goals and objectives of the after-school program, the following guidelines govern student participation in the after-school program:

  • The student must have the ability and willingness to participate fully in group activities
  • The student must be able to conduct themselves safely and appropriately in a group setting
  • The student is able to care for personal and hygiene needs
  • The student must be able to understand and follow program rules
  • The student must be able to follow at least one and two step directions
  • The student must have the ability to successfully transition from one activity to another and in and out of the program at the start and conclusion of each activity or day
  • The student is able to interact with peers and community in a socially appropriate manner
  • The student is not a danger to themselves or to others
  • The student does not disrupt normal activities making it unreasonably difficult for other youth to enjoy the after-school program
  • The student does not engage in repetitive, aggressive, harmful, or disruptive behavior

After-school program staff has the discretion to handle behavior problems as the particular situation arises.  In all cases, maintaining the safety and security of all the students in the after-school program is most important.  Student participation in the after-school program may be denied and parents/guardians may be asked to pick up their child if the guidelines, including chronic lateness to check-in, are not followed.  

Reasonable accommodations and/or modifications will be made in order to afford eligible students with disabilities who enroll in the middle school after-school program meaningful access to the array of group activities offered to program participants.  Accommodations are considered reasonable where the provision of them would not result in a fundamental alteration of the program or the services or activities offered by the program.  The after-school program may in some circumstances modify its staffing ratio for an individual with a disability or medical need who would not be able to participate in the program without such a change, but who would be able to meet the basic eligibility requirements if such a change is provided.  The parent/guardian of a disabled student who wishes to enroll the student in the after-school program must first contact the after-school program specialist at the middle school and provide complete information about the child's disability at least two weeks prior to participating in an after-school activity or program so that a determination can then be made as to whether the disability can be reasonably accommodated.  All determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

What the middle school after-school program is not…

  • The after-school program is not part of a student's free appropriate public education.
  • The after-school program is not mandated and student participation is not required.
  • The after-school program is not a child care service.
  • The after-school program does not provide custodial care.
  • The after-school program activities are not required to be provided in a traditional classroom setting.
  • The after-school program is not required to be provided every school day or each school day.
  • The after-school program is not a service to be provided to maximize each student's potential.
  • The after-school program is not part of a student's individualized education plan (IEP).

Parent Pick-Up 

Students who are picked up from the middle school after-school program must be signed out by a parent/guardian or someone designated by the parent/guardian (at least 16 years of age) and permission must have been received in writing.  Students must be picked up promptly at the end of the after-school program.  If a student has not been picked up by the end of the program, after-school staff will try to contact the parent/guardian and/or those individuals designated as emergency contacts.  If the parent/guardian and/or those individuals designated as emergency contacts cannot be reached and the student has not been picked up by 30 minutes after the end of the after-school program, Fairfax County Police and Child Protective Services will be contacted for assistance.  Three (3) late pick-ups will be cause for dismissal from the after-school program.

Weather Emergency

When there is no school due to a previously scheduled vacation or teacher workday, there is no after-school program.  In the event of an early school closing or school cancellation due to a weather emergency, all middle school after-school activities will be cancelled.  All bus students will be sent home on their regular buses.  When there are no late buses due to a weather emergency there will be no after-school program.  Parents/Guardians should develop a plan with their children to cover emergency situations and ensure that their child(ren) knows what to do and where they are to go in the event of the after-school program being canceled due to a weather emergency.