hearing from your child|
I haven't heard from my child in a while,
how can I find out how s/he is doing?
Every residential student in the Junior Program has two Residential Advisors who live on the same hall. In addition to their Residential Advisors, students are also looked after by two Residence Directors. These four people are responsible for making sure that your child is communicating with you on a regular basis, through phone calls and written correspondence. If you feel the need to speak to your child more frequently, we recommend leaving a message with the Junior Program office or sending your child a gentle reminder in the mail.
If you would like to speak to someone at the Program to discuss how your child is doing, please contact your child's Residence Director at 508.786.1350.
Why can't I speak with my child during the first week?
Students need time to settle into the Program, and to avert as much homesickness as possible, we do not allow Junior Program students to call home during the first week of each session. Students are encouraged to write home during their first week, however.
Also, please recognize that there is an overwhelming demand for the use of the telephone after the first week of the session, so it is possible you may not hear from your child until the middle of the second week.
When does my child have access to on-campus phones?
Phones are available on each residential hall. After the first week, there will be blocks of time each day for students to call their parents. Staff members are available to assist your child in making these calls. Due to the busy schedule of your child, as well as the limited number of phones, these calls will be limited to five minutes.
The telephones will be available for your child during the following blocks of time:
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Because your child will be so busy all day, it is logistically impossible for you to call your child. However, you are welcome to leave a message for your child by calling the Junior Program office at 508.786.1350.
Day Students who need to call their parents for an important reason will need to go to the Main Office.
I'm worried about my child's Miscellaneous Account.
Will it be enough?
Each child at the Program is required to have a Miscellaneous Account, which is used to cover the costs of weekend and special evening trips, spending money on these trips, and extra meal charges for day students staying late. Our staff banker will assist your child with the withdrawal process and remind them if their account is running low. Through experience, we have found that the standard Miscellaneous Account is more than enough to cover trips and spending money.Can I send my child additional money
throughout the summer?
The Miscellaneous Account may be supplemented at any time during the summer by sending a check to the Program banker. Make checks payable to: Exploration School, Inc. Be sure to write the name of your child and "Junior Program" on the check. Send checks to:
Attn: Exploration Banker
in the drawing account?
A check for any amount left over in the Miscellaneous Account, as well as a statement of charges, will be mailed to the person responsible for billing in late September.
How do I know that my child is doing her/his laundry?
Personal laundry and linens will be picked up and returned once a week. Please note: the personal laundry service covers only standard washing and drying. Please do not send your child with clothing that requires special care. Your child's Residential Advisors make sure that students are sending in laundry, and will assist your child with the laundry process.
How do I know that my child is eating well?
Our dining hall serves three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During each meal, there are a variety of different healthy and delicious food options. There are always at least two entrees, a vegetarian option, a deli bar at lunch, a salad bar at lunch and dinner, and there are always plenty of fruits and vegetables. Residential students eat breakfast and dinner with their hall groups and Residential Advisors check for healthy eating patterns.
food in rooms
Are students allowed to have food in their rooms?
Yes, students are allowed to keep food in their rooms. However, for sanitary reasons, all food must be kept in containers. If you choose to send food to your child at the program, we recommend that you DO NOT send candy and that you DO send enough for the child to share with her/his hall group. Because of a prevalence of allergies, food that contains nuts should NOT be sent to students.
My child likes to walk around with a layer of grime on her/his skin. How can I be sure s/he is practicing proper hygiene while in the program?
We understand that for many children, cleanliness is not the top priority. Under the supervision of Residence Directors, your child's Residence Advisors will make sure that your child is showering on a regular basis, brushing her/his teeth, and washing their hands and face before bed. Often, these supervised daily "rituals," become a regular part of a child's life even after Exploration. With luck, you may have a sparkling clean child during the next school year!
I'm worried that my child will turn her/his room into a disaster area as soon as I drop her/him off. How can I be assured that my child will keep her/his room neat?
Residential Advisors monitor the cleanliness of student rooms. Residential Directors do a weekly Room Inspection.
What are your policies regarding roommate conflicts?
While we attempt to put similar students together based on pre-season Housing Questionnaires and Parent Comment forms, there is never a guarantee that roommates will be a perfect match. Our Dean's Office and Residential Staff are trained to work with students to resolve conflicts, and help all students adjust to being part of their new community. In almost every case, our staff has been successful in resolving the conflict.
We will not change a child's room unless there is an exceptional circumstance, and even then, there must be Dean's Office involvement. If you have any questions regarding these Housing policies, please contact your child's Residence Director at 508.786.1350.
My child is homesick, what can I do to help?
Homesickness is natural for many children. Pre-departure preparation is the best way to avoid homesickness altogether, or at least lessen its impact. Homesickness may set in if students arrive at the Program with either too high or too low expectations for the summer. Before your child leaves, help set realistic expectations about what your child should expect at the Junior Program.
Once the student is at the Program, we limit phone calls home and visits. Phone calls and visits are not allowed during the first week of the session. We have found that this forces a child to develop a support network for himself or herself at the Program. When your child does call, keep the conversation upbeat, positive, and focused on the child's activities and opportunities at the Program. Ask about what activities he/she has been involved in, what he/she has done in his/her courses, what trips he/she has signed up for, who his/her favorite staff member is, what was the most recent Main Event, etc. Be firm in letting your child know that you have great confidence in his or her ability to successfully complete the Program... Avoid reminding your child about how much he or she is missed by you, siblings, the family dog, etc... Doing so only serves as a reminder that they are alone in an unfamiliar place.
Don't make "deals." Some parents, when faced with a child's trepidation about leaving home, make a deal with the child. Before the child arrives at the Program, the parent may say, "Try it for a couple of days and if you don't like it you can leave on Tuesday." Unfortunately, this kind of agreement can be the ABSOLUTE undoing of a successful sleep away experience. Instead of working through the first few days of homesickness — by making friends and taking advantage of activities, courses, etc. — the child can only focus on the parent's promise that he or she can leave within 48 hours.
Our Residential Advisors, Residence Directors, and the Dean of Students are here to help ease students' transition to the Program. We look to get homesick children as actively involved in the Program as possible. If you have advice, (or need some additional advice) on how to best deal with your child's homesickness, please contact your child's Residence Director at 508.786.1350. Once our Residence Staff has sensed that a child is homesick, we do our best to get him/her involved in groups with other students and engaged in activities that match his/her interests.
Feel free to send your child e-mails (via the Explo Junior Program Student E-Mail Form), letters, and care packages from home. When you do write, be thoughtful and always keep up a positive, upbeat, supportive tone (remember your child cannot return messages via e-mail).
you've got mail!
Where do I send mail for my child?
We strongly encourage writing to your child. Please write to the following address:
for letters and USPS packages:
for FedEx, UPS, and all other carrier packages (including deliveries of flowers, cakes, etc.):
Additionally, use our web form to send your child an email that will be delivered in his/her living group meeting.
You can also fax your child letters. Our fax number is 508.786.1360.
I want to visit my child at the Program.
What should I do?
Children cannot receive visitors during the first week of the session, except in the case of emergency. After the first week, visitors are asked to call the Main Office at 508.786.1350 to schedule an appropriate time, which does not conflict with course times. Friends and relatives of a child may visit and sign the child out of the Program from the Main Office as long as they are on the student's Authorized Visitor Form. We encourage visitors to schedule evening sign-outs, rather than overnight. Please bring photo identification to the office when you arrive to visit your child.
How do I get to the Exploration Junior Program?
From Boston and the East: Take Massachusetts Turnpike to exit 12, follow Route 9 West for 2.9 miles to Route 85. Take Route 85 North for 1 mile to the traffic light at the intersection of Route 30. St. Mark's School will be clearly visible ahead on the right.
From the West: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike to exit 11A, follow Route 495 North for 1 mile to Exit 23A. Take Route 9 East for 2.3 miles to Route 85. Take Route 85 North for 1 mile to the traffic light at the intersection of Route 30. St. Mark's School will be clearly visible ahead on the right.
From the North or South: Take Route 495 North or South to Exit 23A. Take Route 9 East for 2.3 miles to Route 85. Take Route 85 North for 1 mile to the traffic light at the intersection of Route 30. St. Mark's School will be clearly visible ahead on the right.
Where is the Junior Program Main Office?
Walk through the front arches of the St. Mark's School, then the double doors which open into the school. Turn left. The second door on your left is the Main Office. Don't worry... it's clearly labeled, and our staff won't bite!
How does my day student sign up to stay overnight?
Day students are permitted to stay over for one night once a week on either a Friday or Saturday. A form signed by a parent must be brought to the child's Day Advisor no later than the Thursday preceding their desired sleepover date. Since sleepovers are slumber-party style, children should bring their own sleeping bags and pillows, as well as toiletries. There is an extra charge taken from the Miscellaneous Account to cover the additional meals.
Students can be picked up the following morning, or they are welcome to participate in the weekend trips.
When should I pick-up my child from the Program?
The departure date for residential students after the first session is Saturday, July 16, 2011. The departure date for the residential students after the second session is Saturday, August 6, 2011. All children MUST leave the Program by NOON. Staff members will remain with children until they are picked-up by their parents. Our buses will take students to the airport from approximately 6:00 a.m. until noon and we will have staff at the airport until 2:00 p.m., if necessary. Our staff will stay with children until they board their planes or until children have formally been placed in custody of airline staff members.
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