1 Parent Handbook Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists 2 Table of Contents History 3 Leadership and Contacts 3 Important Information 4 o Phone Numbers o Calendar o Communication o Parent Portal o Directory o Inclement Weather Policy o Studios Class Levels and Tracking 6 o Lower Division o Upper Division o Boys Classes o Professional Training Program o Trainee Program o Adult Program Registration and Enrollment 18 o How to Register o Reporting an absence o Make-Up Policy o Tardiness o Observing Class Policy Payments 19 o Tuition Deposit o New Student Fee o Physical Training Room Fee o Payment Plan o Withdrawal o Financial Aid & Scholarships Evaluations and Conferences 20 Classroom & Dressing Etiquette 21 o Dressing Room o Classroom o Class Attire Observations and Performances 22 o Parent Observation Week o Participation in Company Productions o Fall and Spring Showcase o Spring Performance o Pre Ballet Class Presentations Summer Intensive 24 After TWSB 25 FAQs 26 3 History The Washington School of Ballet was co-founded in 1944 by the late Mary Day and Lisa Gardiner. It is recognized nationally and internationally for its classical training and dedication to excellence in dance and dance education. The school trains more than 750 students each year at its Northwest Campus and an additional 350 students at its Southeast Campus at The Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Center (THEARC). The Northwest Campus has studios at its: Main Building, 3515 Wisconsin Avenue NW; The Joseph C. Coleman Studios, 3308 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Van Ness Studios, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW; and at the Athenaeum in Alexandria, Virginia. The Washington School of Ballet curriculum includes pre-ballet, boys classes, and a graded program for children through young adulthood, many of whom wish to pursue dance as a career. The school also offers a Professional Training Program that brings together especially talented students from around the world for intensive training under The Washington School of Ballet's renowned faculty. All three campuses share a syllabus to ensure the same high caliber training at each location. Both the Northwest and Southeast campuses also offer comprehensive adult programs. Leadership and Contacts Head of Faculty Kristy Windom, ( x157) Director of School Operations Donna Glover, ( x149) Lower Division School Manager Susan Mattheus, ( x158) Studio Manager, The Joseph Coleman Studios Nadege Noel, ( x302) 4 Important Information Locations and Phone Numbers Main Building 3515 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC The Joseph C. Coleman Studios 3308 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC Van Ness Studios 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC Athenaeum (Alexandria) 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA Calendar NW First Day of Class: PTP & Trainee Tuesday, Sept 5, 2017 First Day of Class: Pre Ballet-Level 7 Saturday, Sept 9, 2017 Parent Orientation Day September 16, 2017 Nutcracker Auditions (levels PB3 and up) Sunday, October 1, 2017 Columbus Day Monday, October 9, 2017 Parent Observation Week October 22 - 28, 2017 Pre Ballet Parent Observation Continued October 29 November 4, 2017 Thanksgiving CLOSED Wednesday, November 22 25, 2017 Winter Break-- CLOSED Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 Jan. 2, 2018 Martin Luther King-- CLOSED January 15, 2018 Presidents Day-- CLOSED February 19, 2018 Spring Vacation-- CLOSED Tuesday, March 27 31, 2018 Spring Performance for NW Levels 1A & up May 5 & 6, 2018 Please mark your calendar now for the theatre production at THEARC Pre-Ballet-PTP Class Observations Friday, May 20 June 2, 2018 Memorial Day -OFF Monday, May 28, 2018 Last Day of Classes Saturday, June 2, 2018 Pre Ballet 2&3 Class Presentations Sat & Sun, June 2 & 3, 2018 5 Communication Our primary source of communication is email. Therefore, please make sure your email address on file is up to date. Evaluations, Registration, Parent Observation Schedules and more will be sent via email throughout the year. In addition, the school will send out newsletters, which include upcoming events, a letter from the Head of School and some articles of interest. Parent Portal The Parent Portal ( ) can be accessed via our website at which our families may keep up with attendance, evaluations and important postings. Each family will receive a user name and password when they complete registration. User name and password may be changed by the listed primary guardian. Directory On the Parent Portal, each family has the option to share their information in a school directory. Within the directory, there are individual household, zip code and class listings. Inclement Weather Policy In the case of inclement weather, please check the Parent Portal for a closing alert or call the Main Building at , ext. 7 for information regarding class cancellations. School closings will also be listed on WTOP and News Channel 9. Due to scheduling conflicts, we are often unable to offer additional classes for those that have been canceled. Studios Within the Northwest School, we have three campus locations: Main Building, The Joseph C. Coleman Studios, and the Van Ness Studios. We also have a satellite campus in Alexandria, VA. The majority of the Upper Division classes are held in the Main Building and The Joseph C. Coleman Studios, while the majority of the Lower Division classes are held at the Van Ness Studios. At the Alexandria campus, we offer one level of Pre Ballet 1, Pre Ballet 2, Pre Ballet 3 and Level 1A. There is one studio assistant at the Alexandria campus to oversee students. At the Van Ness Studios, there are 2 studio assistants who help the younger students prepare for class. They greet the students at the door and walk them to the dressing room. Due to the size of the studios, we do not have the space for parents to enter. There are benches outside, and some restaurants in the surrounding area to wait for class to end. 6 Class Levels and Tracking TWSB offers 14 different levels of ballet to provide students with the training best suited to their age and technical ability. Movement through the Levels is purely up to the discretion of the faculty. The faculty may require a student to repeat a level as necessary to ensure the proper training and proper development of the student. Progression is closely connected to each student s physical development, and therefore, is unlike academic advancement. It is crucial that students advance at their own pace so they can master the technique in front of them and avoid injury. Lower Division (Pre Ballet 1 through Level 2) Pre Ballet 1- one class a week for 45 minutes Pre Ballet 2- one class a week for 45 minutes Pre Ballet 3- one class a week for 60 minutes Level 1A- two classes a week for 150 minutes Level 1B- two classes a week for 150 minutes Level 2- two classes a week for 195 minutes Upper Division (Level 3 through Trainee) Level 3- three classes a week Level 4- four days a week Level 5- five days a week Level 6- five days a week Level 6A- three days a week Level 7- five days a week Level 7A- three days a week Professional Training Program B- six days a week Professional Training Program A- six days a week Trainee Program Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists 7 Boys Classes Beginning at Pre Ballet 3, Boys classes are offered concurrently with ballet technique classes. The Boys 1 and Boys 2 classes meet once a week, while Boys 3 meets twice a week. The Boys 1 includes students from Pre Ballet 3, Level 1A, and Level 1B. The Boys 2 class includes Levels 2 and 3. The Boys 3 class includes Levels 4 and up. The Professional Training Program The Professional Training Program or PTP offers gifted students who hope to pursue a career in ballet the opportunity to study at a professional level. Students attend classes Monday through Saturday to study classical technique, pointe, modern, pas de deux, pilates and men's class. The esteemed faculty is under the direction of the Head of School. Students are frequently asked to perform in The Washington Ballet's company productions. Students also have access to physical therapists every week. PTP students are accepted by invitation only. Trainee Program The Washington Ballet Trainee Program is designed to prepare advanced students ages 17 and older for the transition into a professional career. Trainees will receive vigorous training, coaching, and mentoring as they maintain a challenging performance schedule often dancing alongside the artists of The Washington Ballet. Trainees will work closely with Program Ballet Master, Luis R. Torres and will also have the opportunity to work with the artistic staff of The Washington Ballet and distinguished faculty of The Washington School of Ballet. Resources and seminars such as resume building/career counseling, nutrition, injury prevention, and body conditioning will be included to help transition from student to professional dancer. Trainees will also be given consideration for higher positions within the organization. Adult Program- Open Program The Washington School of Ballet offers open adult classes on a drop-in basis throughout the year, and students may join classes at any time of the year-- no audition is necessary. We encourage students who are unsure about their level to attend a beginner and discuss their placement with the instructor. The Washington School of Ballet has no required dress code for adult students. We do encourage students to wear a leotard, tights and ballet slippers, but students are welcome to wear clothing that is comfortable and allows easy movement. Hair should be pulled back from the face and off of the neck. Single classes cost $19. A class card, consisting of 10 classes, costs $180. For the most up to date schedule, please go to 8 Registration and Enrollment Registration Upon acceptance into the program, registration information will be emailed to parents. The email will include registration details and how to access the Parent Portal. Additionally, upon the completion of the school year program, registration for the following year as well as end of the year evaluations and class placement will be posted on the Parent Portal. Reporting an Absence For a student in the Lower Division, please only report absences for 2 or more consecutive classes. For a student in the Upper Division, please only report absences for 3 or more consecutive classes. This information will then be relayed to the appropriate faculty members. If your student will only be missing one class, you do not need to report this absence. Make-Up Policy Students in Level 3 and above are required to make up their missed classes in order to ensure progress. A makeup class does not count for full attendance but credit is given for the final evaluation. In order to gain credit for a makeup, the student must sign in at the front desk prior to the start of class. Students who miss an excessive number of classes may fall behind in their training, and some students may be asked to repeat a year. Each semester there will be a cut-off date for make-up classes before the end of the semester to give the faculty enough time for evaluation reporting. Students in Level 2 and below do not make up missed classes. Tardiness Students are expected to be on time for their classes. In the interest of injury prevention, teachers may ask a student to observe class if they are more than 15 minutes late. Chronic tardiness will be taken into consideration for the final evaluation. A student who arrives late may not enter class while the music is playing. Once there is a pause in the music, they may enter and greet their teacher. Observing Class Policy If a student is injured and is able to attend class to observe and take notes, they are encouraged to do so. 9 Payments Tuition Deposit When submitting the registration form, families are asked to designate a Billing Contact. This person is responsible for all payments. A non-refundable tuition deposit is required to complete the registration. This deposit holds the student s space. If the student withdraws before or after classes begin, the deposit is not refunded. New Student Fee Upon the submission of a new student, a new student fee is collected. This is a one-time, non-refundable payment. Physical Training Room Fee TWSB has contracted with Body Dynamics, Inc. (BDI) to provide injury prevention and management services. Prevention and timely management of injuries by health care providers who are experienced in performing arts medicine is critical to all dancers. The therapists and trainers at BDI manage the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries for the Washington Ballet company and school, and have years of experience treating performing artists and adolescent dancers. Students in the Upper Division have the option of signing up for the PT Room. There is a $200 fee associated with the training room, which is open during specific hours throughout each week. During these times, your student may stop by to ask about routine aches and pains, receive early intervention for injuries , manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, taping, etc-- recommendations for follow-up care, and obtain information about proper stretching and warm-up techniques. Payment Plans In order to best accommodate our families, we offer four payment plans. Throughout the school year, payments may be divided into 1, 2, 4 or 8 payments. There is a small surcharge associated with the payment plans. To find out more information, please check the tuition sheet in your registration email. Withdrawal At any time throughout the school year, a student may withdraw upon written notice. The parent or guardian is obligated to pay the entire tuition, without deduction or refund, once the school year has begun. If a student is unable to attend, withdraws, is dismissed for any cause, or fails to attend classes, there is no refund or compensation. Financial Aid & Scholarships Beginning at Level 4, we have a small amount of Financial Aid and Scholarships available to students. Please email the Director of School Operations for more information. 10 Evaluations and Conferences Students in Level 1A and up will receive a mid-year evaluation and a final evaluation. Pre Ballet students will only receive a final evaluation. Mid-year evaluations are sent around the New Year, and the final evaluations are sent in June. Students in Level 7 and PTP will also have a final conference directly with their teachers. These conferences are meant solely for the student, without parent involvement. The discussion will be around the student s progress and goals. The same information will also be reflected in the evaluation sent home. If you would like to set up a meeting with a faculty member, for Pre-Ballet through Level 2, please contact Susan Mattheus, School Manager. For Levels 3 and up please contact Donna Glover, Director of School Operations. They will set up a convenient time for the faculty member and you to meet in the school office. All communication between a faculty member and parents must occur through the school office. Please do not try and stop a teacher after class to check in on your child s progress, as they are usually on their way to another class. The school office is happy to facilitate meetings between teachers and parents. Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists 11 Classroom & Dressing Room Etiquette The Washington School of Ballet strives to create a safe, welcoming and positive experience for its students, faculty, pianists, staff and families. We expect all individuals to demonstrate respect for others and the facilities. Dressing Rooms Students may use the dressing rooms or bathrooms to change into and out of their ballet attire. Students should not bring valuables to the studios. The school is not responsible for any lost items. At the end of each day, items left behind will be placed in the lost and found. We recommend labeling belongings, especially ballet slippers, with the student s name. Unclaimed items after a month will be donated. All Pre Ballet students should arrive dressed for class. Classroom Students should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the start of class. In the interest of injury prevention, teachers may ask a student to observe class if they are more than 15 minutes late to the start of class. Chronic tardiness will be taken into consideration for the final evaluation. A student who arrives late may not enter class while the music is playing. Once there is a pause in the music, they may enter and greet their teacher. Class Attire Students are required to wear the proper uniform for each level. Female student s hair must be secure in a neat bun or a white cloth headband if their hair is short. The purpose of the ballerina bun is to keep the hair off the face. Male student s hair should be combed and neat. If you need assistance making a bun, please attend our Parent Orientation Day or ask one of the studio assistants for a demonstration during a time that is not busy. Students in Level 2 and under are required to wear a full sole leather ballet slipper to help strengthen their arch. Once students reach Level 3, they may choose to continue with leather, or select a canvas slipper with a split sole. All temporary tattoos need to be removed prior to the start of class. No jewelry, with the exception of stud earrings for female students, is allowed. The school sells all leotards, tights, leggings, bike shorts and ballet slippers at the front desk of the main building. Young men approaching puberty should consider wearing a men s dance support belt. 12 Observations and Performances Parent Observation Week Each October/November, for one week, we open up our classes for Parent Observations. In the Lower Division, we assign the specific observation day due to studio size restrictions. Please only attend the assigned day. If there is a conflict, you may request a switch with the Lower Division School Manager. In the Upper Division, you may attend any day of the week. For the Observation Week, only immediate family members are invited. Pictures are allowed but please no flash photography, as is it distracting to the students. Please do not videotape the class. Studio space is limited and children may be asked to sit on the floor. Please arrive on time to the start of the class and stay for the duration of class. Participation in Company Productions Some of The Washington Ballet s productions involve roles for our students. Except for the Nutcracker, students will be selected based on class level, costume restraints, requirements from the company and other criteria. These selections are made by the Artistic Staff of the TWB Company. For The Nutcracker, students in Pre Ballet 3 and up may audition for a role. While all of our students are qualified we don t have enough roles for each student; there is the possibility that not every auditioning student will be given a part. Students given a role must be available every weekend after the audition until the last show. Families with travel plans for any weekend, including Thanksgiving or Christmas should choose another year to participate. Fall and Winter Showcase Select students in the upper levels participate in a Fall and Winter Showcase. The Showcases are held in England Theatre and there are two performances for each showcase. Tickets will be sold at our front desk and proceeds benefit the School. Spring Performance Students in Level 1A and up are encouraged to participate in our annual end of the year Spring Performance. There is a participation fee of $200 associated with Spring Performance that helps to cover the additional faculty hours for rehearsals and performances, the theatre rental, the stage manager, stage hands, lighting designer, sound technician, wardrobe manager assistants and costume rentals. For those participating, there are extended class rehearsals and theatre rehearsals. All rehearsals and performances are mandatory. On the Tuesday and Thursday prior to the Performance, there will be mandatory rehearsals at THEARC. These will be full run through rehearsals and it is imperative that each student is in attendance for these final rehearsals. Make sure to check field trip schedules in advance! 13 Pre Ballet Class Presentation Pre Ballet 2 & 3 students work towards a final class presentation led by their teacher in June. There is not a participation fee, but you will be asked if you would like your student to participate in the presentation. Please mark the date on your calendar! Pre Ballet 1 students have a final parent observation during the last week of classes. Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists 14 Summer Intensive We are happy to offer a Lower Division Summer Intensive and an Upper Division Summer Intensive. The summer intensive syllabus is a continuation of the syllabus from the school year. Therefore, students continue in the same level for the summer. Students in Levels 3 through 5 are highly encouraged to participate in TWSB s Summer Intensive. At this stage of their training, it is important that students continue with the faculty members who see them throughout the year. Students who attend our Summer Intensive always return stronger and better prepared for next year s syllabus. By Level 6, the students are in a place in their training where we are confident they can be successful in a summer program away from TWSB. If a student is asked to repeat a level and they attend the summer intensive, they may be able to advance to the next level for the following year. Our faculty members will keep a close eye on them over the intensive and determine a final placement complete. For the Lower Division, classes are held in the late afternoon and early evening, with the exception of Level 3. All levels include a ballet technique class. In addition, Level 2 and 3 incorporate jazz, musical theatre and character classes. There is an observation at the end of four week program. Pre Ballet 2 and Pre Ballet 3 meet for three days, each for an hour, for four weeks. Level 1A and 1B meets for four days, each for an hour and fifteen minutes, for four weeks. Level 2 meets for four days, each for two hours and fifteen minutes for four weeks. Level 3 is a full day program and meets for four weeks For the Upper Division, classes are held for five weeks and students work towards a final performance. There are a number of classes offered during the Upper Division Intensive including ballet technique, pointe, men s class, jazz, pas de deux, variations, character, flamenco and pilates. On the first day of the intensive, there is a placement class to accurately assess the student s level. Each year, we also accept a number of students from across the country and the world that stay in the dorms at American University. 15 After TWSB After progressing through the levels at TWSB, our students take many different tracks from studying dance at university, to joining a professional company, to continuing their training at other schools. In the past few years our students have been offered company positions at Ballet Arizona, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, BalletMet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet and numerous other companies all over the and the world. Notable alumni from The Washington School of Ballet include Virginia Johnson, Kevin McKenzie, Amanda McKerrow, Shirley MacLaine, Georgia Engel, and Chelsea Clinton. Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists 16 FAQs If I want to talk to my student s teacher, when is the best time to do so? If you would like to discuss your student s progress, please contact the school office. They will help to set up a meeting time with you and the teacher. Please do not try to talk to the teachers after class, as they are often in a rush for the start of another class. The school office is also more than happy to send an email on your behalf to your student s teacher. We do not give out the teacher s email to maintain their privacy. When dropping my student off for class, where should I park? Surrounding the Main Building, we have a limited number of spaces in the parking lot in front of the building. Please do not block the driveway. There is two hour parking available in the neighborhood behind the building as well as parking on Wisconsin Avenue depending on the time of day. Please check the signs for the most up to date restrictions. Garage parking is available below the The Joseph C. Coleman Studios. Parking entrances are off of Macomb and Newark Street NW. Up to 30-minutes and under are free, up to 90-minutes validated. If you are parking at the Van Ness Studios, please park in the neighborhood surrounding the studios. There is a parking garage under the studios, and the studio assistants can validate the ticket with a stamp that reduces the first hour by 50%. Please do not park in the McDonald s parking lot. When parking at our Alexandria Campus, please find street parking surrounding the Athenaeum. There are also a number of parking garages located within a few blocks of the Athenaeum. What are the options for my student making up a missed class? Students in Level 2 and below do not make up missed classes. It is best for them to review material and class exercises at home before the next class. Students in Level 3 and up are required to make up missed classes. Makeup classes must be done in a similar level and do not count for full attendance but credit is given towards the final evaluation. In order for a make-up class to count, the student must sign in at the front desk prior to the start of class. Why is there a participation fee for Spring Performance? Spring Performance is an optional performance for Levels 1A and up. The Performance takes place at THEARC Theatre. There are extra rehearsals beginning in the spring, and full rehearsals at the theatre. There is a $200 participation fee that covers additional faculty hours for rehearsals and performances, the theatre rental, the stage manager, stage hands, lighting designer, sound technician, wardrobe manager and assistants and costume rentals. We are delighted to use THEARC Theatre and help support that community venue. Spring Performance is not mandatory, as 17 we know that many families are busy at this time of year but we do encourage everyone to participate as it is a wonderful culmination of the year. What is the drop off and pick up policy? At the Main Building, you may pull up on the driveway and let your student exit the vehicle. Please do not wait on the driveway, as it can back up traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. Also, it is highly recommended that you turn into the driveway by heading northbound on Wisconsin Avenue, and turning right. Students will wait in the vestibule until they see their ride. Only then, are they allowed to exit the building. You may also park in the neighborhood and walk your student into or out of the building. At the Van Ness Studios, we have studio assistants to help the students prepare for class. During drop off, you may pull up to the large staircase and drop your student off. They should then go to the top of the stairs and wave to you before you pull away. The wave should indicate that the studio assistants are there and classes are on for the day. You may also park and walk them up the door. For dismissal, the students will wait inside with the studio assistants until they see their ride. For our older students, we will let them walk to the ledge and look for their vehicle. They will then in turn wave to the studio assistants to indicate their ride is waiting. At the Alexandria Campus, it is best to park in the neighborhood and walk into the basement of the Athenaeum. The entrance is on Lee Street, through a Garden gate. There is a studio assistant to help out. While class is going on, parents are welcome to wait in the waiting room for the end of class. How do I register for the following year? At the end of each school year, the registration information and the final year evaluation are posted on the Parent Portal under the My Student tab. Within the final evaluation, a specific class level will be assigned. At the bottom of the evaluation there will be an option to register for the following year. My student was asked to repeat a level. Is this common? Yes. Each year, students at all levels are asked to repeat. Each student advances at a different pace since they develop physically at different rates. Therefore, sometimes a student is not ready to advance to the next level, and they will be asked to repeat. Although this may be disappointing to your student initially, by the end of the next year they are always thankful to have had that year to develop additional strength and confidence. At The Washington School of Ballet, we do not want to close one eye and let a student slide to another level. You have entrusted your child to this school because of our excellent training. Please know that we consider each child s development and do not consider repeating a year a failure. We are in fact dealing with the physical body and it is best to take time to ensure that there will not be future injuries. In addition, some students lack the necessary focus and concentration and should move more slowly through the syllabus. 18 Photo By: theo kossenas media4artists
Parent Handbook 2017 - twsbparent.org
6 Class Levels and Tracking TWSB offers 14 different levels of ballet to provide students with the training best suited to their age and technical ability.
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