Revised October 2020
The objective of this handbook is to keep our teachers and staff on the same page regarding policies and procedures around the studio. Please take the time to get to know our Vision, Core Values, and be familiar with all the classes we offer. The information included in these pages reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and goals of the Directors, and all employees should attempt to integrate them into their work here at AFAA. Please take the time to read the entire handbook as you will be signing off on it when you sign the Employee Contract. We consider it a work in progress, so questions and suggestions are always welcome.
Alamance Fine Arts Academy (AFAA) is a Christ-centered fine arts studio located in downtown Burlington, NC. We offer classes in theatre, visual art, voice, and several genres of dance. Our instructors are well-trained in their art form, and each has a heart for training students in correct technique while also demonstrating the arts as a form of worship.
General Policies and Procedures:
An Encouraging Atmosphere
Our goal is to reflect a love for the Lord and a passion for the arts. As you know, every student can develop a passion for the arts, regardless of his/her current skill level, so we encourage you to do everything you can to communicate that you believe each student will succeed.
The dress code below is for the purpose of maintaining a respectful and professional environment. We appreciate your cooperation!
- Dance Instructors: AFAA shirt or tank with dance pants or leggings
- All other instructors and staff: AFAA t-shirt with modest shorts, capris, pants, or jeans.
- Shoes should be appropriate for the classes you are teaching.
Students may test the boundaries in a class and it is important to calmly react to their behavior right away. Persistent misbehavior must be addressed, so if a student is not responding to your discipline in class, please communicate the issue with the parent. If talking to his/her parent does not result in changes in behavior and the student continues to be disruptive in class, please speak with the Office Manager about how to proceed. If you have any questions about how to handle a misbehaving student, please feel free to speak with the Office Manager or one of the Directors.
In the event of an emergency evacuation, attempt to remain calm as the students will take their cue of how to respond from you. Once an evacuation is complete, immediately account for all your students and notify staff immediately if anyone is missing. Staff must notify the office about any potentially dangerous circumstances in a classroom or any other part of the studio. These include such things as ceiling leaks, problems with locks on exterior doors, extra-slippery floors, etc. Any water spills must be cleaned immediately.
If a student is injured during class, stop the class and report the incident to the office immediately. In the case of a serious injury, call 911 and ask the office to call the child’s parents. All staff needs to know where the first-aid supplies are, and familiarize yourself with basic emergency care.
Staff Members are expected to comply with the following protocols:
- Be professional at all times, showing respect for the studio and every student. Staff should set a positive example by refraining from using foul language, demonstrating negative behavior, or making disparaging comments concerning anyone associated with the studio.
- If you are an instructor, please arrive at least 10 minutes before your first class begins. Non-instructional staff, please arrive promptly at the beginning of your shift. If you know you will be late, contact the Office Manager or office staff.
- Request permission from the Office Manager or Director(s) before bringing guests into the classroom. We discourage family or friends from observing classes outside of Parent Observation Week since they often distract both teacher and students.
- Please refrain from making or receiving personal phone calls during class. We understand that occasional calls from family must be answered.
- If you are the last class of the evening in your classroom, please be sure that all electronic devices are turned off and plugged in to charge, the thermostat is set back to how you found it if you adjusted it during class (and the fan is on “Auto”), all trash is picked up, any forgotten items are placed in the Lost and Found, and all floor fans and lights are turned off. Report any equipment problems to the Office Manager.
- Please stay up-to-date on studio information and activities. Read all Week Ahead and staff emails and texts to stay informed. When a response is requested for a staff email or text, please respond promptly.
- Attendance is taken at the start of each class. If a child has missed two consecutive classes, please notify the office. The Office Manager will call the parent to find out the reason for absence. Most communication with students and/or parents can be made through the Office Manager.
Choosing Class Materials and Choreography
One of the many things that sets AFAA apart from other dance studios in the area is our focus on having a Christ-honoring atmosphere at the studio and at our performances. AFAA serves a diverse spectrum of students so sensitivity to the messages and/or lyrics of materials used in the classroom is paramount. Music for dance, theatre content, song lyrics in voice lessons, and visual art material should be age appropriate and free from bad language, suggestive material, or anything that communicates direct opposition to AFAA’s Core Values. Show titles for theatre must be approved by the Directors; choreography must be free from any suggestive movements; and song lyrics and art pieces must be God-honoring. Changes to choreography, stage production blocking or scenes, song choices for voice, or visual art content may be made by the Director(s) at any time. We do not wish to stifle your creativity but may need to adjust a piece for a number of reasons. If you have a question about the appropriateness of a particular piece, feel free to discuss this with the Office Manager or Director.
Teaching for Other Studios
If you become employed by another studio after working at AFAA, we expect that you will respect AFAA by not recruiting AFAA’s clientele to come to that studio.
Vacation and Sick Days
We follow a studio calendar, so there are several vacation days built in already. With that being said, please do your best to inform the office of your vacation dates as early as possible. For both vacation as well as sick days, you are encouraged to secure your own subs from within our instructors and staff, however please notify the Office Manager of your plans. If you cannot find a sub, please speak with the Office Manager or Director. When a sub fills in, you are giving up those hours to the sub. If a sub cannot be secured, we will cancel the class and you will need to make up the class at another date. Please work with the Office Manager to reschedule the class.
All staff is required to participate in staff meetings. We understand that things come up and you may need to miss a meeting on occasion. If you are unable to attend, please take time to read the meeting notes which we will email out after the meeting. We encourage you to feel free to discuss any issues, ideas, or suggestions during these meetings.
As a staff member, you may have access to confidential information belonging to AFAA. The following topics are considered confidential and are not to be discussed or disclosed in or outside of the school except to Office Manager or Director when needed:
- Staff compensation
- Personal information about students, parents, faculty, or staff members
- Discussions or decisions made at staff meetings
- Financial concerns for AFAA families
- Discounts or special arrangements with an AFAA family
- The studio’s mailing lists, student phone numbers, or email addresses. Teachers may not copy or distribute student/family information without permission from the family.
Your Personal Information
It is important that the personnel records of AFAA be accurate and up-to-date. In order to avoid problems with your tax liability or our ability to communicate with you efficiently, AFAA requires that you notify the Office Manager of any change in your name, home address, telephone number, number of dependents, or any other information pertinent to your employment.
Use of Property and Studio Space
AFAA will provide you with the necessary equipment and/or studio space for your class. The class room and equipment should not be used for personal use, nor should any equipment be removed from the studio unless approved by the Director(s) or Office Manager. Use of studio space outside of regularly scheduled classes (such as a private lesson, etc.) may be arranged through the Office Manager. Facility fees may apply.
Policy on Staff Use of Social Media
This policy is intended to provide AFAA staff with expectations regarding staff members’ public communication via social media. AFAA trusts that you understand that you are viewed as a mentor, teacher, and leader to our students by both our students as well as their parents. Please be extremely thoughtful about how you present yourself online in your posts to social networks. Assume your posts will be seen and read by AFAA students and parents and that they will presumptively associate such posts with AFAA. Please consider the following:
- Be careful that you do not accidentally share personal information about fellow staff members, your students, or their families, or anything confidential.
- Be sure you don’t imply that you are speaking on behalf of AFAA without express permission from the Office Manager or Director(s).
- Please do not post negative comments about other studios, their performances, or their staff.
- Please obtain permission before using the AFAA logo.
- Be respectful when posting about topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory, such as politics or religion.
- Please do not post anything on social media that is in direct opposition to the spirit of AFAA’s Core Values, Vision, or Mission statement.
- Time Sheets: Each staff member is expected to fill out his or her own time sheet by the last day of each month carefully and accurately reflecting regular hours worked as well as any sub hours.
- Payroll is completed the 1st of each month using direct deposit. You will need to supply the name of your bank, whether it is a checking or savings account, and a routing number so that your direct deposit may be set up.
- Teachers will receive compensation for classes canceled due to inclement weather after the rescheduled class has been held.
- Office staff: compensation is a flat monthly rate agreed upon in your contract.
- Instructors: compensation is an hourly rate agreed upon in your contract. Hours to be turned in include the time you spend teaching in the classroom during a regular studio week. Pay for hours worked outside of regular classroom hours will be compensated as follows: For Open House and Production Tech Weeks you will receive $25 per day for each day that you work 4+ hours. For extra hours required for productions (extra rehearsals, set building, etc.) the pay will be $10/hour.
- All Staff receive a 30% discount per child for their children’s tuition.
- All staff receive 2 Complimentary tickets per year. These tickets may be utilized at any event throughout the year.
- All staff must supply his/her Social Security Number (SSN). You will receive a 1099 annually.
We ask that you submit a notice of resignation in writing to the Director(s) at least two (2) weeks prior to the date it would take effect. This will assist AFAA in finding a replacement staff person for your position.
Should any staff member be found to have committed any serious offense, without limitation to those outlined below, he or she will have his or her employment terminated immediately, except at the sole discretion of the Director(s).
- Making false statements or omitting pertinent facts on an employment application or in an employment interview.
- Threatening, assaulting, fighting with, or harassing another employee, student, parent, or anyone else at any time during your employment.
- Stealing or deliberately damaging any AFAA property or other employees’ property.
- Disclosing or selling company confidential information or trade secrets, including student contact information, mailing lists, etc.
- Arriving to work under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or other drugs other than medications prescribed for the employee by a physician.
- Conviction of a felony offense and/or imprisonment.
- Taking unauthorized leave or failing to show up work more than two (2) times without notifying the Director(s).
- Inappropriate relationships with students or staff.
Performance & Production Info:
Productions and performances are always excitedly anticipated by our students and families and they are a wonderful opportunity to spread the message of the gospel.
- Staff is expected to attend all applicable rehearsals, productions, and performances.
- Pay for Production weeks will be $25/day for each day you work 4+ hours.
- Visual Art students’ work will be displayed at all productions and performances.
- All choreography for the spring recital needs to be finished by May 1st, so please plan accordingly.
- Please have a digital copy of all recital music to the Office Manager by May 1st.
- The Office Manager will provide the Tech Sheets. Please have all of your notes in the Tech Sheets by the date given by the Office Manager.
- Theatre Productions:
- Theatre Instructors are responsible for set, sound, and light design and execution. If you need assistance with set design or construction, or running the light and sound board, please let the Office Manager know ASAP.
And Finally . . .
Thank you for reading through this handbook!
Welcome to the team! We are so glad to have you on board.