Franklin Early Childhood Center

At the Franklin ECC everyday is a great day to learn something new!


Parent Handbook 2017-2018

Donna Rosso,    Director,  Franklin Early Childhood Center                                                                                                                               [email protected]        781-979-2260  

Jackie Nickolas, Before and After-School Preschool Program Coordinator                                                                                                [email protected]     781-484-6328

Welcome to the Melrose Public Schools Franklin Early Childhood Center Stay and Play Program! Our school represents a place where talents are developed and recognized.  We strive to help each child achieve his/her highest potential.  In order to make this happen, we firmly believe that the process of education is both lifelong and team-oriented. A high level of involvement and good communication between administrators, lead teachers,  group leaders, parents, and students is essential in reaching our goals.

This handbook serves as a guide, which will hopefully be the cornerstone of communication as we work together throughout the school year.  It contains most of the information you will need on a day-to-day basis. You will find information relating to the before and after school procedures. Please keep it in a place that is handy for future reference.  We hope you will find it helpful.


Stay and Play professional staff and hands-on programming engage students in a creative, motivating and cooperative atmosphere during after school, vacation and summer hours.  Stay and Play promotes fun, friendship, inquiry and development. Stay and Play professional staff strives to provide programming that helps children enjoy healthy, happy and productive hours outside of the regular school day.    

Stay and Play provides balanced enrichment programming in a fun and familiar environment, encouraging development of the whole child. The enrichment program schedule supports student needs for both free play and structured recreational activities. Stay and Play promotes students’ social, intellectual and physical skills through an array of carefully designed activities.

Students naturally grow, given a culture of opportunity, empowerment, creativity and camaraderie. Staff at Stay and Play strives to provide just such an environment.  Employees are taught to trust in the power of students developing good choice-making capabilities. The organization’s activities and policies support the premise that students are capable of learning and displaying skills that support a healthy and successful life.  Stay and Play strives to be a useful and integrated part of the Melrose community.

Stay and Play helps equip students for success by emphasizing resiliency and meta-cognitive training (goal-directed thinking, learning and behavior). Students with strong resiliency and meta-cognitive skills are more likely to overcome setbacks, think effectively and organize themselves to reach goals in life. These skills are interactively taught and practiced in play-based activities throughout the program.  Staff actively model resiliency and meta-cognitive skills while scaffolding students for success.


  • Encourage well-rounded development through a variety of enrichment activities
  • Teach students to be positive, responsible and contributing community members
  • Provide safe, reliable and caring supervision during non-school hours


As Staff Members we will strive to:

  • Enhance students’ recreational, intellectual, social and physical skills by offering a variety of interactive enrichment activities in a supportive environment.
  • Teach students how to be positive, responsible and contributing members of society.
  • Provide safe, reliable and caring supervision during out-of-school hours.

As Families we ask you to:

  • Read the entire handbook and clarify any questions
  • Pay tuition, drop-ins and all fees on time
  • Pick-up students on time
  • Adhere to all program policies and procedures
  • Review the program rules and behavioral expectations with child
  • Bring forward any questions or concerns
  • Work with staff to resolve any issues
  • Keep all information current (i.e. student health, contact numbers, days scheduled for attendance)


Stay & Play provides balanced enrichment programming at the end of the school day at the Franklin Early Childhood Center. Before School Programming starts at 7:25 AM and children are brought to their classrooms at 8:15 AM to start the school day. After School programming begins after school dismissal at 2:10 PM and ends at 6:00 PM. Before and after school programming is only offered to children in classes that run from 8:25-2:10 PM.

Families have scheduling flexibility in choosing which days of programming they need and what pick up time works best for them. Children can only attend programming on days they attend school. Therefore, a child in a Thursday/Friday class should not register for programming on a Monday. Children must be registered for the same day schedule and pick up time all school year. A minimum of two days is required for both before and after school.  

Example: A child attends school Monday-Thursday and after school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. They are picked-up each day at 4:30 PM. This is the child’s schedule for the whole school year.

Aside from afterschool programming, Stay & Play also offers enrichment activities during other non-school times including professional development days, some vacation/holidays and summer break.


Before and after school programming is only offered to children in classes that run from 8:25-2:10 PM. During the registration period families need to determine their programming schedule. Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis. Spots are not secured without complete registration and a set schedule. Payments will be divided into eight equal tuition payments to include all programming selected.  Families are responsible for all registered periods, whether or not the child attends. Therefore, if a family registers for December Vacation but does not attend they will still be responsible for payment. A one-time registration fee of $45.00 is required to process all registrations and is due at the time of in-person registration (checks only).

Tuition payments are due on the first of the month from July 1st, 2017 – February 1st, 2018. There will be a late fee of $25.00 per month for tuition payments not received on or before the 10th of the month. When space is available, families who register for programming after the registration period will pay tuition on the same schedule. For example, if a family registers in November they will pay tuition from November through February dividing their total costs into four monthly installments. At the time of registration families will receive a Stay and Play calendar which will reflect the program and payment schedule. All tuition payments must be made ONLINE through the MCC Online Payment Center or by check payable to Melrose Public Schools. Stay and Play does not accept cash payment, paper checks, or money orders.

Additional fees not included in the tuition payments: before school drop-in punch cards and schedule/time changes.  

Students will not be able to begin attending programming with an outstanding balance or incomplete registration. The Melrose Public Schools reserves the right to discontinue a child’s enrollment if tuition and fees are not paid on time.  

After School Schedules


2 Day 3:30 Pick Up


2 Day 4:30 Pick Up


2 Day 6:00 Pick Up


3 Day 3:30 Pick Up


3 Day 4:30 Pick Up


3 Day 6:00 Pick Up


4 Day 3:30 Pick Up


4 Day 4:30 Pick Up


4 Day 6:00 Pick Up


5 Day 3:30 Pick Up


5 Day 4:30 Pick Up


5 Day 6:00 Pick Up


Before School Schedules


2 Day


3 Day


4 Day


5 Day


Drop-In Punch Card (10 Drop-Ins)




8 Early Release Days


December Vacation T-F 8:00-6:00PM


February Vacation T-F 8:00-6:00PM


April Vacation T-F 8:00-6:00PM


Professional Development Nov. 7th 2017



As tuition payment secures a placement for students and obligates staff/materials, no refunds or credit for unused days can be given.  Refunds of normal tuition payments will not be given for school closures, absent days or other missed days.  Parents are responsible for payment of all registered periods, whether or not the child actually attends.


Before and after school programming is only offered to children in classes that run from 8:25-2:10 PM. In order to plan for appropriate staffing, quality activities, and to accommodate many families’ schedules, students need to be pre-registered to attend.  Parents may choose a combination of weekdays with a minimum of two days and a consistent pick up time to suit their schedule. Students may only sign up for before and after school days on days that they are in school. Full day programming vacation weeks requires sign up for the full week and Early Release days require sign up for all eight early release days whether the child attend or not. Families are responsible for all registered periods, whether or not the child attends. Therefore, if a family registers for December Vacation but does not attend they will still be responsible for payment.

Schedule changes are discouraged for both before and after school but will be permitted only upon approval of the Preschool Program Coordinator and Franklin Director. Each schedule change is subject to a $100 schedule change fee. For example, a child is registered for two days for 3:30 pick up and needs to increase to three days 3:30 pick up. Schedule changes must be requested in writing at least one month before the change is to occur otherwise the applicable tuition will continue to be incurred during the one month waiting period.

In the event a family needs an occasional change to their schedule an hourly rate and a service charge fee will apply as follows: A family who generally picks the child up at 3:30 but will pick up at 4:30 the charge would be $10.00. ($8.00 hourly rate plus $2.00 service charge fee)or pick up at 6:00 the charge would be $25.00 ($8.00 hourly rate/$5.00 service charge). A family who generally picks up the child at 4:30 but will pick up at 6:00 the charge will be $20.00 ($8.00 hourly rate/$6.00 service charge). Time changes must be made and approved at least one week in advance of the change or it will be considered a late pick up. There is a $2.00 per minute late pickup fee applied to all late pick ups.Time changes must be made, approved, and paid for at least one week in advance to receive the time change fee otherwise it is considered a late pick up. There is a $2.00 per minute late fee applied to all late pick ups. After three late pick-ups, families are subject to an additional $50.00 fee. As in the example above the late fee pick up would be subject to a $300.00 fee payable before the next day of attendance at Stay and Play if there had not been a prior arrangement at least one week in advance with the Preschool Program Coordinator making it a time change fee.


Stay and Play offers full day programming on December, February, and April Vacation Tuesday-Friday and Tuesday November 7th, 2017 Professional Development Day from 8:00-6:00 PM for an additional cost. Students must be registered at the time of initial registration. Lunch is not provided during full day programming weeks. Children will need a lunch as well as, a morning and afternoon snack during these times.  


The Melrose Public School District has eight Wednesday early release (ER) days, when Franklin ECC 8:25 – 2:10 classes are released at 11:25AM. On these ER days, there will be an afternoon movie and snack to entertain students until the regular dismissal time – 2:10. Early release days must be signed up for during initial registration. At the Franklin, lunch is not served on Early Release days so children participating in Early Release programming need to bring a lunch.


Delayed Openings/Snow Days:

If there is inclement weather causing a delayed opening in Melrose, school will open two hours later than the usual start time and there will be after-school programming.

If you utilize the Before School Stay and Play Program, please know that if school is delayed the before school program will not operate. The After School Stay and Play Program will be open for the regular hours closing at 6 pm.

If school is cancelled there will be no before or after school programming.


Parents are required to give a one month written notice of their intent to withdraw a student from programming. Refunds cannot be issued for unused days during that month. Withdrawal is subject to the additional $100.00 schedule change fee.   

Before School Drop Off Procedure

  • Parents will park their car in the driveway and turn their engines off.
  • The parent will bring the child to the STEM ROOM DOOR #12
  • The child will be let in and greeted by a staff member
  • The staff member will check in the child and bring the child to appropriate before school room
  • At 8:15 a staff member will bring the child to the appropriate classroom

After School Pick Up Procedures

  • Parents will park their car in the driveway and turn their engines off.
  • They will ring the bell located at Door #10 and be let in and greeted by a staff member
  • Parents will sign the child out at the sign-out table
  • Staff will release the child to the parent


If a parent/authorized adult is suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the Preschool Program Coordinator or designee will request that the parent/authorized adult call the next available parent or emergency contact.  


One healthy snack and drink will be provided at the conclusion of the school day.  The cost of snacks is included in tuition and not refundable if a student chooses not to eat the provided snack.  If parents wish, they may send students with their own alternate or additional snack. As families eat dinner at different times in the evening, a second snack will not be provided.  Many children staying on the green line do get hungry again about 4:30 or 5pm.  Parents may elect to send a second snack for late afternoon/early evening if they see fit.  Parents must be sure to note on the medical/health forms any food allergies or food restrictions that a student may have so appropriate arrangements can be made.  PLEASE BE SURE ALL FOOD SENT TO STAY AND PLAY PROGRAMS IS NUT FREE. Thanks for helping keep all students safe by limiting exposure to serious allergens!


Due to the severity of NUT allergies, parents are asked to be sure all food their student brings from home is NUT-free.  All snacks provided by Stay and Play will be NUT free.  Certainly, students have allergies to a host of other foods and substances. Be sure appropriate documentation has been noted on registration forms.  Treatment/medication forms must be completed and necessary medication provided.  Staff will be informed regarding student allergies and take appropriate precautions.

*All medication should be in original pharmacy or store packaging with the prescription label attached. It should be delivered to the school nurse during school hours.


Over the past several years, the Melrose Public School system has worked to create a safer and healthier environment for our students. The city’s Health and Wellness Policy states that we will take measures to address healthy eating habits, as well as food allergies. There has been an increase in students with life-threatening food allergies. All food coming in for classroom snack must be nut-free. Students are not allowed to share food with each other. When a celebration includes a “treat” parents/guardians will supply their child with their own individual food. The lunchroom has a designated nut free area. Therefore, there are no food restrictions in the lunchroom.* The Health and Wellness Policy states that the schools must, “Uniformly minimize the amount of cake, cupcakes, etc. being brought into school by encouraging families to bring in nonfood treats while also addressing life-threatening food-allergy concerns.” Therefore, we have also eliminated the distribution of food being brought in for birthdays/celebrations. (*PLEASE NOTE FRANKLIN DOES NOT HAVE  A LUNCHROOM. STUDENTS EAT IN THE CLASSROOMS THEREFORE ALL FOOD COMING TO SCHOOL MUST BE NUT FREE.)


Appropriate behavior management techniques recognize the individual and diverse developmental needs of each child. Programs at the Franklin Early Childhood Center have some basic rules for the health and safety of the children. We arrange the environment to avoid problem situations. We tailor our expectations to fit the developmental levels of the children to minimize frustrations and inappropriate behavior.  Children participate in establishing school rules and policies as appropriate.  These rules are posted in classrooms.

Children are encouraged to develop their own control, autonomy, management of feelings, problem solving and find their own rewards in cooperative social behavior.  We model a sense of control in our own touch, voice and body language.  We are firm about our limitations when they are appropriate to the situation and the child’s ability to understand and comply.  We are consistent.  We work as a team with other teachers, professionals and with parents.  We analyze possible reasons for the behavior problems and make whatever adjustments in the environment we can.

Children are encouraged to verbalize their feelings, evaluate problems, brainstorm ideas to deal with their emotions and develop strategies towards conflict resolution.  Our staff will offer choices, try to redirect activity, point out natural or logical consequences of different behaviors and help the child individually or in a group to problem solve.  However, when a child does act in such a way that is or could be harmful to self or another we do intervene.  We do not use corporal punishment, humiliation, verbal abuse or deny children food or bathroom privileges.  In situations where warranted, disciplinary actions may include removing the child from the classroom environment with a staff person.  If appropriate, restrictions in space such as where a child may play or be and what s/he might be able to use.  Once the child regains control, staff will work with the child to learn more acceptable ways of expressing his/her feelings with the goal of returning to the group as soon as practical.  In this instance the teacher will discuss the behavior difficulty with the parent at the end of the class sessions.  


Stay and Play policies intended to prevent and address abuse and neglect include:

      • Employees are never to be behind closed doors while alone with a student.
      • All activities and staff interactions with children should be observable and able to be interrupted by another staff member “popping in” at any point in programming. 
      • In general, staff should avoid one-on-one situations/contact with a student.  If an exception either of the two preceding policies is necessary or should occur, the incident must be immediately documented by the employee(s) involved by filling out a “Policy Breach” form.
      • Written communication must be observable and should never be exclusive between and adult and a child.  
      • Staff must not make nor accept any request by a program participant under the age of 18 to become a friend as part of their personal web page (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Snapchat, Etc.)
      • Taking photographs or publicly posting pictures with students is prohibited and will lead to immediate termination.
      • Staff structure promotes an open and proactive atmosphere through assigning clear supervisory roles and responsibilities.
      • Generous staffing encourages supervision of both students and other staff.  Stay and Play adheres to a low student to staff ratio, usually about 8:1 and never to exceed 12:1.
      • Supervisory staff circulates among groups and spontaneously check groups across campus.
      • A staff member is to be posted at the front and at the back of the line with students in the middle. When moving groups of students a line is to be formed, with adults leading and ending the procession.
      • If a staff member suspects a student has been, or is being abused or neglected by anyone (another minor or adult) they are to report immediately to the Preschool Program Coordinator of Franklin Director.
      • The Preschool Program Coordinator or Franklin Director will report to DCF any suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
      • All licensed educators are required to file directly with DCF.
      • Anyone who suspects childhood abuse or neglect may directly file a report with DCF.


Procedural measures to prevent and address bullying and antisocial behaviors include:


  • Stay and Play employees must be rigorously supportive of the mission to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and emotional safety.  Staff must be proactive and responsive to intervene if unkind, bullying or antisocial behavior is observed or reported. The response of adults and mentors to children’s unkind or inconsiderate behaviors is critical. By responding swiftly and consistently, staff shows all students that the rules will be followed, and everyone may feel safe.  Every staff member is responsible to demonstrate to students the respectful types of behaviors that are expected, and follow up faithfully when unkind, bullying or antisocial behavior is demonstrated.  Employees are absolutely expected to act on student reports or complaints.


  • Activities that develop group identification and belonging are practiced regularly, during circle times and second step curriculum. Team-building and cooperative games help reinforce the inclusive culture of kindness at Stay and Play and students are encouraged to behave as a team to which everyone belongs and contributes.    


Parents are responsible to alert the Preschool Program Coordinator in writing of any specific medical needs.  If students have any special medical or dietary needs, please be sure appropriate information has been provided on registration forms. Parents should provide additional clothing, pulls and wipes, or any other particular needs their child may have. Please keep Stay and Play updated on needs or any changes.

If a student may require medication or treatment while attending the after school program, parents must submit a treatment/medication form. All medications must be in original packaging/container and display the child’s prescription and doctors’ orders. Nurses may administer medications with written parent permission and/or doctors’ orders.  

Stay and Play will have limited nurse access. Therefore, parents should be aware that medication, with the exception of Epi-pens,  will not be administered during Stay and Play Hours.


Stay and Play staff are able to administer first aid as it relates to the immediate and temporary care given in case of an accident or sudden illness.  There are times when a child becomes ill during Stay and Play and parents will need to be notified by the Stay and Play staff to come to school to get the child. A sick/injured child cannot be kept at school. To support the safety and health of all students, parents will be contacted and asked to provide transportation home as soon as possible if their student has a fever >100, a contagious disease or is vomiting or has diarrhea. Students who have been sent home sick during the school day will not be allowed back the same day for the after school enrichment program. Children should not come to school if they appear to be ill. In keeping with health regulations, we request you keep your child home if he/she has a severe cold, constant coughing or sneezing, or an undiagnosed rash. Additionally, students should be free from vomiting and/or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before return to school. If they have been prescribed an antibiotic for a bacterial infection they must have taken it for at least a full 24 hours before returning to school. Children should be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

Communicable Diseases

If a child contracts a communicable disease, that child will be excluded from Stay and Play. Students will be readmitted to Stay and Play according to the criteria for the specific illness per Melrose Public School policy and procedure. Examples of excludable illnesses are: Chicken pox, conjunctivitis, impetigo, measles, mumps, meningococcal illness, scabies, strep throat and ringworm. Any child with a temperature of 100.0 or higher will be excluded from Stay and Play and should not return until he/she has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Students should be free from vomiting and/or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before return to school/Stay and Play.  Pediculosis (head lice): Head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of poor hygiene and are not responsible for the spread of any disease. Therefore, students will not be excluded from Stay and Play. For more information please see: emiology/factsheets.html.

Toileting procedure

While children are not required to be fully toilet trained to attend the Franklin Early Childhood Center’s Stay and Play Program, parents should be actively working toward toileting training including promoting self-help skills and independence. Any child not trained, must wear disposable pull-ups to Stay and Play. Parents are responsible for supplying pull-ups and wipes to Stay and Play. In order to promote toileting skills and independence at Stay and Play parents are encouraged to dress children in clothes that are easy to put on and take off and to have children practice dressing and self-care at home.



If a child who is capable of changing himself and performing own self care has wet/soiled underwear or pull-up they will be coached by staff in designated coaching areas.


If a child who is incapable of changing himself or providing own self care has a wet/soiled pull-up or underwear the child will be changed by staff in designated changing areas.  


At the beginning of each school year parents are asked to provide Stay and Play with emergency information for each of their children. This information is vitally important for the wellbeing of the child. In the event of illness or injury, the parent will be notified and asked to provide transportation home. Two emergency numbers are requested in case of the parent’s absence from home. Please keep this information updated in the Stay and Play office.

Confidential health information is also required for Stay and Play. This provides valuable information such as previous illnesses your child might have had, diseases or conditions, medications taken by the child, emergency contacts, health insurance provider names and primary care physician information. For students who attend Stay and Play a Confidential Health Form for Stay and Play is required  each academic year.


Any found items should be brought to the office.  If the owner cannot be identified, items such as clothing will be put in the school’s lost and found area.  It is a good idea to clearly mark items with the child’s name and room number in a visibly restricted area on the item.


Students should only bring materials that are used for academic purposes.  Personal belongings, such as stuffed pets, toys, electronic devices and other valuables should not be brought to school, and the school will not be liable for lost, stolen or damaged items. Permission may be granted from the student’s teacher for personal belonging to be brought school for classroom purposes.


In order to respect building teachers’ classrooms and property, students are not allowed back in their classrooms after school ends.  In order to maintain a closed and safe campus, the public is not allowed in the building for restroom access etc.  Parents are asked to remain in the designated pick up/drop off areas.  Parents/students are not allowed to access the rest of the building, except by authorization of the building principal.  After school staff does not have authority to grant parents/public access to the building.   


Note to Parents: Parents should model for their children expected behavior following all school rules and procedures while on school grounds and at school sponsored events, such as good manners, respect for staff members and other families. A mutual respect between parents and the school is essential.  Parents should teach their children to be respectful, polite, courteous, and cooperative. Parent support and partnership from home is particularly important in regards to the following expectations.

Good Manners

Good manners need to be practiced and exhibited in order for the school community to embody the principles extolled in the Mission Statement of the Melrose Public Schools.  Good Manners are expressed verbally and symbolically:

Verbal manners include saying, “Thank you,” “Please,” “Excuse me,” “I’m sorry,” “Pardon me,” and “You’re welcome.” Verbal manners also include calling adults by their proper title – Ms., Miss, Mrs., and Mr., as well as using, “yes” and “no.”  

Symbolic manners are expressed in many different ways: holding doors for others, picking something up when dropped by others, stopping to allow another person to pass in front or ahead of you, not walking between two people who are talking, waiting to be called on or acknowledged rather than interrupting, assisting and asking.