General Membership Policies
Discipline Policy: Members are expected to be involved in an activity of their choice while at the Club and to follow Club rules. Children whose behavior is found to be unacceptable will be disciplined through discussion and time-outs. Continued discipline problems may result in suspension and/or expulsion. Parents and guardians are expected to work with staff regarding any child who is having difficulty meeting the behavioral requirements of the Club.
Open-Door Policy: The John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club has an open-door policy which allows all members to enter and leave the Club at will, as well as to participate in the program areas of their choice. Repeatedly entering and leaving the building is not allowed in order to avoid unsupervised wandering in the neighborhood.
Membership Cards: Maintaining accurate attendance data helps us to keep kids safe and aids us in our fundraising efforts. Each member is issued a membership card upon joining. They are expected to bring this card with them and to scan it electronically each time they enter or leave the facility. Members who do not bring their card face extended waiting periods and reduced access to equipment. Having to maintain their cards helps teach kids responsibility, which is sure to benefit them later in life. Members who lose their cards will receive one free replacement. Additional cards may be purchased at $1.00 each.
Parents and Visitors: In order to provide a safe environment for all members, all parents and visitors must check in at the front desk. Please remain at the front desk while the Club staff assists you in locating your child. The staff are happy to make appointments to discuss any issues you may have about your child or the program. Should you wish to observe your child in an activity please make your request to the front desk staff.
Pick-Ups & Late Pick-Ups: Members under the age of ten must be picked up no later than 6:30 p.m., unless they are participating in a specific activity. All other members must be picked up by closing time. Each family is given one 15-minute grace period for late pick-ups. On the second occurrence, there will be a charge of $1.00 per minute for each child. Children will not be admitted to the Club until the late fee is paid.
Health Policy: If your child is not well enough to attend school due to an illness or contagious symptoms, (including head lice) they must not attend the Club. It is expected that if a child becomes sick at the Club, the parent(s) or guardian(s) will make arrangements to have the child picked up.
Phone Use: The Club's main phone is available for emergency phone calls only. If you need to contact your child, the Club staff will make an effort to convey a message to them, Members can only be paged and brought to the phone for emergencies. Personal phone calls may be placed at the main desk area for a fee of $.25.
Cell Phones: Members are allowed to carry their cell phones with them and to use them as long as they are not being disruptive to other members of the program in which they are participating. Parents are cautioned that in the fast-paced Club environment, it is sometimes difficult for members to keep track of cell phones and they are often lost. Parents should also be aware that cell phones do not get a signal in large portions of our facility.
Valuables: The Club will not be held responsible for lost or stolen items. It is recommended that anything of value be left at home.
Do I need to make a reservation for my child to attend the Club?
All card carrying members may visit the Club on School Days and Saturdays (Winter) whenever they would like. They can come as often as they want and may stay as long as they want. The first visit to the Boys & Girls Club is free for any child between the ages of 6 and 18. They will be issued a pass and asked to provide their home phone number for the guest list. Should they decide to continue their participation, they will be asked to join the Club at a future date. Vacation Week Programs and Summer Camp require advanced registration and additional fees.
How will my child be supervised at the Boys & Girls Club?
No area of the Club will open without a qualified, adult supervisor in place to maintain safety and order. In addition to the permanent full-time staff, there are instructors, assistants, and program aids working in various areas as well. Typical staffing ratios are 25 to 1. Typical class sizes are 10-1.
How can the Club afford to provide so much for such an affordable fee?
Boys & Girls Clubs are founded on the principle that when given the proper resources, children will make positive use of their leisure time. The Club is committed to providing quality childcare opportunities for children regardless of their economic background. A group of talented individuals and concerned citizens lend their time and expertise to raise our operating budget annually. While other programs pass their costs along to participants, we work hard to stay affordable to all.
Is this free day-care?
The Boys & Girls Club does not provide daycare for its members. The cost of providing individual, one to one care to each member would be prohibitive to both the Club and its customers. We are in the business of providing quality opportunities for change and growth for our members during the time periods when parents need us the most. However, we are not a fee-for-service based organization, and as such, we cannot guarantee the staffing ratios required of a licensed day care program.
Can my child be asked to leave the Boys & Girls Club for disciplinary reasons?
Our discipline policies are outlined at length under the "Policies & Procedures" section of the website. We make every effort to avoid excluding a child or limiting their participation. In the event such a step becomes necessary, you will be asked to visit the Club along with your child so that you can be provided with documentation regarding the incident and advised of the consequences. In order for a child to be removed from the Club, they must conduct themselves in a way that is dangerous to themselves, their fellow members, or to the staff. Such situations are rare, but not unheard of.
Does the Club provide meals for my child?
While the Club will occasionally provide food for our members during holidays and on special occasions, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are fed at meal times. The nutritional value of the items in the on-site vending machines is questionable at best. Parents are reminded to provide lunch for their elementary students on all early release days. Members who remain at the Club after 6:30PM need to have access to a meal as well.
Is this free baby sitting?
The Boys & Girls Club is not a baby-sitting service. We are offer a very flexible experience when compared to other childcare providers and parents have the option of dropping members off without reservation. However, members are only allowed access to the facility to the extent that they follow the rules and participate in activities. Children who misbehave or are disruptive could be asked to leave the facility at any time. Children who are at the facility for extended time periods who are unable or unwilling to engage in activities may be asked to leave as well.
When should I sign up for Summer Camp?
Summer Camp applications are available on February 1st each year. The Club is committed to making sure that every child has a quality summer experience and those who require financial aid are invited and encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply for summer camp financial aid typically falls in mid-May, but any family in need may contact us at any time.
Why can't the Boys & Girls Club provide transportation to my school?
The Boys & Girls Club understands that transportation is frequently the number one barrier to Club participation. We do our best to use our two vehicles and our available staff to provide transportation to as many students as possible every day. However, licensing regulations, vehicle capacity constraints, and the time limitations of school dismissal combine to limit our ability to expand our efforts. Families who would like to see public school transportation in Newton drop off at or near after-school centers such as ours, the West Suburban YMCA, The Hyde Center, Brigham House, or Family Access are encouraged to contact the Mayor’s Office, speak to their local alderman, or members of the school committee to voice this need. It is hoped that if enough people speak up, the City of Newton might consider adding transportation routes for free or at a fee that would cover the cost.