POLICIES & GUIDELINES
PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAM
Welcome to Berkshire Pulse!
New students must have a completed Policies and Information Waiver (Form A). New and returning students must have a completed Registration Form (Form B). Underage participants in the Youth Performing Arts Program must have a guardian complete the Premises Permission Form (Form C). Registrants can satisfy each of these Forms by registering online. Please read the following Policies and Information carefully to ensure that you understand them before registering. As a dancer at Berkshire Pulse, or parent/guardian of a Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program participant, you are responsible for supporting your child in upholding these policies.
COVID, Vaccinations, Masks, and Sick Policies
Student safety and wellbeing is at the core of what we do here at Pulse and is the driving force behind our policy decisions around COVID-19. Whenever possible, Pulse’s COVID policies follow the guidelines established by the Berkshire Hills Regional School District and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The following is an outline of our current guidelines for dancers and families. As with all COVID guidelines, they are subject to change as new information presents itself. As such, any changes will be communicated via email.
Masking: Beginning January 2023, masks are optional for all students. Pulse urges all participants – including faculty, staff, and students – to respect individual masking decisions as we strive to build a healthy and supportive environment. Pulse continues to provide N95 and surgical-grade free-of-charge at the front desk to any individuals who wish to continue masking. There will be structured time for mask breaks as needed and as safety protocols allow.
Vaccinations: Beginning January 2023, Pulse no longer requires any participant to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Illness: No one should ever come to Pulse studios in-person if they are displaying any cold, flu, or COVID symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc.). Students are cleared to come to class as long as they are not showing symptoms and have not tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone who tests positive should notify Pulse staff immediately and quarantine for 5 days. If at that time you are still showing symptoms, you should stay home another 5 days. Students are cleared to return once they have stopped showing symptoms. Anyone who has shared space at Pulse with a COVID-positive person, within 48 hours of a positive test, will be notified by Pulse staff. Berkshire Pulse will keep all personal medical information strictly confidential, and all reporting will remain anonymous.
Accessibility and accommodations
To request an accommodation, or for questions about accessibility, please contact us.
Dance Class Attire
Please see our Dress Code information handout for details about Youth Performing Arts Program guidelines. Community Class Participants: please see individual class descriptions for dress code.
Students, siblings, and parents are responsible for maintaining a tidy lobby, homework room, and dressing area. Please throw away your trash and clean up any messes you see. Notify the front desk staff of any spills immediately. Always respect others and help keep our studios clean.
Methods Accepted: We accept payment in checks, cash, and all major credit cards. All bank fees will be charged to the customer on a returned check. We are unable to accept BerkShares. Class Passes and account credits are non-transferable.
Timing: Full payment or 50% of full tuition with a completed Tuition Assistance Application is required upon enrollment unless a payment plan is established prior. Class passes are valid for one calendar year.
Payment Plans: May be made in 3 installments, 50% of which is due at registration. A $20 administration fee is added to all payment plans. Late fees will be added to all late payments under payment plan arrangements.
Late Registration: We are unable to guarantee placement for late registrations. Mid-session registrations, and requests for pro-rated payment, must be approved.
Exceptions: Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstances with prior communication with management.
Past-Due Balances: A late payment fee of $20 will be added to all past-due balances. If you encounter extenuating circumstances that will prevent you from paying your bill on time, please inform us immediately.
Refunds: Up to the end of the second week of classes, we will offer pro-rated refunds. After the first two weeks of class, pro-rated refunds or credit will only be offered in the case of a serious injury with a physician’s note for confirmation, or when an entire semester’s class is canceled by Berkshire Pulse. Otherwise, no refunds are offered.
Tuition Assistance Benefits
Tuition Assistance benefits are granted to all financially eligible students who would like to participate in the Performing Arts Program. To maintain TA status, it is necessary for TA recipients to uphold the Performing Arts Program Policies and individual class requirements. Tuition Assistance application forms are available at registration or can be downloaded prior to registration from our website at berkshirepulse.org. 50% payment OR an approved payment plan is required with completed forms. Please note: Tuition Assistance will not be considered until all required paperwork is received along with 50% tuition or payment plan. Please contact us at 413-274-6624 if you have an interest in a work study arrangement.
Tuition Assistance may not be used for the following: performance fees, late registration fees, fees for private lessons, payment of overdue tuition owed for prior sessions, dancewear or merchandise, workshops, or gift certificates
If a student is more than 15 minutes late for class, teachers have the right to ask the student to observe rather than participate in class. Please call Berkshire Pulse at 413-274-6624 or email firstname.lastname@example.org when a student will be absent or late for class.
Please let us know as soon as possible if a student is injured via phone or email. In the event of injury, Berkshire Pulse faculty/staff will determine when and how the student will return to participation. Berkshire Pulse reserves the right to request medical documentation/images to determine whether or not a student may resume participation safely.
We follow the Berkshire Hills Regional School District (BHRSD) school calendar for most holidays. Please refer to the seasonal Pulse schedule for these dates.
Unexpected Cancellations: Classes will only be canceled due to inclement weather, or if an instructor is unable to attend and a substitute cannot be arranged. In the case of an instructor’s absence, we will always make an effort to contact you by phone and/or email and make-up classes will be scheduled. However, for weather-related cancellations, call Berkshire Pulse at 413-274-6624 or check the Berkshire Pulse website for verification. Berkshire Pulse youth PAP classes will always be cancelled when BHRSD has announced a full-day cancellation or an early dismissal due to weather. We offer one make-up class for weather-related cancellations.
Class is not open to observation by parents, guardians, siblings, friends, etc. It is our firm policy that class time be the student’s time (learning as opposed to performing). If, however, you or another family member have a justifiable need to observe a particular class, please let us know in advance and a class observation time can be arranged, pending the instructor’s approval.
Youth Performing Arts Program Policies
Class and Level Placement
Placing students correctly is a core aspect to the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program curriculum. For placement, we carefully consider a wide variety of factors: physical skill, peer group, emotional maturity, years of previous study and age. Each student is placed where we believe they will have the greatest potential for fulfillment and growth. NEW dance students age 9+ who would like to participate in the Ballet and Modern classes are required to attend one class for placement prior to enrollment. Students under 9 are placed according to age and interest.
Enrollment in Levels 1 through 4 requires placement from Pulse teaching artists and staff. New students can take a placement class to determine their level. After class, the teaching artist and programming team will meet to determine placement for each student. No decision will be made on the spot. Please do not ask our teaching artists about class placement.
Adjustments in class placement occasionally may be necessary after initial attendance. Please note that our refund policy (see above) allows for a two-week trial period for all families.
Interdisciplinary training begins by choice in the Foundation Level and by requirement, at the Advanced Beginner Level. Participating in multiple classes per week ensures a more consistent practice, which, in turn, supports injury prevention and allows the student to experience steady and satisfying progress. Please refer to individual class descriptions for further information and specific level requirements.
Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary experience. Our core curriculum faculty shares a fundamental philosophy of movement principles and a strong commitment to anatomically friendly dance training. To receive the full benefits of our program, and enjoy greater progress, we ask students who are enrolled in Ballet and Modern classes in the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program to refrain from cross-training at/with other dance schools and teachers in these disciplines. Berkshire Pulse Summer Dance Intensives and special workshops offered throughout the year provide our students with wide-ranging experiences. Upper-level students who wish to further supplement these programs are supported in doing so by our program directors who, upon request, will help guide them to select compatible schools.
Cell Phones and Electronics
Cell phone and electronic game use is prohibited in our facility. In order to maintain the healthy, positive, and engaged learning environment that we strive for at Berkshire Pulse, we require youth participants to power off their phones and electronics upon entering the studio. Students who need the use of their devices to complete homework assignments may do so in the homework room prior to or after class. If a student needs to make a call, they will be given permission to use the phone at the reception desk or may use their phone after class for this purpose.
We support a classroom environment in which students are encouraged to maintain their focus, respect for others, and best effort. If any student is consistently demonstrating behavior that is lacking in these qualities and/or is unresponsive to instructor intervention, the following progressive actions will be taken:
• The teacher will ask the student to sit and observe for the rest of the class.
• If this happens 3x the parents/guardians will be called and made aware of the student’s behavior.
• A parent/teacher conference will be requested to evaluate whether or not the student should continue class.
• If the decision is made to allow the student to remain in class, the student will be given a probationary period and if the behavior occurs again, the student will be asked to leave. No refunds will be given.
• The student may apply for the next semester only after a parent/teacher conference.
Students are allowed 3 absences per session due to illness or other unforeseeable circumstances (please note that absences due to religious holidays are excused and do not count towards the 3 allowed absences). Consistent attendance plays an essential role in the student’s experience of learning, improving, and performing.
Absences that exceed these allowances will affect a student’s opportunity to perform and/or to move to a more advanced level.
Please call Berkshire Pulse at 413-274-6624 or email email@example.com when a student will be absent or late.
Student Pick Up
Please pick up your student on time, particularly after the last class of the evening, and notify us in advance if you will be late for pick up. If a student is to walk to their destination or is to be picked up by someone other than their primary caregiver or parent, parents should note these permissions on Form C or inform Berkshire Pulse staff. Students waiting for rides are required to wait inside the building. Parents are required to pick up students age 10 and under in Pulse studios, on the third floor. Students will not be allowed to wait outside or leave the premises on foot for any reason without permission from a parent or primary caregiver – no exceptions. This policy is in place to protect the safety of your children.
All questions or concerns regarding your child’s participation in the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program can be brought to our attention by calling or emailing Berkshire Pulse. We ask that you do not speak to our instructors before or immediately after class or call our instructors at home. If you are reporting an injury, please go directly to the front desk staff who will notify the instructors.
The Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program holds its annual Dance and Music Celebration at the end of each Spring Session. Participation in the annual performance is optional. Most Performing Arts Program classes are included, beginning with Dance Foundations through the advanced levels. In order to participate, a performance fee of $25 must be paid with spring class enrollment to cover the cost of costumes and additional rehearsals. There are mandatory rehearsals at the theater the week leading up to the performance. Since Fall session classes do not culminate in a performance, select classes will be open for observation for one week in December prior to the holiday break. Level 3 and 4 students may be invited to participate in additional performances throughout the year.