ADMINISTRATIVE HANDBOOK & GUIDELINES
Thank you for being a part of BRB's administrative team!
This handbook will help set policy and procedure for office duties and responsibilities. Please communicate any suggestions to our handbook, so we can continue to be as clear as possible allowing us to offer consistent information to our students. If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
You will most likely be the first person people see when coming into the studio. An attentive, smiling face is essential. Remember to smile and greet people as they come to the door.
As a representative of our organization, please dress in neat, appropriate clothing. Please wear your BRB Logo attire if possible!
*Personal cell phone use during admin hours is not allowed.
Answering the Phone: Please answer calls with “Hello! Bay Ridge Ballet, this is _________________, how can I help you?” If you need to take a message for anyone, email the message to all appropriate people with parent’s name, contact info and reason for their call.
Most of the parents’ questions can be answered on the website. Please familiarize yourself: www.bayridgeballet.com. No need to memorize all our information, please just be able to easily find and communicate to the parents how to locate the info they need. It is most helpful to send links to the website when answering a question so that they can find information on their own in the future.
If something is unclear on the website or you have suggestions to make it clearer, please don’t hesitate to speak up. We are always open to suggestions to make things better!
Be sure to join our mailing list and read our emails to stay knowledgable of registration phases, special performances and more!
Once all your responsibilities and duties have been taken care of every shift, please text Patty to see what other projects you can help with. There is always so much to do at BRB, thank you!
Please encourage visitors and callers to stay in the know… join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Click on the link below.)
OPENING & CLOSING CHECKLISTS –
An opening and closing checklist can be found in the studio lobby, in addition to this handbook HERE.
Please complete all tasks including taking out the trash on Sunday’s, Tuesday’s & Thursday’s (placing it directly by the gate/not at the curb and make sure the rolling gate doesn’t lower on the trash bags). All cleaning supplies can be found in the restroom under the sink and in the lobby cabinet. Please let Patty know via email when cleaning or office supplies need to be replaced.
We have an open and close binder in the lobby and it lists all of the duties that need to be done on a daily and weekly basis. Please mark the studio as cleaned upon completing.
Please check periodically on the bathroom and the trash during class time to make sure all is clean and safe.
Admin staff should be familiar and able to respond to the following emails: basic inquiries through our “contact us” webpage, trial class requests, make-up class scheduling, mailing list subscriptions/removals and performance confirmations.
All other emails regarding more complex issues should be left for Administrative or School Directors.
When answering emails, always start at the bottom on the unread inbox, so we can correspond with the oldest email first and work towards the most recent. This will help make sure emails don't get buried resulting in a slow response time.
Please see the sections below for instructions on specific emails:
Trial classes at Bay Ridge Ballet help us increase our business and grow our following. Because our trials are many student’s first introduction to dance, it is important to make a good, professional first impression by important that admin staff communicate with parents about trials and schedule in a timely manner. Trial classes shall be handled completing the following steps:
Trial Class Online Form: Parents will fill in our trial class form located on our website here. Once they have completed the trial form, their information will automatically be entered into the “Trial Class Action Required” Google Sheet.
Check Class: If they have requested a specific class, please first check that the class is the appropriate level, and that the class has space in it. *Placements in the lower school classes are strictly by birth year with very few exceptions. Students are permitted to take a class with younger students but not older.* If the student has dance experience and is 10+, please explain that their level will be evaluated during the trial class.
Email to confirm: copy and paste trial response draft email and fill blanks to customize the response and confirm trial. If the requested class does not have space, respond with the “No Trial- Class Full/Waitlist” draft and suggest an alternative.
Class attendance sheet: After confirming, please enter their information in the Google Sheet attendance sheet for the class. Make sure the student’s name, date of the trial, and parent’s contact (email address) is recorded.
Confirming Attendance: after the scheduled trial date, confirm the students attended the trial by looking at the attendance sheets to see if the instructor marked the student present (P) or absent (A).
Follow-Up: Admin staff will follow-up with students in two ways:
email to be scheduled 24 hours after the trial date. The email will include a link to the BRB schedule & registration page so they may see the variety of classes we offer and enroll on their own.
text to be sent right after the class ends, thanking them for attending the class and encouraging them to check their email for follow-up information regarding registration.
Tracking enrollments from our trials
green: enrolled after trial
red: did not enroll after trial (possibly will send them an email with other class options).
BRB allows students three make-up classes per semester, in any same level or lower class. Make-ups must be scheduled by the final day of the semester.
Make-up class online form: Parents fill out the make-up class form which can be found here: Bay Ridge Ballet | Brooklyn | Make-up Class Request. If a parent emails asking for make-up, its a good idea to ask them to fill out the form so that they can get familiar with the website and our procedures.
Email to confirm: (1) Make sure that the requested class is the same (or lower) level as the student’s regular class. (2) Check that the requested class isn't overfilled before confirming. If the class is overfilled, recommend another class or a virtual make-up. If there are no other sections of the student’s class with space, you can recommend a different style class as long as the age/level is appropriate. (3) Make-sure that the student hasn’t exceeded the 3 make-up/semester limit.
Be sure to reply stating the Class, date, and start/end times for the make-up class to avoid confusion. Also reiterate that we permit 3 make-ups per semester and that good attendance is needed for participation in the recital .
Class attendance sheet: Once confirmed, Please note the student’s name and date of the make-up class on the attendance sheet of the class they will be attending.
Mailing List: We use the google contacts to create our mailing lists. There is a 500 recipient limit for emails, so we have to organize the contacts into groups or “labels”
General Mailing list: ALL contacts should be filed into either the A-J, K-P, or Q-Z label based on their first name or first letter of their email address (it doesn’t matter which you choose, the point is just to divide the contact list into smaller groups).
These labels will be used when sending out newsblasts.
Current Students list: There should be another separate label for all current students. The emails can be copy and pasted right from the registration google sheets. As we get registrations, be sure to add the parent’s email addresses to our contacts. Please then add them to the “current students” label as well as the general mailing list label by first name.
This list will be used to distribute closing reminders and other information specific to currently enrolled students. (a single email can be included in multiple labels).
Performance Confirmations: In spring semester, we will send out recital confirmations to all students. These help us to get an idea of what students will participate in the recital as well as what size costume we need to purchase for them. The recital confirmation requires parents to inform themselves about our school/performance policies and procedures.
Input into Attendance sheets: Make a column on the attendance sheet for recital confirmations. Record whether they indicated yes or no to participating in the first column. In the next column copy+paste the size/height information from the confirmation. Please leave the email as “unread” until the information is recorded on the attendance sheet.
All payments are taken at the time of registration. We do not accept cash or check. Depending on the registration phase (school year, camps, mini-session, etc.), tuition payments will be paid in full or a QuickBooks invoice will be emailed with the remaining balance after a deposit is paid. Please see specific registration form online for details.
Please contact Financial Director Steve Grado at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-365-0528 with any questions regarding tuition.
You must be familiar with tuition and our multiple class discounts as seen on our website, but for more in-depth questions on tuition or registrations with prorated totals, please forward emails to Steve and communicate to the parent know that he will help them.
DRESS CODE –
It is very important that students have the correct Grand Prix brand uniform. Be prepared to speak with parents about our strict dress code. Being proactive on this is important and should be handled the first day of class. Help the instructor by asking which children may need their parent spoken to. If you are unable to speak with the parent in person, then please email with our dress code link.
All dress code info and our philosophy as to why it is important, can be found on our website. Be able to show parents how to locate our dancewear provider Grand Prix, address also online.
Help make sure all students are not wearing any jewelry and have their hair pulled completely up and away from their face. Extra hair supplies can be found in the lobby. Please help in making sure all students in a Ballet 1 level or higher have their hair in a bun and ask parents to have hair done before coming to class.
HELPING PARENTS REGISTER –
Admin assistants should be able to communicate to parents how to register online. All registrations are only taken through our website.
We get emails and calls throughout the year about enrolling in school year classes, summer camps, summer sessions, mini-session and more! Please refer to the website to see all the programs that are open for registration at that time and be able to communicate all the options their child has at that time. Also be sure to read the news emails to know what programs are currently open for registration.
Registering for the School Year: First click on the “Class Descriptions” page BRB Class Descriptions for a list of classes by age. Once they have seen what we offer in their child’s age group, they will see a button to view the schedule. The registration page can also be accessed from the schedule page BRB Schedule 202X/202X.
Registering for Summer: First click on the summer page, then you will see choices. Click on the preferred option for the child’s age for program details. Another link at the bottom of the info page is provided to submit a registration form. Payment details can be found on the registration form page.
Registering for Mini-Sessions: Registration for mini-session is usually the same procedure as other registrations. The registration link should be found at the bottom of the webpage for the program.
Please feel free to show in-person visitors around the studios, and peek in at ongoing classes. Visitors are not allowed during class transitions and are only allowed into the lobby for a few minutes.
Please give our business card with our website for more info!
PRIVATE LESSONS –
Once the private lessons have been assigned to an instructor, scheduling and the cost of the studio rental will be the responsibility of the instructor. To reserve studio space for a private lesson, first check availability on the school’s calendar via our website here: Bay Ridge Ballet | Brooklyn | Calendar.
Once the time is coordinated and confirmed with the student/parent, email the office to secure your reservation and have it input onto the Google calendar. Please include the date, time, and number of students in your studio reservation email.
Admin must open the google calendar and schedule the studio rental. For private lessons, create an event and title it “Private Lesson (<Teacher’s name>)”. If the private lesson does not get input to our Google calendar, double booking may occur.
For cancellations, please email the office as soon as possible so that the studio can be available for others if needed.
Teachers will be paid directly by the parent/student. The cost of the studio rental will be deducted from your paycheck. Please include all private lesson hours and number of students on your timesheet. The cost of the studio rental will depend on the duration of the lesson and number of students.
Remind teachers to CC email@example.com on private lesson email confirmations so that we can put it on the calendar. It’s best to have “Private Lesson” and the date of the private lesson in the subject of the email.
SPECIAL PROJECTS/TASKS –
One of the most important tasks an admin assistant can do is taking photos and videos for social media. Please be ready for cuteness or amazing dance moments and be quick to capture it! Showing a candid moment of what we do is a very impactful tool in keeping our school growing and sharing precious moments with our students' parents!
During especially busy times of the year, there will be special projects with Nutcracker, Recital and more! These projects are often creative involving headpieces or props for the upcoming performance. Get ready to hot glue!
Encourage Google Reviews: “They like us, they really like us!” When you hear positive feedback about our incredible school (and I hear plenty), please encourage them to write a Google review and spread the word! I like to ask if they “would consider writing a Google review to help our school?” You can speak to them in person and then send them an email with easy links to review on google and facebook.
Keep the closing reminder sign up-to-date and in the front window. Closing reminder emails should also be scheduled to be sent out a few days before the holiday. Please send to all current student’s parents and include links to the calendar on our website.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS –
Parent volunteers are recruited for some of the lower school division classes (Elementary 2 and lower) to help with class changes. Parent volunteers are there to help speed up and smooth out check-in, changing student’s shoes, getting dressed, and anything else that parents would normally take care of.
Parent volunteers must be arranged before the start of the semester. It is most efficient to schedule an every-other week rotation of the same 2 parents (parent #1 does 1st week, parent #2 does second week, parent #1 does 3rd week again, parent #2 does 4th week etc. switching off every other week) and have a few other parents on the list as subs.
The parent volunteer email draft explains the commitment in more details. Each class’s parent volunteers should be emailed at the start of the semester and CC email addresses so that everyone has each other’s email contact. Please email each class separately.
Once volunteers are confirmed, mark parent volunteers by highlighting the student’s name in the registration.
Parents are instructed to find a sub if they have to miss a class. If they cannot find a sub, you can reach out to the other parents, if it’s deemed necessary.
INCIDENT REPORT –
If any injury occurs at BRB an incident report must be filled out at that time.
Then the form must be scanned, saved to the google drive and emailed to all directors.
Incident report form found HERE.
All faculty and staff are required to submit appropriate tax forms before the start of the year. All faculty and staff receiving a paycheck (non-work study) will be responsible for filling out hours on the appropriate date on your timesheet every time you work/sub. You are asked to initial your time sheet every pay period, confirming all hours. You will receive an email reminder a couple days before your timesheet is due. Your timesheet is a google sheet that is shared between you and the directors. Timesheets not submitted in time will delay compensation. I recommend downloading the google sheets app for easy timesheet editing. We completed your last pay period for you as an example. Let Steve know if you have any questions!
REMINDERS DURING CLASSES –
Always avoid interrupting classes and help keep the lobby quiet.
If you notice that a student is regularly absent, late, or observing class, first speak with the instructor, then contact the parent. The tone should be coming from a place of concern with communications such as "we've noticed... and we want to check in with you to make sure everything is ok." All students, especially ensemble students, are expected to maintain good attendance and participation. Please communicate consistent issues with the director.
Check voicemails and emails throughout your shift.
Please tidy up the lobby and throw out any garbage that didn’t make its way to the garbage can.
For security, please keep the front door locked with the key in the door during class time.
PROBLEM SOLVING –
Problem: Parent wants to observe child in classroom
Solution: Tell them we want the child to be independent and many times the parent is a distraction (maybe not their child but for other children). Tell them we have a week for observations and recital at the end of the year.
Problem: They are unsure how the child will adjust to being in the classroom or genre of style or level.
Solution: Tell them we offer one free trial class where the child can decide if she enjoys it and the teacher can access if the child is in the right level or needs to be moved up or down.
Problem: Parent thinks student is too young for the class or is not ready to start lessons.
Solution: Tell them to come one more time since sometimes it is necessary for the child to become comfortable in the environment before they start participating in class. Say you will pass it on to the school director. Explain that we want students to be happy and get the most out of lessons. Tell the parents that the school director will offer some options to make things work. (If the teacher also feels that the child is not ready, we will usually offer credit towards a future class or offer a different program they can take that would be a better fit).
Problem: The student did not understand something that was explained to them in class by the teacher
Solution: If you can clarify, do so or tell them you will leave a note for the teacher and she can call to clarify.
Q. How do we differ from other dance schools?
R. Our primary emphasis is teaching and developing the art of ballet, as we believe it is a strong, healthy foundation for all dance genres. BRB provides a strong program in proper technique, vocabulary, discipline and artistry as we strive to empower our students with a strong sense of self-confidence. All programs are taught in a welcoming and non-competitive environment that encourages growth as a dancer, as well as an individual. Our classes prioritize teaching technique, discipline, and dance etiquette, rather than just recital rehearsal.
Q. My child has been dancing for 5+ years and is interested in professional type dance lessons, what do you offer?
R. We have extremely qualified dance teachers who are certified in the style of dance that they teach our Student Ensemble Program. Learn more about schedule requirements for the program online. An audition or placement class can be scheduled at any time.
Q. What is modern… jazz… tumbling… musical theater… etc?
R. See class descriptions page for full details.
Q. Can my child start dance partway through the year?
R. They can start dance at any time throughout the year, but we encourage early registration for optimal growth. If a child joins late and the class too far along, private lessons can be scheduled to catch up or the child can move to another appropriate level.
Q. Why do you have a recital?
R. A big part of dance training includes learning through performance. Although, performance opportunities can help prepare some students for a possible career in dance, they also contribute to children’s non-dance activities. This experience helps build self-esteem and confidence, which can result in better school presentations, improved social skills, and strong college and job interview skills. It also helps with retention skills, and by working with their classmates on a group performance; they learn the positive aspects of working as a team to create the best end result.
Q. What does the registration fee cover?
R. It not only reserves your child's place in the class, it helps cover administrative fees that keep our organization running.
Q. How do I know what level of class to take?
R. Based on the information received on your form, you will be placed in a class by age and experience. Adjustments to class placement are made under the director and teacher’s discretion. Every studio has their own system of placement levels and it’s important to master all appropriate skills before moving onto the next level.
Q. How many students are needed to run a class?
R. At least 6. Classes under the minimum could be canceled and students would either be moved into another class or refunded.
Q. How do we receive information throughout the dance year?
R. We update the website frequently, make postings to Facebook and Instagram, as well as send newsletters emails with important school info. Be sure to join the mailing list (and save our address) and follow us on social!
Q. What age do you start?
R. We offer all ages!! BRB offers Move & Groove for babies and toddlers, our amazing dance program for ages 2.5 to teen and adult classes too!
Q. Does my child need to be potty trained to attend class?
R. For all classes that children are not joined by an adult, we prefer students be out of diapers. We understand that some children, including but not limited to preschoolers and children with special needs, may be prone to accidents. For these students we recommend pull-ups. ALL students should visit the restroom before coming to class to avoid missing any instruction during class.
Q. What should be worn for a trial class?
R. Please wear anything that is comfortable to move in. Proper dancewear and shoes are not required for trial classes.
Q. What should be worn for class once registered?
R. All students should come to class in uniform with proper shoes for each class, a full description of which can be found online. Dance attire is required for the safety of the student and to ensure proper dance education with minimal distraction. The proper Grand Prix uniform is also required as it is a component of the recital costume.
Q. Do you spend the entire year working on the recital dance?
R. Our classes will begin working on their recital dance spring semester. We spend a few minutes of class working on choreography until the entire dance is learned. All classes include warm-up, center work, across the floor, and combinations. The recital choreography takes the place of the other combinations. As the recital nears, a bit more time may be spent polishing dances, but never the entire class. We want our students to learn the proper technique needed to be a dancer, not just dances.
Q. Do I need to stay while my child is in class?
R. We ask that parents of new students under age 8 stay in the general area for the first few weeks of class, so that the child can be acclimated to the new situation. After this, parents may feel free to run errands during their child’s class time. Please be mindful to return promptly for the end of your child’s class to help make class transitions smooth.
Q. Can I wait while my child is in class, or do I have to leave?
R. The waiting area is open with limited space for parents to briefly observe during class time. The waiting area is closed during class changes and parents will be asked to wait outside to allow for quick and efficient class transitions. See our school policies webpage for more waiting area rules. We welcome you to stay for a bit, but we do encourage dropping off your child to promote independence and make Observation days and Recital even more special!
Q. What if I am late for class?
R. Please make every effort to be on time. We do understand that things happen, and being late may be unavoidable. Students that are more than 10 minutes late may be asked to sit and observe for the remainder of the class. This is not a disciplinary measure–it is a policy set in place for your dancer’s safety, as muscles that are not properly warmed up are prone to injury. If being late is unavoidable, please still bring your dancer to class–observing can be just as educational as participation, and often gives students a different perspective. Also, please explain the late policy to your dancer so they can help in getting to class on time!
Q. Can I make up a missed class?
R. If a class is missed, you can schedule a make-up class online in a class at an equal or lower level. Other dance forms can be taken, so long as the age and level are appropriate. Please note that there are no reductions or refunds of tuition fees due to absences. (Make-ups should be limited to 3 per semester.)
Q. For what holidays are you closed?
R. All closing dates are indicated on the website calendar. We typically follow public school closings, but we may hold classes on government and school holidays on occasion. Be sure to check the calendar!
Q. What is your weather closing policy?
R. We will not have class if NYC Public Schools are closed or close early DUE TO WEATHER (i.e. not for teacher meetings, lack of electricity, etc.). Weekend weather cancellations will be determined on a case-by-case basis. You will be notified via email and we will post a notice to Facebook and Instagram.
Q. Do you take credit cards?
R. Yes, we accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. We do not typically accept cash or check payment. All registrations are taken online.