Parent’s Guide to Groups

Location and Drop-off/Pick Up Information

If your child attends the host school, they must go directly to designated meeting area immediately after school where our staff will be awaiting their arrival.  Games will begin for those kids immediately.   Children coming from other schools generally arrive 15-20 minutes later and should be dropped off at designated meeting area. Opening circles will begin shortly thereafter.  When groups end, facilitators will bring children to a specified pick-up area and remain with them until authorized individuals have collected every child. Before the session begins, parents will receive an email with all the program details and important phone numbers to keep on hand. To reach us during groups, you can always call or text Executive Director, Stephanie Schiff, at 303-807-1836.

Late Arrival, Early Pick-Up, Absences

If your child needs to be picked up early or will be arriving more than 20 minutes late, please email programs@connectusnow.org or text/call Stephanie and we’ll let you know exactly where to drop off/pick up.  Please be sure to let us know if your child will be absent, especially those who attend host school.  If a child doesn’t show up within 5 minutes of the final bell, first, one of our staff will go search for them, then we’ll contact you.  The school is not responsible for your children’s whereabouts after the bell rings and tracking them down is disruptive to groups.

Medications, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Illness

We will not administer any medication to children except in an emergency, such as a severe allergic reaction that requires an Epi-pen (provided to us by parent/guardian at the beginning of a session).

Each program will have staff certified in CPR.

Many of our games involve physical activity.  Children who are not feeling well should not attend groups.  If a child tells us they don’t feel well, they will be asked to sit out of games and parent/guardian will be contacted to pick them up.  In cases where parents have indicated a pattern of avoidance behaviors, we’ll determine an appropriate approach to their anxiety with parents prior to session.

Snacks & Birthdays

Connect Us offers children a light snack each week. Please indicate food restrictions or allergies when completing registration forms.  If your child’s birthday falls anytime during a session, we’d like to celebrate with special snacks.  It would be greatly appreciated if you are able to contribute birthday snacks to your child’s group of approximately 8-10 children.

Allergy Alert! 

We do not provide snacks with peanut butter, nuts, or nut products since nut allergy is a life-threatening condition. If you are providing snacks for the group, please do not bring anything containing nut products.

Authorization and Consent

When completing registration forms, you will be asked to disclose relevant medical information that will help us keep your child safe.  You will also be required to provide your consent to the following:  “As a parent or guardian of the participant(s) enrolled in a Connect Us program, I authorize the director or staff member(s) to perform medical treatment for my child as needed. This includes my consent to have Connect Us transport my child to a licensed medical facility should my child’s condition require it. I understand that in such a case, reasonable attempts would first be made to contact me or the contacts I’ve listed. I acknowledge that each participant assumes all risks, consequences, and potential liability. I hereby release and hold harmless the program site, director, and staff of Connect Us, its employees, volunteers, and any other person, firm or organization charged or chargeable with responsibility or liability from any and all claims by reason of accident, illness, injury, or other consequences arising from participation in a Connect Us program.”

Cancellation Policy

We will refund program fee if notified of cancellation at least 14 days prior to session start date. We do not provide refunds for missed weeks, however, if joining a session late, we will gladly prorate amount due.

Safety and Behavior

Your children’s safety and well-being in groups are priorities!  We expect every child to feel safe and valued and to leave each week feeling invigorated.   Keep in mind that our job is to gently push them out of their social comfort zones, which can result in a variety of reactions.  If your child has any concerns about groups,  please support their growth and development by encouraging them to talk to us or we can set aside a time to discuss it with child and parent(s).

Connect Us embraces all cultural and personal differences. Our facilitators actively promote an appreciation of diversity and staff and kids are expected to treat one another with respect. When conflicts occur between children, it is addressed in the group, and children are guided, as necessary, to resolve those problems. Should disruptive behaviors arise, collaborating with parents on effective strategies is essential.  If a child is aggressive or is repeatedly disruptive with no improvement after adult intervention, they may be asked to leave the program.  In those cases, we will refund the prorated amount of weeks remaining in the session.

Partnering with Parents

We expect groups to impact every child’s social development, but when kids have specific behaviors or issues they are working on at home or in school, they progress faster when parents bring those things to our attention.  We can then reinforce their efforts and they can receive support, encouragement and empathy from the group.  You are always welcome to speak with our staff after groups or contact us to set up more time to talk.

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