We are committed to creating a satisfying, memorable, and enriching experience in all of our programs. However, as parents, we all know there will be times when things just don’t work as they should. Our policies are designed to minimize the unpleasant surprises and create shared expectations when they do happen. If you have suggestions on improving these policies, we would like to hear from you.
Foods (applies to all Empow programs)
Because of the prevalence of food allergies, we do not allow any nuts or nut products to be brought in as snacks or lunches. Sugary snacks and drinks are not recommended.
Parents should pick up their child promptly by the end of the program. This policy is not meant to punish parents or bring in extra revenue, but rather it is intended to help us manage pickup and be considerate of our staff’s time.
Parents who pick up their child after the end of program will be automatically charged a $15 fee. After 15 minutes there will be an additional $1 per minute charge, after 20 mins there will be a $2 per minute charge
Cancellations and Refunds
Camp: We know it’s not easy to schedule summer activities, especially when parents are booking camp so early! So we want to make it easy: You’re eligible for a refund up to two weeks (14 days) before camp starts; all we ask is for you to cover the $10 cost of registration & processing.
NanoCamp: Refunds will be given prior to 14 days from the NanoCamp session. All cancellations will have a $10 fee associated with the cost of registration and processing.
Workshops: Refunds will be given prior to 14 days from the start of the workshop. All cancellations will have a $10 fee associated with the cost of registration and processing.
Note on sickness:
The above cancellation policies also apply to cancelling due to sickness.
In case of full or partial cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances beyond our control, attendees will receive vouchers for a pro-rated amount based on the days/hours missed. Vouchers can be used for future camp or birthday party programs and are not redeemable for cash.
After School Club reservations require at least the first month’s payment in order to book a seat in the program. This initial payment is non-refundable starting July 1st. This is because we’re reserving a seat in the program for your child, where another parent could be hoping to sign up their child in the program.
For our After School Club and our Weekend Clubs & Classes, we must receive a 30-day cancellation notice prior to the student’s last day in our program.
Putting Holds on Clubs
After School Club requires a $30 fee to hold one block for one month. Because we may have parents on a waiting list, we can not hold more than that at this time.
Weekend Clubs require a $20 fee to hold a seat for one month.
For our programs, we may have such high demand that we have waiting lists. As space opens up, we contact these parents on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will call and email the appropriate parent, but if we do not hear from the parent in (3) business days, we will move on to the next parent on the waiting list.
After School Club & Tech Club Policies
The STEM After School Club is licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care, however, instructional programs (classes) and camps being offered by Empow Studios which do not occur at the same time as the After School Club, are not licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care, although they may be licensed by different departments like the Department of Public Health. Students participating in these programs as well as the EEC licensed After School Club will be required to fill out a form granting them access to both the licensed and unlicensed programs. In Newton, our Tech Clubs are also licensed by the Department of Early Education & Care.
We pride ourselves in making sure all of our programs are meeting regulations set by their respective state agencies. Because of this, it is absolutely necessary that all medical & program forms we require for your child are filled out BEFORE they arrive in our programs. If you have any questions about this, please call us at 617-395-7527.
Upon registration for a program, guardians will be asked to submit contact information, and designate other adults authorized to receive the child. In addition, with permission from a designated guardian, children may arrive or depart from the program at any time during their time at the program.
“Permission” may include:
- A guardian calls in advance to notify the company of a change in authorized privileges, be it an addition or a removal from drop off or pick up privileges. This can be for the creation of a new account, or updating the permissions for a future activity.
- A guardian calls on the day of a pickup change, notifying that the child will either be picked up or dropped off by someone other than a previously authorized person. This newly authorized person must also bring a handwritten note from the guardian stating they are allowed to pick up the child.
- A guardian provides a written (paper or email) permission to notify the program that their child is allowed to walk home. Notes from children without the presence of the parent/guardian will not be accepted unless verified by a phone call made by Empow to one of the parental phone numbers on file.
Snow Days & Missed Programs
In the event that Lexington Public Schools and/or Newton Public Schools are closed, or afternoon activities in that community are cancelled due to inclement weather, Empow Studios will close as well for the safety of our staff and your child. If your child misses a block due to a snow day, we are happy to allow them to attend a make-up block, subject to availability. Make ups cannot be used in a different program
You may notice that we charge a set monthly fee for our programs, even when there are 5 sessions available in a month instead of the expected 4! When we come up with the price of the program, we take into consideration those few and far between days where we have closures due to Vacation or bad weather. That means we don’t have to charge for an extra session.
If your child misses a scheduled block due to illness or a family emergency, you can request to have him or her attend a make-up block, subject to availability.
We do not offer make up session for classes that have been missed. If you know that you may miss a future class you can notify us and if possible we may schedule a makeup session subject to availability. We cannot offer payment adjustments or program credits of any kind for missed days.
During your first month of enrollment in our recurring Club programs, like STEM After School Club or Tech Clubs, you can cancel your membership at any time and you will receive a refund, pro-rated according to the number of sessions attended.
After 30 days, we will require a 30-day notice for all cancellations or significant reductions in schedule. If Empow Studios is not notified within 30 days of a schedule change, be it a cancellation or putting a membership on hold, charges to your account will be processed as scheduled.
In programs which are not subject to regulations by EEC or DPH, the Empow Staff will supervise children with a student-to-adult-staff ratio of at least 13:1. The After-School Club has specific start and end dates as provided in its program information, and follows a formal registration process, during which we collect information about students.
Birthday Party Policies
If party participants stay past 30 minutes you will be charged an extra $30 for each additional half hour.
Refunds will be given prior to 14 days from the Party. All cancellations will have a $10 fee associated with the cost of registration and processing.
We do our best not to cancel due to snow and likely will only cancel a party if the studio is closed for the day. An email will be sent out the night before if the studio will be closed the following day. Rarely, but potentially, an email will be sent no later than 2 hours before our first program of the day if the storm charges up over night. Any additional cancellation decisions based on snow will be at your discretion. In the event that the party is cancelled, we will work together to reschedule your party for a day that works for you.
In case of full or partial cancellations due to inclement weather or other circumstances beyond our control, attendees will receive program credit for a prorated amount based on the days/hours missed. Program credit can be used for Empow programs and are not redeemable for cash.
In order to book a party, we do require a full payment, which is non-refundable.
We’re currently redesigning our referral program. Stay tuned!
We offer a number of discounts throughout the year:
-Early registration deals offer a range of discounts, that can not be combined with other discounts.
-Multi-sibling discounts award 5% off Camp when valid
-Multi-week discounts award 5% off Camp when valid
-Multi-class discounts award 10% off weekend clubs when valid
The multi-sibling and multi-week discounts are not applicable to classes or the NanoCamp program.
Paid-in-full discounts are only eligible if the child attends for the full duration of the program.
Any discounts listed on third-party websites are only eligible if Empow Studios has a relationship with that third-party and have agreed to offer a discount.
We welcome children with special needs and health conditions into our programs. We accommodate children with Autism-spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges or learning differences. We do ask for full disclosure about a child’s challenges in order to help us create the best possible experience for them.
We also want to make sure that extra attention needed by some children does not come at the expense of the rest of the group. If your child has an aide or other special accommodations in school, those same accommodations should be provided at parents’ expense in our programs. Based on an initial phone conversation with the parent, we may accept a child into the program without an aide on a trial basis. However, if at any time the Program Director feels that the team’s attention is unevenly divided and unfair to other children, we may ask the family to provide an aide, or ask that the child be removed from the program.
If we ask the family to remove the child from the program, and the family had fully disclosed the child’s condition and followed our recommendations, we will issue a partial refund on a pro-rated basis. If the child’s condition was not fully disclosed prior to the program, or if the family had not followed our recommendations, we may reduce the amount of refund or not issue one at all.
Customer information collected
Information about students and parents is collected at the time of registration for our programs. We collect only the information that is needed for ensuring a safe, efficient operation and ensuring that we have sufficient emergency contact information and background on each of our students to provide a rich learning environment. Students’ information is only used at the time of the session. Parent/Guardians’ information is used for all transactional communications related to the session, and may also be used for limited marketing communication to inform customers about major news or programs.
There is a very small number of third parties which have access to customer information for operational needs. These are specifically:
Outside of the vendors listed above, we do not share any customer information with any third parties. We do not store credit card information on premises or in any of our digital systems.
Our customer feedback form asks for testimonials, and also requests permission to post testimonial text on our website. If permission is granted, we will post the testimonial with only the first name and town of residence of the parent/guardian who submitted the testimonial. Customers can request for us to remove their testimonials from the website at any time, or to use other name format to ensure privacy (e.g. initials or altered name).
Our Facebook page and other social networking sites are open to the public. Our posts may contain the following information about our customers:
- photos with easily identifiable faces, if photo release was granted
- first names of parents and/or students, unless very unique or identifiable
- descriptions of projects
- session attended
- town name
Material can be removed upon customer request.
Our newsletter uses an opt-in list that uses SafeUnsubscribe standards. Each newsletter has a link that provides a way to opt out of the list. Once opted out, the same email address cannot be added back into the list without re-opting-in. Subscription services are provided by Constant Contact. Outside this vendor relationship, no other third party has access to the email list.
Photography and Recording
Our practice is to request a photo release for each session attended, regardless of prior releases for previous sessions. Releases may be requested on paper, or as a check-box shown during an online registration process. When registrations are taken by phone, photo release is requested over the telephone and is recorded in the online registration system. Once a release is granted, we may use the photos for any purpose, including marketing, posts on social sites, tutorial videos, or internal training materials. A photo release may be revoked by the customer retroactively, in which case we will make every reasonable effort to remove the photos from public view. However, we cannot guarantee that this photo will be removed from our internal materials, or from places outside of our control, such as web caching sites or individual and organizations which may have made copies of the photos while they were displayed publicly. Paper-based photo releases are retained for up to one year after the end of the session. If release is not given, we will not use a child’s photo in any publicly viewable context. We may still take photos with the child as part of the group, and make it available only to families who attended the same session. If you would prefer not to have your child photographed at all, please coordinate with the instructor of the specific program your child is attending. Please be aware that your child may be asked to stay out of group photos and prepare your child for this situation.
Our practice is to use only the first names of students in any context outside of the session attended by the student. Student are not allowed to put their last names into the credits of their projects. Any public posts on social media will also only use first names. In some cases, if we feel the student’s name is uniquely identifiable, we will alter it or use initials in order to protect their privacy.
3D Printer Policy
The Empow Studios 3D printer is available for use by the public (students and parents).
Empow Studios staff will oversee any printing and use of the machine, unless the student has completed one of our 3D printing courses, and has received approval from an Empow Studios staff member to use the equipment alone.
The cost of printing is 20 cents a minute for regular colors and 25 cents a minute for glow-in-the-dark colors. For those that need help making modifications to a design, there is a $35 per hour fee. Scheduling an appointment is required to use the 3D printer, unless you are using the 3D printer during drop-in time. If you need modification help, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.