Policies & Procedures

Bal Vihar of St Louis is governed by all the policies and procedures listed in this document. However, Bal Vihar administration and management reserves the right to make any exceptions on a case by case by basis if it is warranted.


Admission Policies

Education Policies

School Requirements

Volunteer Policies

Grievance Policy

Expenses Policies

Administrative Policies

Click here to download complete pdf version of Bal Vihar's policies and procedures


 

1.0   Admissions Policies

1.1    Registrations

The online registration at www.balvihar-stlouis.com is usually open from May 01 and closes end of July of each year.

Due to capacity, the class room size will be limited to 30. Additional children will be held on waiting list till the count is 15 students to open up a new class. Thus,  if Group 1 has enrollment more than 30 students and waiting list is more than 15 students, Class 1 A will be formed and students will be communicated by Bal Vihar and  asked to pay school fee.    

1.2    Fees

The fees structure is determined by the administration every year. The administration team will propose any changes to fees structure to the parents during the February parents meeting for the following year. Based on the feedback, the changes will be implemented for the following school year. The changes will be communicated to all parents via email, updates on the web etc. Students in groups Y5 are exempted from the fees and deposits. All payments are collected on line for registrations.

Bal Vihar administration reserves the right to increase the fees to cover the increasing costs and additional offerings that may be brought forth. This increase does not include any increases for additional offerings and services that may be brought forth. The increases will be presented to the parents during the meeting in February for the following school year.

1.3   Refunds

No refund will be made once the child is registered with the Bal Vihar and one session has been already held.

1.4   Class Allocation

In the interest of children exposure to our culture, Bal Vihar school has made changes in its class allocation policy. From school year 2013-2014, the Bal Vihar school grades will correspond to the children school grade in their regular school. Thus:

 Regular School Grade Bal Vihar School Grade 
 Grade K  Grade K
 Grade 1  Grade 1
 Grade 2  Grade 2
 Grade 3  Grade 3
 Grade 4  Grade 4
 Grade 5  Grade 5
 Grade 6  Grade 6
 Grade 7  Grade 7
 Grade 8  Youth Group Y1
 Grade 9  Youth Group Y2
 Grade 10  Youth Group Y3

 

No admission will be made in youth group Y4 and Y5. Only children from Y3 will go to Y4 and children from Y4 will go to Y5.

1.5    Bal Vihar Preview

For all new students or parents that want to learn or observe Bal vihar prior to registration, we will allow class observations during March and April of every year. An observation form will need to be filled out and will be allowed to attend up to 2 classes for no cost. Bal Vihar preview will not be available any other time.

1.6    Financial Assistance

It is recognized that there may be a condition where parents may not be able to afford the school fee for their child(ren). Under this condition, the following may apply: 

  • No more than three children will be allowed in a given school year for the waiver of the fee. This will be first come first served basis
  • The request for such condition should be made in May or June for the upcoming year in confidence in writing to the executive committee. This request should explain the reasons to waive the fee with proper supporting documents.
  • These documents can be tax return or other relevant documents. This will allow the executive committee to make appropriate decision
  • Upon acceptance of the waiver by the Bal Vihar school, the parent(s) is required to provide the following service to the Bal Vihar as follows:
    • A firm commitment of parent in offering 40 hours worth voluntary service to the Bal Vihar. These service hours will be tracked by the school official to ensure that such service is provided. This requirement is in addition to the parent volunteer requirements.
    • Failure to meet this requirement will be the cause for student to be discontinued from attending Bal Vihar
    • If the parent’s financial condition improves during the school year, he or she will be required to pay the school fee without any penalty
    • If the parent’s financial hardship continues in the following year, a copy of filed detailed tax return for the previous year will be required to convince the Bal Vihar executive committee of continuation of such waiver for the school. 

 

It is realized that this provision is made strictly to offer service to the genuine cases. A confidential independent investigation will also be carried out by the school official to confirm the eligibility.

 

2.0  Education Policies

2.1   Bal Vihar Graduation

The committee consisting of teacher coordinators and the teachers from the Group 7 and Y4 group will finalize the list of graduating students after taking teacher’s inputs and based on the following criteria:-

2.1.A - Children transferring to Bal Vihar of St. Louis: -

This policy is for a child who has attended a school similar in spirit to Bal Vihar of Saint Louis for at least two years. In order for a child to graduate whether in regular school or  Bal Vihar youth program the following requirements will need to be fulfilled: -

  • Spend at least two years in either program of Bal Vihar school.
  • Provide written evidence of having attended a similar school.
  • At least 70% attendance during the year.

 

2. 1.B - Children who have attended only Bal Vihar of St. Louis: -

This policy is for children who have attended only Bal Vihar of Saint Louis. In order to graduate the child will be required to fulfill the following requirements:-

  • Spend at least 2 years overall with Bal Vihar or in youth program.
  • At least 70% attendance during the year
  • An interview or other testing with the relevant Bal Vihar teachers as deemed necessary by the teacher coordinator committee.
  • Failure to meet any of the requirements will automatically require student to repeat the class.

 

2.2    Youth Group Admission Criteria

If you would like to register as a new student or continue in the youth group, the following criteria should be met. Please discuss with your parents before future registration: -

  • You MUST be able to be present in the class by 9:45 AM
  • You MUST be available for all classes unless there is a valid reason
  • All assigned homework NEED to be completed and e-mailed by 9:00 PM before the next class
  • All students assigned to various classrooms, writing articles, community projects and other activities MUST be committed and complete those assignments in time
  • Once you have registered and have not met the above mentioned criteria, you may be asked to leave the group and no community credit hours could be claimed.

 

A completion requirement for this group is set by the youth coordinators. Upon successful completion of the youth curriculum set by the school will provide a certificate with community service hours that were earned by the youth. This certificate may be used by student towards community credit hours requirement for the high school graduation.  Youth is required to sign a completion requirement form provided by the teacher. 

2.3 Community Hours for Youth Group Students

Bal Vihar students are involved in many volunteer activities and the school wishes to recognize that by providing community hours certificate. Students who require community credit hours for the high school graduation may also use this certificate.

  • Youth may be required to sign a completion requirement form provided by the teacher.
  • The community hours can also be provided to individual students upon completion of any volunteer activity sponsored by the Bal Vihar as soon as the activity is completed, upon request. The community hours awarded will be decided by the youth teachers taking into consideration of the students’ attendance, participation, activities, contribution etc.

 

2.4  Promotions 

Bal Vihar students will be promoted to next group if they have met the following criteria: -

  • Attended at least 70 % of the classes
  • Must have met all requirements set by the teachers
  • Must pass the written/oral and/or tests administered by the teachers
  • No disciplinary actions taken against the students in the past two years 

 

All students that cannot attend a class must notify their class teacher at least one day in advance. This will be considered as excused absence that will not be counted as absent. Teachers will take attendance during every class.

2.5   Perfect Attendance Recognition

These awards can be given within each class by the respective teachers. Two category awards include one category where students have 100% attendance and other at least 90% attendance. Up to two excused absences due to illness will be accepted as an attended class for the purpose of this award.

2.6   Absenteeism

If a student is absent for more than 3 consecutive classes without reason or without informing the teacher then the teacher can refer the matter to the teacher coordinators. Teacher coordinators will get in touch with the parents of the student and ascertain the reason for being absent. If it is deemed necessary, the teacher coordinators will make the final recommendation to the President of Bal Vihar that the student be asked to leave Bal Vihar. The case will be documented and the President will communicate the decision to the parents of the child.

 

3.0  School Requirements

3.1   Class Schedule Time - Late Arrival

All students are expected to be in the school by 15 minutes prior to the start of the Aarthi and Prayers.  The prayer room doors will be closed during the prayers and students shall remain outside the classroom till the prayers are completed

3.2    Dress Code

On the Bal Vihar day, students are urged to take bath in the morning, put on freshly washed, loosely fitting clothes appropriate for Yoga.

3.3   Dropping off / Picking up and Parents Responsibility

While dropping the students, the Parents should accompany the kids up to the assembly area and should not drop-off in the parking lot. After the class dispersal the students must be picked up from the school lobby and the students are not allowed to walk up to the parking lot without being accompanied by a parent.                         

It is the parent’s responsibility to arrange for bringing and picking up the student(s) from school. If parent(s) arrange(s) for the student’s pick-up from the class room or the school, by a third party, written & dated communication must be sent to the Parent’s Coordinator and classroom teacher.

3.4    Student Responsibilities

Students will not touch or disrupt the school items including their pencils, papers, crayons etc. You should use the supplies provided by your Bal Vihar teacher only. No food or drinks allowed inside classrooms. 

Any disruption to school and or property will be brought to the attention of the parents as soon as possible. A repeat offense will result in the student being expelled from Bal Vihar. 

All classrooms must be left in the same configuration and shape, as it was when we entered. It is the students’ responsibility to put things back. All students must conform to all the rules listed under the attached document ‘Use of building agreement’.

Bal Vihar students should not open the school lockers under any circumstances. Bal vihar students that attend regular school at the campus and have lockers are not allowed to use their lockers during the bal vihar schedules.

No running inside the school is permitted. Stay within the classroom boundaries and the defined space for Bal Vihar. Wandering on the other side of the school is strictly prohibited. Students must conform to all rules listed under the ‘Facilities Use Policies’. No skating shoes are allowed in school premises. Always practice safe habits. 

Failure to adhere to student responsibilities is subjected to disciplinary actions by the administration to the extent of student being expelled from the institution. 

3.5   Cancelled Class

Due to classroom availability limitations, Bal Vihar will not be able to make up a class cancelled due to inclement weather or any other reason. Any change in the class schedule due to uncontrollable circumstances will be notified to parents as soon as possible prior to the class. This information will be updated on the website by 8 am on the day of the class. Parents must check the www.balvihar-stlouis.com website on the day of the class for cancellations in case of bad weather or any other situations.

 

4.0  Volunteer Policies

4.1  Volunteering Requirements

It is required that every Bal Vihar parent complete a voluntary activity(ies) / assignment(s) during Bal Vihar school year. Voluntary activity requirement is per child and if more than one child is registered parents are required to volunteer for number of activities that equals the number of kids registered. 

It is the responsibility of the parents to complete the agreed upon voluntary assignment and for personal reasons if any parent cannot meet the commitment, it is his/her  responsibility to delegate the activity to another parent. The volunteer coordinator must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance of any changes. 

Selecting / Assigning Voluntary Activities

The Bal Vihar parents can choose the voluntary activities during the registration time and the selection/assignment process is based on first come first serve basis. Bal Vihar events coordinator reserves the right to re-assign activity assignment on as-needed basis.  

What Qualifies for Volunteer Commitments?

Signing up to be a classroom parent (assist with art projects and other activities in the class) and must work at least 8 classes

  • At least 8 hours of volunteer work including participating event related or other meeting will be considered as the completion of the voluntary requirement
  • The event leads will provide the completion of the voluntary requirements for all the events
  • The education leads will certify the class room voluntary requirements
  • Teachers, community projects organizers and administrative team members are classified as volunteers.

 

4.2  Volunteer Deposit and Refund

During registration process parents are required to deposit $50 per child and choose voluntary activity. For a family, the volunteer deposit cap is $100.

The Parents can opt out of voluntary activity assignments by choosing the “Buy-out” option thus relieving the parents from work assignments and the $50 deposit per kid will be treated as Bal Vihar fee. Voluntary activities need to be completed in the same academic year and the parents who fail to do so will fore-go the deposit.

Upon satisfactory completion of the voluntary commitment, Bal Vihar will refund voluntary deposit to the parents. However, at the discretion of the Volunteer management and Event coordinating committee voluntary deposit refund policy could be construed as volunteer activity per family based on the volunteer needs.

 

5.0   Grievance Policy

This grievance policy addresses issues that fall within the framework of Teacher Coordinator Committee’s role and responsibility and in compliance with overall grievance policy of Bal Vihar. In case of any conflict between Bal Vihar’s overall policy and Teacher Coordinator grievance policy, former prevails. 

5.A Grievances against teacher(s):

A formal complaint is filed with the Teacher Coordinator committee in writing. Within two weeks or as early as is reasonably possible after receiving the complaint, teacher coordinator will investigate and call a meeting where all parties concerned are present. Every effort will be made to resolve the issues amicably. In case a satisfactory resolution agreeable to all parties concerned is not reached, the issue will be turned over to the President and Grievance Committee for further deliberation. The resolution is documented and file closed.

5.B Grievances against parent(s) or volunteer(s):

A formal complaint is filed with the teacher coordinator in writing. The teacher coordinator will notify the Parent Coordinator. Within two weeks or as early as is reasonably possible, a meeting will be scheduled with the parent concerned, teacher, parent coordinator and teacher coordinator. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue amicably. In case an agreeable resolution is not reached, complaint is forwarded to the President and Bal Vihar Executive Committee members. The outcome is documented and file closed.

5.C Grievance against a member of teacher coordinator committee or any other individual in administrative position:

A formal complaint is made to the President directly. Outcome is documented and filed.

5.D Grievance against a student:

A formal complaint is filed with a teacher coordinator in writing. Teacher coordinator notifies parent. Within two weeks, a meeting is scheduled with student’s parent(s), teacher and student. Every effort is made to resolve the issue amicably. In case an agreeable resolution is not reached, complaint is passed to the President and Grievance Committee. The outcome is documented and file closed.

Any disruption to school and or property will be brought to the attention of the parents as soon as possible. A repeat offense will result in the student being expelled from the Bal Vihar.

Submit Grievance Online or download pdf version of grievance form.

5.1       GRIEVANCE FORM

Date Grievance Filed: ____________________________________________

Person Filing Grievance: _____________________________________________

Association with Bal Vihar: ____________________________________________

(Teacher, parent, volunteer etc.)

Grievance For:            _________________________________________________

Nature of Grievance:  _________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

Action Taken: ____________________________________________________

How was decision made: _______________________________________________

Who Communicated to person filing grievance: ____________________________

 

6.0   Expense Reimbursement Policies

As part of the normal operations, Parents and Volunteers may incur expenses to buy goods or services for Bal Vihar activities. Legitimate expenses incurred by parents or volunteers for Bal Vihar activities will be fully reimbursed when claims are made as described in this section. 

All events related expenses must be pre-approved by the administrative team members: -

  • All academic expenses related to the classes must follow all guidelines
  • Within the specified budgets, the event or education leads will authorize the expense. If the expenses exceed the budget, it will require approval from the executive committee
  • Any expense not budgeted must be approved by the executive committee

 

Expense Reimbursement Policy

In general, expense reimbursement submissions must be made within 90 days of purchase. There is an exception for purchases made in November and December for which claims must be submitted before Jan 31 of the following year.

  • Claims should be submitted using the approved claim form along with original receipts. For purchases less than $50, a scanned claim form along with a scanned receipt is acceptable
  • Claims not submitted within eligible date or submitted without proper documentation is not eligible for reimbursement.

 

Bal Vihar issued check cashing policy

If parent does not cash the check provided by Bal Vihar school as reimbursement, it will be cancelled. Reimbursement checks will not be issued again.

Download Expense Form or Submit Online  

7.0   Administrative Policies

 

  • Bal Vihar school provides letters of recommendation for children who will be going to college or Certificate for the children community service hours.
  • The recommendation letter request should be made to the teacher’s coordinator or the executive committee. If the teachers and teachers’ coordinator are involved, executive director will have to counter sign the letter to be valid recommendation letter.

 

Education Aid Items

Bal Vihar educational aid items remain Bal Vihar property and should be treated with care. Parents/volunteers are expected to treat them as personal property. All items must be returned to Operations team at the end of school year. In case of its malfunction, the item should be quickly taken to the Operations team and get it fixed asap.