We would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to our new and returning gymnasts and parents. The following material regarding the operation of the gym school should be thoroughly reviewed. Please keep this Parent Handbook handy for future reference during the year.
The first weeks of classes for new Preschool and Kinder Kid students serve as an introductory phase for the students to become familiar with how classes are organized, the various pieces of equipment, new terminology, and the general rules of the gym. The same is true for new students in the girls and boys classes. This is also an organizational period during which new students’ abilities are assessed and previous students review their skills. Instructional groups are then formed according to age, ability and instructional level. Groups may change periodically depending on the size and make-up of the class. Regardless of grouping, students work on skills that are appropriate for their ability.
Preschool classes include a brief stretching and warming-up period utilizing basic exercises and various body positions (e.g. pike, straddle, etc.). Basic coordination skills are frequently taught with the use of music. The girls and boys classes offer a more vigorous warm-up period to prevent muscle strains, and use basic exercises to increase strength and flexibility. The classes then follow a predetermined rotation schedule to insure that students learn skills on all events and have time to practice. The trampoline and tumble-trac are shared equally by all groups in the gym
At all levels, the proper progression of skills is our most important concern. Frequently students want to learn the “hard” tricks right away. For safety reasons, competency in basic skills is essential since they are the prerequisite for more advanced skills. Most skills cannot be performed correctly until the student is either strong enough or flexible enough to do the skill.
This is the purpose of the conditioning and stretching aspects of our program. Once strength and flexibility are attained, the student can work toward achieving correct technique and good form. Constant repetition while striving for good technique is the key to continued progress.
Since strength and flexibility are essential in our sport, we recommend that students in the boys and girls classes work at home on these basic gymnastic elements. The best exercises for improvement are the ones performed in class each week during the stretching and conditioning phases of the class: split stretches and bridge stretches to improve flexibility, and crunches and push-ups (or exercises supporting the weight on the arms) to help increase abdominal and upper body strength. Preschool and Kinder Kid students can practice the basic exercises they have learned in class. We recommend that children be encouraged to practice at home, but not forced to do so. At first, these exercises may be very difficult for your child to perform. Given time and patience, they become easier and the child will begin wanting to practice more. It is important to note that students should not attempt to do skills at home without the permission of the instructor. Rolling backward over the head on an unmated surface or bending backward without a spot can be unsafe skills for children to practice at home. Parents should not attempt to spot a child unless they are absolutely sure they know how a skill should be spotted. It looks easy, but a spotter always needs to be ready for the unexpected.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the secretaries; our Owner/Program Coordinator Larry Goldsmith or our Preschool Director, Elaine Gibney.
Enjoy your time at Gleasons! Your children are important to us! We hope to help them have fun while becoming physically fit and developing skills that can be used for a lifetime.
The Benefit of Gymnastics (Excerpts from article by David Day in Technique Magazine)
“Gymnastics is more than just another sport. It is an activity that offers something different to each participant. In gymnastics, highly active children can have a positive outlet for their energy while the less physically motivated can be encouraged to learn skills suited just for them.
Developmental gymnastics is composed of a myriad of skills so children of all abilities can enjoy the challenge of learning new and exciting skills This variety provides an opportunity for successful experiences that motivate the child to strive to new heights. These experiences build the self-esteem and self-confidence needed to enjoy the many challenges of life.
Parents have observed their children cartwheel and tumble across the yard and the furniture for years. They see the abilities and fears of their children and initially place them in gymnastics classes for many reasons ranging from ‘I’ve seen them at home and I think they are very talented’ to ‘I think my child lacks coordination and I want them to develop more strength.’
Whatever the reasons for starting gymnastics, (parents) enjoy seeing their children learn. The facial expressions tell the whole story – from the concentration when beginning a new skill, to the frustration when they realize it will take several tries, and then to the joy and excitement when they finally reach their goal.
Gymnastics allows children to be challenged by a multitude of sensory motor experiences that develop coordination, balance, flexibility and strength. The fact that participation in gymnastics is motivating and fun teaches students to enjoy physical activities – an attitude that will remain with them throughout life
Just as important as its many physical health benefits is the educational value of gymnastics. Gymnastics is composed of hundreds of skills that must be learned step by step. Students learn each skill by mastering each of its parts and piecing it together. This is the same learning process by which we learn difficult skills. The development of social skills, learning process skills, gaining self-confidence, and enjoying physical activity along with the development of the health and physical benefits make gymnastics the best possible activity for children of all ages.”
Gymnastics – The Perfect Sport for Boys
Men’s Fitness Magazine declared men’s gymnastics the world’s toughest sport. It ranked gymnastics first among 40 different sports using various evaluation criteria such as fitness, skills and the intelligence required for success. They also stated that elite male gymnasts are way off the scale compared to other athletes in overall fitness. “Gymnastics is a tremendous sport in its own right, but it also happens to be the best building block for enhanced skill development and participation in any sport for boys. Participation in the sport of gymnastics can promote positive effects in the following areas: coordination, strength, kinesthetic awareness, flexibility and self-confidence.”
SCHOOL CLOSINGS (SNOW DAYS): If it is necessary to close the gym school due to poor weather conditions, it will be announced on WGR-55 AM and KISS-98.5 FM radio or WKBW-TV. Since we are not located in a snow belt area, it is only on rare occasions that the gym is closed. If classes are in session, each parent should use their own judgment on deciding whether to attend.
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: The gym will be closed on: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Recess, Spring Recess, Memorial Day
ATTIRE: Any comfortable clothes may be worn with the exception of jeans which are too restrictive or excessively baggy clothes which could be a safety risk. See the suggested guidelines in the Rules Section.
TUITION PAYMENT POLICY: Full monthly payment is due the 1st class of each month. Please include the child’s name and class in the “memo” part of the check. NOTE: A $10.00 LATE FEE will be charged for payments made after the 1st class of the month. To avoid the late fee, call the gym school if your child will be absent on the 1st class of the month.
TUITION: The monthly tuition is firm regardless of how many weeks are in any given month or if you choose to take vacation. There are no exceptions. Over the year, it averages out to 4 classes per month. (See below).
DELINQUENT PAYMENT: If tuition and late fee are not paid by the 10th of the month, the student will not be allowed to participate in the class. A student is automatically dropped after the 2nd consecutive absence if tuition has not been paid.
CLASS WITHDRAWAL: We assume enrollment is for the school year unless the student is withdrawing from the program. Please inform the Secretary two (2) weeks in advance if your child is dropping.
DROPPING AND RE-ENTERING: Students cannot drop out and re-enter at will. Since we offer make-up classes and because we frequently have waiting lists, a student’s spot will not be held in a particular class. Those dropping and wishing to re-enter must re-register and pay a $10 Bookkeeping Fee.
MAKE-UP POLICY: Classes missed due to illness, emergency, school function, religious observance, or vacations may be made up by scheduling a make-up class with the Secretary within one month of the absence. We reserved the right to deny make-ups for reasons deemed inappropriate. Students missing scheduled make-ups will NOT be allowed to reschedule. Make-up classes are NOT held over from the School Year to the Summer Session or vice-versa.
NO REFUNDS or CREDITS ARE GIVEN FOR MISSED CLASSES if individuals are unable to do a make-up class. This also applies to the Parent & Tot and Cheerleading specialty classes.
PARENT OBSERVATION: Parents of students in all of our classes are invited to view the 1st class of every other month only.Parents may wait in the kitchen area on those days they are not scheduled to watch.
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ARTICLES: Do NOT keep costly clothing, money, or valuables in the dressing area.
Gym Safety Rules
To keep our students safe, parents and students should be familiar with the following rules:
- All students are to wait inside the building for their ride to arrive. No student should be outside of the building without the supervision of an adult.
- Parents are responsible for the safety and conduct of their child/children in the waiting areas. No student should be in the gym without the supervision of an adult.
- Only children enrolled in the program are allowed on the gym floor or equipment.
- Students should wait for their teacher to call their class before entering the floor or practicing on the equipment.
- Students are not allowed on any equipment before, during, or after class without an instructor.
- No running, gymnastics, or horseplay in the waiting areas. No running in the gym. Students must walk from event to event being careful to stay with their group and out of the way of other students. Caution should be exercised when crossing the vault runway or a dismount mat. When getting a drink or using the lavatory, students should carefully walk around all pieces of equipment.
- Students should not enter or leave the gym area without permission from an instructor. We suggest using the lavatory before class. If necessary to use the lavatory during class time, students must ask the instructor for permission.
- When switching events students should wait for their teacher’s directions before practicing on the equipment.
- Parents should not allow children to lean over or sit on the railings when waiting in the balcony area.
- Students should report any injuries to the instructor and always tell the teacher if they are feeling sick or hurt.
- Students must listen to and follow their teacher’s directions. Students should ask for help if they do not understand what to do or how to do it.
- Students should never try a new skill without a teacher’s spot or guidance.
- Students should never attempt to spot a fellow classmate, nor let a fellow classmate spot them.
- When dismounting from a piece of equipment:
– Land in a safe landing position or “FREEZE.” (Knees slightly bent to absorb any hard landing).
– If you are off balance and falling, do a ‘safety’ roll.
- When waiting in line:
– Students should not push, cut, or stand too close to the person in front of them.
– Students should make sure the person in front of them is out of their way before taking their turn.
- Ask the teacher to help you if a mat or equipment has moved. Do not try to adjust “big” equipment yourself.
- Use the following guidelines for appropriate dress:
– No buttons, zippers or snaps on clothing.
– Large baggy clothing or clothing with dangling strings, beads or similar items should not be worn.
– No leotards with “TUTUS.”
– Only “footless” tights should be worn.
- All shoulder length and longer hair must be tied back from the face – do not use fancy pony tail holders – students have to be able to roll over the back of their head.
- No jewelry of any kind (watches, necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. (Tiny stud earrings are permissible).
- Food should not be brought into the gym. Students are not allowed to chew gum or use cough drops or candy.