MILFORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

MPAC

 

THE ANSWERS
to
some
Frequent Asked Questions

This page does not contain all of MPAC's current rules,

and there may have been changes made to any of the rules,
promotions, etc.
listed here since the publishing of this page.

Please speak with your teacher if you have any questions or need
clarification about anything
covered or not covered in this webpage.

 

The following is described below:

I. Students

·         A. Dress Code

·         B. In-Class Behavior

·         C. Missed Classes

·         D. Canceled Classes

·         E. Private Lessons

·         F. Workshops and Trips

·         G. Participation in Shows

·         H. Potty Trained?

·         I. Teacher's Helpers

II. Parents / Family Members

·         A. Observing Classes

·         B. Dropping-off & Picking-up Students

·         C. Tuition & Registration Fee

·         D. Discounts

·         E. Refunds & Credits

·         F. Bounced Checks

·         G. Scholarships & Financial Hardship

III. Community Members & Workshop Students (attendees)

I. Students

·         A. Dress Code

Each class has its own set of dress requirements, dos and don'ts, etc. Please speak with the teacher of the classes you are interested in or with Carla for more details.

·         B. In-Class Behavior

All students are expected to participate in what the class is doing, be respectful of their teacher and other students, and have fun. Students come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. As long as a student tries their best, they will have fun. It sounds simple, but this is the magic formula that not all people are able to find. If you have a positive attitude about the art form that you are learning, then you will become a better student in every other way.

Older students, especially MPAC Company Members, are expected to maintain a professional attitude while in class; giving the teacher their full attention.

Younger students, like all of us, sometimes have days where nothing seems to be right. Younger students aren't expected to have a professional attitude yet. They probably don't know how to leave the world's troubles in the lobby and out of the studio (like the older students should). All we ask, is that during periods of temper-tantrums, loud-shrieking, crying, and days where we can't keep our hands to ourselves, that parents/guardians intervene in the situation.

In these circumstances, we have found that the student should probably NOT go home for the day. In fact, sometimes just a tiny break in the lobby will help. We always encourage kids and try to make them feel comfortable. We know what it's like to have a bad day. If a child doesn't feel like dancing during the beginning of class, we offer to them several options that may make them comfortable; such as standing in a different spot, helping the teacher, or watching with the parents on the sidelines. In most cases like this, the student usually comes around by the middle or end of class, and he/she has fun and participates with the rest of his/her classmates.

We also understand that there are days that are just "too much" no matter what we offer. Students are always welcome to stay, but there may be times when a parent thinks it best to go home early. We never attempt to second-guess a parent's decision, but we just want to remind you of lessons that we have learned during our experiences: kids almost always turn around if they end up staying. Where as if they leave, they may relate that bad feeling with ending class on a bad note. And in all actuality, class may not have been anything to do with the problem in the first place.

·         C. Missed Classes

When a student is unable to attend a class due to another commitment, illness (which we prefer that students stay home when they are sick), vacation, family situation, bad road conditions when MPAC didn't close, forgot or mixed-up days, or for any reason other than MPAC closing/canceling the class; it is the student's responsibility to make-up the class if they so choose.

A student can make up a class by attending another MPAC class during the week. The make-up class can be an identical class, similar class at the same level, or an entirely different type of class at the same level. If you are not sure what classes you may use as a make-up class, see Carla.

MPAC can not afford to refund or credit students for classes missed on their own accord. Only in some special cases will MPAC credit student accounts for classes missed. If you find yourself in a situation that you feel warrants a credit, please speak with Carla. Also, be aware that extensive absences from any particular class may jeopardize a student's role in a show or participation in a performance. This is determined by each teacher on an individual case-by-case basis. If you know that you will be missing an extensive amount of classes and still wish to participate, please speak with your teacher about special arrangements ahead of time.

·         D. Canceled Classes

A canceled class is one in which MPAC or its teachers canceled the class, or closed altogether due to weather conditions, family emergency, illness, or some other reason where a student was unable to take their normally scheduled class because of MPAC or it's teacher's decision.

Note: During the winter months, MPAC follows the Delaware Valley School system, so if DV is closed or cancels after school activities due to inclement weather, then MPAC is closed. MPAC also follows the DV school district's holiday calendar, for the most part. This is to say that MPAC will not hold classes when DV is closed to observe a holiday unless explicitly announced otherwise. MPAC hands out memos and newsletters periodically which will contain these special days. Please note that we do have several students from many other area school districts, and there may be times when one of these schools is closed and DV remains open, or vica versa. Please be sure to follow the Delaware Valley Schools openings and closings.

If a class is canceled, MPAC or its teachers may attempt to schedule a make-up class to be held with-in the current session (fall, spring, summer). The date(s) and time(s) of the make-up class will be announced as soon as possible, if one is scheduled at all. In most cases, a make-up class is simply not possible to schedule.

If a student is unable to attend the make-up class, or if one is not offered, then students may follow the make-up class guidelines discussed under "missed classes" above. In the situations where MPAC is not able to schedule a make-up class due to the weather (and DV is closed), then no credits will be given. If MPAC cancels class for any other reason besides weather, a credit to student accounts will only occur if the cancellation means that the month will have fewer than 3 classes. MPAC considers a month to be one in which there are at least three classes (weeks). If there are four or five classes in a given month, MPAC will do it's best to schedule a make-up class, but even if one is not scheduled, credits will not be given in this case. In other words, only when there are fewer than three classes in a month will MPAC issue a credit. The same goes for pro-rating.

·         E. Private Lessons

Private lessons are available in all dance and drama forms and by all MPAC teachers. Lessons are to be arranged directly with the specific teacher that the student wants to take a private lesson with. Prices vary by teacher, and payment is to be made and exchanged with that teacher directly, not MPAC. In most cases, teachers offer lessons in half-hour and full-hour blocks. Most teachers also offer discounted or "shared" rates for small groups of students that want to go in on a shared private lesson. Scheduling is pretty flexible to meet the needs of the student. Any time that works for the student(s) and teacher is fine as long as it doesn't conflict with regularly scheduled classes (or pre-arranged classes, workshops, private lessons, etc.).

·         F. Workshops and Trips

MPAC offers many different types of workshops and trips throughout the year. Costs vary widely depending on the arrangements made between MPAC and the professionals hired to conduct the workshop. Workshops and Trips are open to the general public, not just MPAC students. Whenever possible, MPAC will offer its current students discounts on workshops.

·         G. Participation in Shows

All MPAC students are entitled to participate in MPAC recitals and the annual production of the Nutcracker (only extensive absences and/or late enrollment and/or a non current account might affect this). Please note that there are special rules pertaining to the annual Nutcracker production (see below for details). There are numerous other performance opportunities available to students, but these are neither mandatory for students nor an entitlement to students. For example, "company shows" are productions that are meant to feature and present MPAC's company students. There may be times where not all roles can be filled by company students. In these cases, the artistic director of the show may ask other students if they wish to be involved. Casting will be decided through a number of ways depending on each situation. MPAC will do it's best to fairly spread the lead roles around to different students. Company students do get priority and preferential treatment when deciding each cast, but this is not to imply that other MPAC students won't be highlighted, featured, and placed into leading roles. MPAC will not engage in politics or "picking favorites" when determining a cast. "The right person" in the mind of the artistic director will be chosen for each role. Anyone may become a company member by enrolling in the company. There are several rules and expectations for students that become company members. For example, company students must take a certain number of classes throughout the week to include various styles of classes. In addition to the aforementioned classes, company members are expected to attend "Leaps and Turns" class along with attending "Company Class/Rehearsal" nearly every Saturday. There are many other expectations placed on company members such as helping out with Pre-K classes from time to time, being good role models for the younger students, and performing in competitions, benefits and community appearances. For complete information about what it takes to be a company member, see Carla.

Both company kids and non-company MPAC students may be invited to participate in a number of other performances throughout the year. Such performances will be announced, as they become known.

While all MPAC students are welcome to join the cast of the annual MPAC Nutcracker each December, there are special rules regarding your commitment. First, MPAC requires that students wishing to take part in the Nutcracker be regular "monthly" students, not pay-by-the-class or drop-in students. A commitment of September through December classes is mandatory (all four months), despite when the performance dates of the Nutcracker fall in December. Tuition is expected to be paid, in full, and all accounts made current prior to the first performance of the Nutcracker. MPAC reserves the right to sit-out any and all students from participating in the show if the above conditions are not met. Once a parent/guardian acknowledges their intentions of participating in the Nutcracker MPAC regards their paying of the costume fees as a demonstration of their commitment and willingness to abide by these rules. Once committed, should a student be held out of the performance because the agreed upon conditions have not been met, no refunds or credits will be given for any previous tuition, costume fees and/or tickets. Likewise, the monthly tuition you've committed yourself to will still be due and any and all late fees may be applied as outlined in the "Tuition" section of these rules. That said, MPAC is always willing to make exceptions when special circumstances occur and arrangements are discussed and mutually agreed upon PRIOR to the production, or afterwards in cases of emergencies and unique circumstances. See Carla or Bryan immediately should something happen and you feel you are warranted a special exception.

 

·         H. Potty Trained?

MPAC accepts students at 2 years of age. MPAC DOES accept students not yet potty trained, but a parent or guardian must remain onsite during the entire class--to take care of potty issues that may arise. MPAC teachers do not change diapers, nor do they assist with potty breaks. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to handle these situations. MPAC teachers are responsible for watching the entire class, and if they were to leave a room full of kids to take care of bathroom issues...this is not in the best interest of the students' safety, not to mention that the other parents have paid for a class that shouldn't be interrupted because of non-class related issues.

·         I. Teacher's Helpers

Teacher's Helpers are older students (at least 10 years of age, preferably older) that assist teachers with the young students' classes. Teacher's Helpers are entitled to discounts on their own tuition depending on the level of help needed, the time commitment involved, and the number of times that they regularly assist. To become an official teacher's helper, a student must approach or be approached by the teacher needing help. The student must then be approved by Carla. After the schedule and level of commitment, etc. is discussed, Bryan will determine the discount rate to be immediately applied to their account. In some cases, other types of payment will be arranged for help in place of a discount.

II. Parents / Family Members

·         A. Observing Classes

MPAC allows parents to observe all classes. Parents are welcome to remain in observance as long as, and as often as, they wish--so long as they do not disturb the class. Parents that may be disturbing the class, or distracting students for any particular reason may be asked by the teacher to wait in the lobby. It is up to the individual teacher to determine whether or not such action is necessary. In most cases, a verbal warning or "shhh!" will be given before being asked to leave the class.

·         B. Dropping-off & Picking-up Students

MPAC prefers parents walk their children to the door because MPAC does not assume responsibility of students until they enter the studio. Older students are allowed to come and go as they please unless a parent tells us that they do not want their child to have such privileges (or if this privilege becomes abused in some fashion).

For younger students, a known parent or guardian must come into the lobby to pick up their child. Children are only allowed to be picked-up by people listed on the child's enrollment form--which was filled out by the parent or guardian. Once a teacher becomes familiar with a parent and knows their voice, a parent may call in situations where they want their child to go home or be picked up by someone other than a person on the list. This is the only exception. Written notes will not be accepted, nor will phone calls when we don't know or recognize the voice fully. This is for obvious safety reasons, not because we want to make your life more difficult.

·         C. Tuition & Registration Fee

The number of classes that each student enrolls into each month determines tuition. Tuition is determined by looking at each student individually for a particular month. If there are multiple people from the same household enrolled at MPAC during a particular month, then a family total will be determined after all discounts are applied individually. This family total is to be paid by the first class of each month.

MPAC accepts cash and checks, which are preferable because checks protect you by having a record of payment. Checks are to be made out to "Milford Performing Arts Center" or simply "MPAC". Returned checks will be assessed with a fee of up to $35(maximum). Multiple "bounced" checks will result in losing check privileges.

An account is determined "late" if it is not paid by the second class of the month. A late fee of $10 will be assessed to late accounts each month.

If you should find a time when it becomes difficult or even impossible to meet the monthly payment, such as when a financial situation arises, it is your responsibility to contact Carla or Bryan. By doing so, MPAC will be more than willing to work out arrangements to reduce your bill, find scholarships, figure out alternative payment arrangements, etc. If you do not come to Carla or Bryan directly, then MPAC has no choice but to assume that everything is fine, and we will bill you accordingly. Bryan and Carla both have a philosophy that the art comes first and money should not be the reason why somebody stops pursuing the art. However, MPAC is a business with real costs, and we simply can not afford to offer full-scholarships to everyone, but we will do everything in our power to make it manageable for you while allowing the student to continue their classes. These situations always remain completely confidential.

On a different note, students are more than welcome to pay for multiple months in advance. Sometimes, MPAC offers a special discount for paying for a session in full ahead of time. Please ask Carla or Bryan if you are interested in doing so.

·         D. Discounts

MPAC offers a myriad of promotional and permanent discounts to its students. These discounts apply towards regular classes that MPAC offers, not including workshops and/or trips.

Promotional (offered from time to time on a limited basis...if you're not sure, ask if any of these promotions are going on at this time) discounts include:

Finder's Credit (limited promotional periods, ask for details): when current students recommend MPAC to new students, MPAC thanks the current student by giving him/her a credit. To get the credit, the new student must put the current student's name down on the "How did you find out about MPAC?" line on the registration form and pay the registration fee. Once the new student pays the registration fee, the current students will get a $10 credit applied to their account for each new student that a current student "finds". This credit is taken off of their monthly tuition for the following month. 2 new students equals a $20 credit, 3 equals $30...9 equals $90, etc. There is no limit to the number of credits, so if you bring in 100 new students, then you will earn $1,000 in credit. Credits are applied to student accounts and can be used for tuition and costume fees only. Credits only have a Dollar value which can be applied to tuition and costume fees only and no cash value, reimbursements, refunds or payments will be made in leiu of the credit. Credits do not expire until the balance is completely depleted and can be carried over from one session to another as well as from one year to another. Students that stop taking classes at MPAC will not be isseud payment or reimbursement for any unused balances, and balances can only be transferred to another student within the same household, and they will not be transferred to another student from outside of the household.

Teacher's Helper Discount: as explained under "Teacher's Helpers" above, students eligible and selected for one of these positions will be offered a discount off of their monthly tuition. Discounts will vary depending on the level of commitment, the time involved, and so on. Discounts of any kind will not be applied to workshops, trips, and production costs such as tickets, costume fees, and the like.

Permanent (offered continuously unless a policy change occurs) discounts include:

Sibling Discount: Students from the same immediate household (i.e.: brothers, sisters, etc.) will each receive 10% off of their individual tuition after all other promotional discounts have been applied, and before being added together with the rest of the family's tuition to make up the family account monthly total. Discounts of any kind will not be applied to workshops, trips, and production costs such as tickets, costume fees, and the like.

Family Discount: Families with more than 4 students enrolled in MPAC classes from the same household, at the same time, will receive 20% off for each student instead of 10%. Discounts of any kind will not be applied to workshops, trips, and production costs such as tickets, costume fees, and the like.

Parent Discount: Parents of currently enrolled MPAC students who are interested in taking an MPAC class or classes themselves will receive 10% off of their individual tuition after all other promotional discounts have been applied, and before being added together with the rest of the family's tuition to make up the family total. Discounts of any kind will not be applied to workshops, trips, and production costs such as tickets, costume fees, and the like.

·         E. Refunds & Credits

Refunds are reimbursements or payments made out to students by MPAC check, for moneys owed by MPAC to a student. There are many rules concerning refunds. The following is just a brief summary of those rules. For a complete explanation of these rules, please see Carla or Bryan. The one-time registration and bookkeeping fee of $20 is nonrefundable in every situation. Refunds are not to be issued for mere absences or missed classes as ample make-up classes are available in exchange for the missed class (there may be some exceptions to this rule, see Carla or Bryan if you think that this applies to you). Students may be entitled to a refund or credit if they are no longer able to take classes after payment has been transacted or have had an emergency pop up such as circumstances including injuries (broken bones, doctor's orders, etc.), family emergency (hospitalization, death in the family, etc.) or some other unavoidable, unplanned and unfortunate situation. If there are no make-up classes available to you after missing a class on your own accord, then a possible credit may be approved and issued to your account on the following month's tuition if you meet criteria similar to the ones listed above. Keep in mind that the prepaid services have been provided as agreed upon, and due to their perishable nature, they will, in most cases, not be eligible for reimbursement. Approval must be sought after by request through Carla or Bryan. Once a class has been taken (meaning that once a service has been rendered to students), it is not negotiable to be included in any refunds or credits. In other words, a class that a student has attended is not refundable. Only when prior arrangements, or extreme situations, have been discussed with Carla or Bryan will other refunds be considered. Note: all circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis and not necessarily approved.

Crediting occurs when MPAC accidentally over-charges a student, a student over-pays his/her tuition, or an approved reduction in tuition occurs after payment has been made for any number of reasons ultimately approved by Bryan and/or Carla. A credit is the dollar value that is carried-over from the previous or current month and applied to a family's monthly account for the following month. Credits are not issued when a student is simply absent from a particular class. A credit may be available if a student becomes seriously injured and can no longer participate in class for a specified period of time, a class (or classes) is canceled and no make-up is arranged or offered and therefore causes the number of classes in the month to be fewer than 3, a death in the family, etc. If you have a situation that you feel warrants a credit, please speak with Carla or Bryan.

·         F. Bounced Checks

A bounced check is also known as a returned check. A student may pay for tuition, tickets, fees, etc. by means of a personal check, but if upon depositing the check it is not approved or returned unpaid by the bank, then it is considered a bounced check. MPAC charges a fee for returned checks to cover the cost of fees that MPAC's bank charges it, along with any other associated fees to adjust the balance/books, and cover any possible over-draft fees due not clearing in time when depended upon. The maximum that MPAC will charge is $35 for returned checks.

·         G. Scholarships & Financial Hardship

MPAC offers several full and partial scholarships throughout the year. It is extremely important to both Carla and Bryan that children of all backgrounds and personal situations get the chance to learn, love, and grow in the performing arts despite any hardships that a family may be experiencing. It is about the art, not the money! Yet, MPAC is a business. We are able to offer scholarships due to things such as bake sales, raffles, and volunteerism. Scholarships based on a financial need basis are always kept confidential. That is why MPAC encourages all parents to participate in the MPAC Scholarship Committee events such as baking for bake sales, running the raffle, putting-up posters, joining the sewing parties to make the costumes, all to raise money or provide the manpower that will save us money in the name of our MPAC families needing support. The entire amount of proceeds from such activities, and savings from volunteerism as opposed to hiring out the service, goes directly to the scholarship accounts. If you currently have, or become affected by a financial hardship that would mean the difference between attending classes as normal and not attending at all, then please speak with Carla or Bryan to see if there is a program that we can set up for your situation. This will always remain confidential between you, Bryan and Carla. Each situation is unique. We can't read minds, and we won't act on hear-say, roomers or grape-vine messages. If you need assistance, you must go to Carla or Bryan in person. Do not assume pre-approval, and do not put it off for a period of time. If you don't speak with Carla or Bryan, we have to assume that everything's all right and that you are able to pay your bill. Late bills (after the second class of every month) will be assessed with a $10 fee, and a bill will not be reduced once a month has past.

 

 

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