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FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I make changes to my child's program registration?
EXCEL requires two weeks notice to withdraw your child from the program and/or make changes to their participation level. Please note that the opportunity for part-time participation has been discontinued for the 16/17 school year. Participants may choose from Before-5 days/week, After-5 days/week or Before & After-5 days/week.Parents are required to notify the EXCEL Registrar at 902-464-2000 ext. 2787 or by email to excelregistrar@hrsb.ca of the desired change. The official date of notification will be the date of initial contact.  

2. When do I receive my Income Tax Receipts?
Income tax receipts are emailed or mailed in February and are issued in the name of the account holder listed on the application form. Please advise our Registrar of any changes to your email address and/or home mailing address to ensure receipt of these mailings. Income tax receipts will only be mailed to Account Holders should they not have an email address.  
 
3. When does EXCEL operate?
EXCEL operates on the days that schools are open, with the exception of the last day of school when there is early dismissal. EXCEL does not operate on Professional Development or Assessment & Evaluation days.  

4. What do parents do when EXCEL is not open? (storm days, PD days, holidays, March/December break)
The HRSB school calendar is released in late Spring each year for the subsequent school year which provides families time to plan for school and EXCEL closure dates. EXCEL also recommends that families have a pre-arranged back up plan in place for unforeseen closures such as snow days.
  
There are no refunds issued for storm days. If school has been cancelled prior to the start of the school day, EXCEL is also cancelled. Check the HRSB website or call 902-464-INFO for cancellations prior to the start of the day. If schools are cancelled after the children are in attendance and are to be sent home, EXCEL is also cancelled from that point on. For after school programming, EXCEL staff will contact you or an emergency contact person in the event that children are to be sent home due to inclement weather. Parents are advised to discuss with their children where they should go in the event of early dismissal due to inclement weather.

EXCEL will also not be able to operate during times of power outages and water shut-offs. When possible, the school and EXCEL coordinate with the utility companies to arrange any planned service interruptions during periods when EXCEL is not operational. Should emergency utility interruptions arise that conflict with our program times EXCEL will contact parents to arrange for immediate pickup of their child due to the inability for our program to operate.

5. Why doesn't EXCEL operate when the school is closed?
It is a matter of school policy. When the school is closed for any reason, no one may operate programming within the school.

6. What is the process for registration and acceptance?
Registration is offered each spring for the upcoming school year. Individuals may register via the convenient online registration system or may obtain an application via the HRSB website or in a program room for completion.

Each year the families of current participants are provided with a username & password to access the online registration system during a one-week Early Registration period. General registration begins the following week and a username and password is not required once General registration begins.

For the 2017/2018 school year the following are the applicable EXCEL registration dates:

  • Early registration – Monday, April 24th, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m.
  • General registration – Monday, May 1st, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m.


7. My child has been attending for the past 3 years. Why do I need to fill out another form and why isn’t he guaranteed acceptance?
There is no automatic re-enrolment of students in EXCEL. Parents are responsible to submit a new application each school year identifying their interest for the upcoming school year. Parents are responsible to make note of the applicable registration dates and to submit their new application in a timely manner. All applications are treated equally. Applications are processed based on the date & time of receipt of the application by the EXCEL office. 

8. Why do I have to fill all of my information in the application each year, can’t your system remember the details?
Applications are viewed as contracts between the individual and EXCEL. It is imperative that parents provide authorization in relation to the financial transactions of monthly fees as well as to provide current contact information of parents/guardians and other individuals authorized to have access to your child(ren).

9. Do you save a number of spots for Primary students, students with Special Needs and/or new students to the community?
All applications are treated equally. Applications are processed based on the date & time of receipt of the application by the EXCEL office.  

10. I’m not sure which school my child will be attending as we are currently selling our house. What should I do?
Given the demand for our programs parents may only submit an application for one school during the registration period. Should there be factors resulting in a change of schools following the submission of the initial application parents may contact the EXCEL office to request a transfer of their application from one EXCEL program to another. The date of the request to transfer the application would become the new date/time for acceptance consideration.

11. Why do siblings of current participants have eligibility to apply during early registration?
In an effort to show appreciation to our current participants we offer current families the opportunity to submit new registrations for all eligible family members during the Early registration period each year. It is incumbent upon these families to submit their application during this period in a timely manner each year.

12. How will I ever get into the program when the program is full year after year with current participants?
The opportunity for new students to be accepted into EXCEL occur for a variety of reasons which include: students moving on to Junior High; individuals moving out of the school community; change of jobs; and parental leave etc. It is unfortunately impossible for EXCEL to know each year how many spots may be available to new registrants until current families are provided the opportunity to register for the coming school year. When and if programs reach capacity waitlists are established and further applicants will be advised of the program availability status.

13. The program at my child’s school is full and we weren’t accepted. Why can’t you just hire more people?
EXCEL program capacities are established in consideration of the availability of appropriate and consistent space from which to offer the program. Capacities are not established as a factor of the number of staff being hired. Work within a school does not end with the end of the school day bell. EXCEL works with schools to explore access opportunities during the non-school hours that would enable EXCEL to provide a quality experience to our participants each and every day of the school year. EXCEL is offered as an option within a community. Parents are encouraged to explore and consider alternative options within communities for their families.

14. Who do I talk to about getting more EXCEL program space at my child’s school?
All HRSB employees are committed and interested in serving the needs of families within our school communities. Capacity decisions are formed as a result of significant discussions and explorations between EXCEL supervisors and school administrators.   

15. What are my chances of getting into a program once my child is waitlisted?
Individuals on waitlists will be contacted when and if there are withdrawal requests from current participants. Withdrawals occur for a variety of reasons which include: families moving from outside of the school community; change of jobs; and parental leave etc. It is unfortunately impossible for EXCEL to know when and if such notices may be received but are committed to immediately notifying the next individual on the waitlist should such an opportunity become available.

16. Why aren’t the waiting lists carried over to the follow school year(s)?
EXCEL cannot assume what a family’s needs and interest will be from school year to school year. All individuals are responsible to submit applications for subsequent years in a timely and complete manner.

17. Why can’t the Before program start earlier or the After program remain open later than 6:00 pm?
The scheduled access to school buildings each morning is the determining factor for EXCEL program starting times. In the interest of safety, HRSB staff must be provided adequate time to complete the school opening procedures which include checking and/or beginning mechanical and operating systems, snow removal etc. before parents and students can be permitted on the premises. EXCEL programs conclude at 6:00 pm each evening at all sites as HRM and private groups frequently book the spaces that EXCEL also utilize for alternate community programs and sporting activities.  

18. Why is the monthly amount the same, am I paying for PD days/holidays?
As a convenience to clients, we have taken the total annual EXCEL fee and divided it into 10 equal payments. Annual fees are calculated by the number of actual program days and do not include in-service, professional development days and holidays.    

19. Why isn’t EXCEL available in all schools?
The EXCEL program is offered based on the needs of the school community and the availability of appropriate program space within a school. With an invitation from the school’s Principal, EXCEL will survey the school community to determine the need and support for beginning a new EXCEL program.

20. I only need the before program a few days/month, why can’t I just register my child for when I need it?

EXCEL does not offer drop-in participation opportunities. In the interest of providing a quality experience for our participants, full-time registration is required to ensure staff can prepare and plan appropriate program planning and also ensure safe & consistent attendance procedures.

21. Do I need to send a snack with my child each day?
Yes, parents are responsible to prepare and provide a snack each day for their child’s consumption during our scheduled daily Nutrition Break. These snacks must abide by the food guidelines communicated by the school with respect to life-threatening allergies etc. We also encourage students to have a water bottle for hydration throughout the afternoon program.   

22. Will my child be able to complete their homework during EXCEL?
EXCEL provides participants the opportunity to complete homework during the HRQ (Homework/Reading/Quiet) time, 5:30-6:00 pm time period of our program. If a child does not want to complete their homework or does not have homework to complete, there will be other activities occurring during this time period for them to participate in.

23. What do participants do in the EXCEL program? What does the afternoon look like?
EXCEL is dedicated to providing a high-quality, unique, engaging  before and after school experience for elementary aged participants. Our dedicated staff members work as a team to provide participants a safe, fun program that supports social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development. The program includes a variety of physical activity and recreational opportunities to encourage healthy lifestyle. Every day is a little bit different! We also give our participants the opportunity to grow and learn through participation in science, arts and crafts, guest speakers, and club activities.  

24. What type of training do your staff receive?
Our staff receive a variety of training courses and opportunities. These courses include First Aid, High Five Principles of Healthy Child Development, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, and Fundamental Movement Skills.