Explore Parent Handbook

After-School Parent Handbook

Superintendent: Mr. Gary Storts

Pine Hill Elementary
Principal: Tami Beall
Secretary: Debbie Kamberg 
School phone: (707) 443-4596                                    

South Bay Elementary
Principal: Heather Becksted
Secretary: Diane Schorlig
School phone: (707) 443-4828

Pine Hill School EXPLORE Site Coordinator: 
Julie Bonomini EXPLORE phone: (707)616-7875

South Bay School EXPLORE Site Coordinator: 
Joe Robles  EXPLORE phone: (707) 616-7881

EXPLORE Parent Handbook created by:  
Gary Storts, Tami Beall, Julie Bonomini, Joe Robles


Welcome to the South Bay Union School District EXPLORE After School Program.  This booklet will provide you with information about our program, describe policies, and suggest ways that we can work together to bring your child the best possible experience.  This program is operated under the supervision Site Principal, and the Site Coordinator of the EXPLORE After School Program. The program will provide a quality after school experience which parents can rely on throughout the school year.  A variety of enriching activities which include arts & crafts, games, sports, a quiet study time, homework assistance, and “free time” for the children to pursue their own interests are provided in a fun, safe, friendly environment.  In addition, tutoring help is available for students who need academic assistance.  The After School Program is funded and operated under guidelines set up by the State Department of Education After School Education and Safety Program (ASES).


The EXPLORE After School Program will provide quality, affordable services that allow for input from staff, parents, and the children in order to consistently improve and create dynamic programs. A caring, nurturing, stimulating environment that promotes physical, social, academic, and mental growth will be provided to all participants.  We recognize the uniqueness of the individual child, family, and the community in which we reside.  We provide a safe place to test boundaries where children and staff can learn through their experiences to better understand themselves and one another.

Policies & Procedures

Enrollment in the EXPLORE After School Program constitutes an understanding that you will abide by the policies listed as follows:

Section I: Everyone’s Expectations of the Program

Parents/Guardians may expect that:

  • Their children are cared for in a warm, safe, and supportive environment.
  • They will be notified promptly if their child does not arrive or is not accounted for at the program according to his/her schedule.
  • They may visit the program at any time.
  • They may meet with the Principal or Site Coordinator about any concerns relating to the child or the program.
  • They will be informed about program activities.

The Program expects that Parents/Guardians will:

  • Adhere to all program policies and procedures.
  • Keep the child's records up to date as explained in Section IV.  Registration and Enrollment.
  • Pick up children on time as explained in Section XI. Pick up Time.
  • Contact the Principal or Site Coordinator in the event that your child (ren) will not be attending.
  • Pay attention to communications from staff concerning your child or the program.
  • Give a two-week notice before withdrawing your child from a program as explained in Section IX.

Children may expect:

  • To have a fun, safe, and caring environment.
  • To use all the program equipment, materials, and facilities on an equal basis.
  • To receive respectful treatment from program personnel.
  • To receive nurturing care from staff members who are actively involved with them.
  • To have discipline that is fair.
  • To have quiet time to complete homework.
  • To have assistance in completing homework.

The Program will expect that the children will:

  • Be responsible for their actions.
  • Respect the school rules that guide them during the day.
  • Remain with the group and child care staff at all times.
  • Take proper care of equipment and materials.
  • Arrive at the program in a timely fashion.
  • Respect the rights of others to complete assignments and homework.

Section II: Registration and Enrollment

The Program encourages any child enrolled in the school to apply for admission.  The program does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ethnic background, disability, handicap or socioeconomic status.

Eligibility: Enrollment is open to any child attending South Bay USD.  Priority will be given to students who receive a free or reduced lunch and/or are academically at-risk students.

Enrollment:     Parents or guardians may enroll a child at any time there is space available. When the program is full the child can be placed on our waiting list.  Pupils attending South Bay USD After School Program are expected to attend five days a week unless they are attending a district-sponsored activity such as band or they leave early to attend a parent sponsored enrichment activity such as soccer (see Section V: Early Dismissal Policy). In either case, the child needs to check into the program and then be signed out by the parent/guardian or designee.  Children will be allowed to start only after all of the following forms are completed and turned in:

  • Registration/Contract
  • Field Trip Permission Form
  • Early Release Policy
  • Fees ( if applicable) paid in full
  • After-School Parent Agreement Form
  • After-School Discipline Slip Form

    Parents/Guardians agree to keep all these forms current and inform the Principal or Site coordinator of any changes.

Section III: Family Conferences

Family conferences are available anytime it is deemed necessary by either the family or program staff. These can be informal or formal discussions depending on the nature of the conference and the desire of the participants.

Section IV: Discipline Policy

The South Bay USD EXPLORE After School Program believes that both children and staff have three basic rights:

  1. Everyone has the right to be free from verbal and physical abuse.
  2. Everyone has the right to learn, grow, and have fun.
  3. Everyone has the right to the safety of themselves and their personal property.

The goal of discipline for children is to help them learn acceptable limits of behavior and to help them develop self-control of their behavior.  This is done by providing an environment that allows for independence, yet sets clear limits and expectations of the child.  Limits are maintained by adults who have realistic expectations of the child based on the child?s developmental level.

Discipline may take many forms and will be geared to the child's age and the severity of the problem. When possible, the program will allow the child to experience the logical consequences of their actions.

In no instances will any form of corporal punishment, humiliation, ridicule, threat, or other similar action be used or condoned with children.  The program also prohibits parents, guardians, and others from using any of the aforementioned, while at the school site.  Children will be encouraged to work out problems constructively, and develop respect for self, others, and their environment.

If a child exhibits behavior that infringes on another person?s rights or property, one or more of the following actions may occur.  These actions may not occur in this order.  Program staff will match an action appropriate with the misbehavior.

  • The child may experience the logical consequences of their actions.
  • The child may be redirected to an appropriate activity.
  • The child may be reminded of the program/school?s rules.
  • The child may be given time out to reflect on their behavior.
  • The child may be put “off limits” from a piece of equipment or area of the site.
  • The parent/guardian may be contacted and a conference arranged to discuss ways of solving the problem.
  • The parent/guardian may be called and required to pick up the child.

In cases where a child does not follow the rules, an After School Program Discipline Slip will be filled out and a copy will be given to the parent/guardian.  Please note that some discipline slips require a meeting with the parents and staff.  This meeting is an opportunity for the family and staff to work together to help solve the problem in a constructive way.  If the behavior continues after this conference the child can be terminated from the program.  It is our desire to help all children grow into exemplary students, however, we cannot tolerate willful disregard for program goals and objectives. In extreme cases, with the approval of both the Site Coordinator and the Site Principal, a student may be terminated from the program without going through the above steps. The following are the rules of our after school program and the reasons a student may receive an After School Program Discipline Slip:

After School Program Discipline Slip

Pupil’s name:  


Rule that was broken:

  1. Be Respectful to the school community by following directions.
  2. Be Respectful to the school community by keeping it clean and safe.
  3. Be Responsible by using an appropriate voice level and language.
  4. Be Safe by staying in designated areas.
  5. Be Safe and care for others by walking in the hallways.
  6. Be Safe by keeping my hands, feet, and objects to myself.
  7. Be Respectful by treating others the way you wish to be treated.
  8. Refusal to participate or disruption of study hall


  1. 1st Discipline Slip Pupil will receive a warning and a note will be sent home to the parent.
  2. 2nd Discipline Slip Pupil will have a loss of a privilege such as computers, cooking, or activity time. Parent contact will be made.
  3. 3rd Discipline Slip Pupil will not be able to attend the program for one (1) day.  A parent conference will be required.
  4. 4th Discipline Slip Pupil will not be able to attend the program for three (3) days.  A parent conference will be required.
  5. 5th Discipline Slip Pupil will be removed from the After School Program and his/her place will be filled by a student on the waiting list.

Section V: Fees and Payment Policy 

Some students may incur a fee for attending the EXPLORE program.  If fees for attending the EXPLORE program are necessary, those fees will be collected on a monthly process. 
All fees are to be paid in advance of services unless they are being paid by an outside agency. 

Section VI: Voucher Programs Offered By Outside Agencies

The EXPLORE program accepts vouchers for child care payments through the Changing Tides, CALWORKS, and other agencies. If you feel you may be qualified, contact Changing Tides at 445-9291. Once approved, participants must have a meeting with either the Site Principal or Site Coordinator to cover the following:

  • Vouchers must be signed with a full signature on a daily basis.
  • Certificates must be signed with a full signature in a timely fashion.
  • On your child's last day of the month, you must sign with a full signature at the bottom of your voucher.
  • You must write in a reason for any illness (i. e. cold, flu, etc. not just “sick”).  This is due to government regulations that fund these programs.
  • Failure to give a two-week notice before withdrawal from the program may make you liable for fees not covered by HCCC.

Parents/Guardians will be responsible for any fees not covered by their voucher program.

These co-pay amounts will be reflected in the following month?s billing.
Before your child(ren) may start, all enrollment forms must be completed and turned in to the Site Coordinator and an intake meeting completed.  Parents and guardians utilizing the Voucher Program may start the program before paperwork has arrived.  You will, however, be responsible for any and all fees not covered by the voucher program.  Families utilizing this program must complete all monthly paperwork required by both agencies!

Section VII: Early Release

A child may be released early from the after school program prior to the end of program time at
6:00 PM based on the following conditions:

  • When attending a parallel program (programs in the school or community centers such as soccer, basketball, etc.) as long as an agreement or partnership with the program exits making this parallel program the child?s enrichment component.
  • Family Emergencies (such as death in the family, catastrophic incidents, etc.)
  • Medical appointments and/or illness
  • Weather conditions
  • Child accidents that occur during program time (program staff should call parent or guardian)
  • Other conditions especially on safety as prescribed by the school
  • In the best interest of the child as determined by teachers, parents, and the After School Program staff.
  • Safe transportation from site to home.

Section VIII: Sign Out Procedures:

  • In the best interest of the child, early release sign out shall be done on a student- by-student basis.
  • When the early release occurs, program staff should record the date and time of the early release departure of the child.
  • Necessary forms should be implemented for recording those eligible to sign out the child and assure the safe and orderly early release of students. Identification of adult signing out the child will be verified.
  • Parent, guardian, or program staff should sign the child out.  The parent or guardian may give written instructions regarding other individuals eligible to sign child out (other specific adults, siblings, or the student himself/herself).
  • All persons signing out a child must sign with their full legal signature.

Section IX: Withdrawal from Program

Parents/guardians wishing to withdraw their child (ren) from the program must give two (2) weeks notice to the Site Coordinator.

Section X: Hours of Operation

  • After School Program: Regular Day Hours - Pine Hill 2:20 - 6PM & South Bay 3 - 6PM
  • After School Program: Early Release Hours – Pine Hill & South Bay 1:30 - 6PM
  • Summer Program: Full Day Hours – 7:45AM - 5:15PM

For your children’s safety, please remember to sign your child(ren) in on the school’s roster each morning and/or out at the end of each day.

Section XI: Pick Up Time

  • The program closes at 6:00 PM.
  • If a parent/guardian does not arrive by 6:15 PM, a staff member will call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for pick up.
  • Please pick your child up by the stated closing time.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!

Section XII: Absences

If your child (ren) will not be attending on a scheduled day please call the site and let the staff know or leave a message on the answering machine.  Absences without prior notification may be mistaken for a missing child and may result in unnecessary concern and time spent in searching for the child. If a child does not arrive, the staff will contact the school to see if the child went home early or was absent and will then contact the parent.  Please let program staff know of all absences.  Children who are ill and do not attend during the school day will not be allowed to attend the After School Program.

Section XIII: Release of Children

Children will be released to persons other than the parent/guardian only if written permission has been granted in advance by the parent.  In the event of an emergency and the parents or guardians are unavailable, the staff may contact persons identified on the child's emergency card to take the child from the program.  It is important to keep your child's emergency cards up to date. Unless the program has a restraining order covering a parent, both parents will be allowed to take their child (ren) from the center. In the event of an emergency, all efforts will be made to reach the parents/guardians.  If that fails, we will try and reach the person(s) listed on the emergency card.

Section XIV: Court Orders

If pursuant to court order, one parent has been given the legal right to child custody or visitation which determines who is to pick up a child who participates in the South Bay USD EXPLORE After School Program, or if one parent has been restrained by court order from visiting or has been ordered to stay away from a child the program requires the following:

  1. A certified copy of the current court order which states the rights or restraints ordered.
  2. If a later order supersedes the first, it will not be honored until the program has a copy of the most recent order.
  3. The law requires that we follow valid court orders and only certified orders are deemed valid.

Section XV: Health and Safety Policy

Whenever a child is to be given a prescription or over the counter medicine, the parent or guardian must provide program staff with a completed, signed medication authorization form. The medication must be provided in the original container.  If your child has a known medical condition (asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, etc.), let program staff know what to do if a problem should occur during program hours.

If the child has any of the following conditions, the parent or guardian will be notified to pick the child up immediately: Contagious Disease, Fever over 100º F, Vomiting or Diarrhea, Accident Requiring Medical Attention.

In case of accident or illness, parents or guardians of the child will be called immediately.  In serious cases, after attempting to reach the parents/guardians, the child will be taken to a local hospital for treatment and the child?s parents/guardians will be notified as soon a possible.

Section XVI: Snack/Supper

Our snack program receives reimbursement from the child nutrition programs offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  With this assistance, we are able to provide nutritious snacks. The Food Program is available without charge to everyone regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.  If you have concerns regarding the snack program, please contact the Principal or Site Coordinator.

After-School Program
We serve a nutritious snack/supper each afternoon between 2:45-3:45PM at Pine Hill, and 3:00-4:00PM at South Bay. 
Inservice/Vacation & Summer Program Days
On days when the program is in operation all day, an afternoon snack is offered; however, parents/guardians need to provide a lunch for their child (ren).
Please make sure that program personnel are aware of any known allergies.  If your child has any special dietary needs please discuss them with the Principal or Site Coordinator.

Section XVII: Child's Personal Property

Children's personal property such as coats, backpacks, etc. must be taken from the designated backpack area at the end of each session. Any personal property that remains at the end of a session may be placed in the lost and found.  This is emptied from time to time after giving notification in advance. Although the staff attempts to help the children stay organized; the program cannot take responsibility for lost personal property.  Please mark jackets, clothing, etc. with your child?s full name.  Each year we donate many items to local charities simply because the owner could not be identified.


Thank you for participating in the South Bay USD EXPLORE After School Program. It is our hope that this handbook will answer any questions you may have concerning program philosophy and policies.  We constantly strive for excellence and welcome any suggestions/comments you might have.