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After School FAQ

FAQ

  • 1. After-school Program
  • 2. General
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  • 1. Why do you only offer 5-day and 3-day after-school program?
     
    Our goal is to help children develop a strong Chinese language ability; to develop their verbal communication and reading/writing skills.
    Since many families have little or no ability to support their children learning Chinese at home, we feel that 3-days is the minimum at our program since children have 2-3 hours per day at our after-school program. This equates to about 6-9 hours per week.
    As such, our program is currently set up as MTWThF (5-day) or MWF(3-day) options to properly support kids in our program.
    In addition, our teachers need to teach our curriculum sequence so kids can advance as a cohesive group. While we would love to accommodate other part-time configurations or offer drop-in, these options will ultimately hurt children's language development.
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  • 2. Do you teach Simplified or Traditional Script?
     

    For lower elementary (K-2), we teach Traditional script characters and zhuyin (bopomofo).

    • Traditional characters often give children visual clues to the meaning of the underlying words. These help get kids into the habit of learning & recognizing Chinese pictographs.
    • Zhuyin (bopomofo) uses symbols originally derived from Chinese characters to represent phonetic sounds. Because of the use of underlying Chinese characters, learning zhuyin is a great way for kids to get early practice with Chinese character stroke patterns. Since "pinyin" relies on the English alphabet, having children use "pinyin" for Chinese pronunciation can cause confusion as children are also learning English pronunciation at school during grades K-2.

    Our goal is to have a mix of formal classroom instruction combined with interactive play-based activities to help children improve their verbal communication ability and improve their character recognition ability.

    As children progress into grades 3-5, we will introduce Simplified characters and Pinyin.

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  • 3. Is Berkeley school bus available to transport my child to Hanwen School?
     
    Berkeley Unified school bus is availble to transport your child to our after-school program from certain elementary schools locations:
    • Cragmont
    • Le Conte
    • Malcolm X
    • Oxford
    In order to plan their routes, the Berkeley Unified school bus team needs the following information to schedule your child's pickup (from elementary school) and dropoff (to Hanwen School).
    Your child will be dropped off around the corner from Hanwen School and our staff will be there waiting to pickup your child to walk them to our location.
    • LAST NAME
    • FIRST NAME
    • SCHOOL
    • GRADE
    • PROGRAM
    • DAYS ATTENDING
    • HOME NUMBER

    Please contact our team ASAP so we can make sure to reserve a spot with Berkeley school bus for your child.


    Some other potential shuttle & transportation options include Zum (https://ridezum.com/) and HopSkipDrive (https://www.hopskipdrive.com/)

     

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  • 4. What is your SICK POLICY?
     

    Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are all signals that your child is ill and potentially contagious. If your child experiences any of these symptoms while at Hanwen School, we will call the parent phone numbers provided at registration. Parents must pick up their child within two hours of our phone call. If you are not able to pick up your child, please call your emergency contact and request that they pick up your child. Our policy is that your child must be free of fever and have no vomiting or diarrhea episodes for at least 24 hours before returning to Hanwen School.

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  • 5. What is your LATE PICK-UP POLICY
     

    LATE PICK-UP FEES

    Pick-up is between 5:30PM to 6:00PM

    Parent(s) agree to pay a late fee of $10 starting after 6:15PM for every 10 minutes that they are late picking up their child. Grace period: 6:00pm-6:15pm.

    Hanwen School appreciates parents calling our office when they anticipate late pick-ups. However, late fees will not be waived because parents call in.

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  • 6. Why is there tuition deposit?
     

    A tuition deposit, equal to that of the monthly tuition charge, IS DUE PRIOR TO ENROLLMENT. This deposit serves as a space reservation and commitment to enroll, and shall be refunded at the end of the school year, or credited towards the last month’s tuition; less any outstanding payments or fees still obligated to the school. If the child should withdraw prior to the stated start-up day of the school year; or withdraw during the academic year, a minimum of 30 DAYS WRITTEN NOTICE must be given to the school in order to receive a full refund or credit; less any outstanding fees or monies. Any verbal notice shall NOT CONSTITUTE AS BEING ACCEPTABLE. Otherwise, only a partial refund or credit will be issued if such notice is given outside of what is stated. Determination of the exact amount of a refund or credit will be subject to the sole discretion of the Hanwen School and shall be final.

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  • 7. What is the materials fee?
     

    EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS FEE.
    The educational materials fee is also charged and applied towards the cost of art and educational materials used throughout the school year. This fee is non-refundable and shall be due upon notice of your child’s acceptance.

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  • 8. How many days of instruction are there per week? What is the length of classes?
     

    Language acquisition is best achieved through active, repetitive, and complex learning. We believe that a minimum of 4 to 5 days a week one hour content-rich Mandarin immersion benefits the students the best. However, we acknowledge that a lot of the children have working parents that may not be able to make the commitment for the 4 to 5 days a week classes; thus we provide a 3-day and the 5-day a week Mandarin lesson options that allows the flexibility for busy parents.

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  • 9. What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
     

    In order to develop a high-quality Mandarin program, one class at Hanwen School never exceeds 10 students per teacher because we believe that small size class is more efficient for second-language learners, and the students have more chance to interact with teachers and language buddies. We group the students by appropriate age and language experience, so each child feels comfortable and maximizes all possibilities for learning and fun.

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  • 10. What language content and skills are taught?
     

    Each level has a different curriculum and textbooks.

    For example, the beginning level explores the evolution of Chinese characters and fun, immersion-based activities, like understanding Chinese stories and legends. After one year of Mandarin learning, a student should master colors, fruits, time, numbers, body parts, and other basic information in Mandarin, and be able to recognize and write around 300 Chinese Characters.

    Advanced students are able to write short passages, such as a diary, write short stories according the pictures given. They are challenged to interact with teachers and chat with each other to feel more comfortable speaking Mandarin outside the classroom. Daily activities like shopping in a grocery store, ordering dim sum in a restaurant can be communicated in Mandarin by the students. Students learn language in a cultural context, enabling them to communicate even more effectively. Great emphasis is placed on contextual and Chinese cultural learning so that even activities such as cooking class and clean-up time serve as opportunities to engage students with the Chinese language.

    Language acquisition comes naturally to the children as a result of their participation in these fun and immersion-based activities.

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  • 1. What is youngest age you can take?
     

    Generally, our summer camps are targeted for children ages 6 and up who can understand and speak Mandarin Chinese.

    Children who are just starting or have no Mandarin language background will  not be suitable for our summer camps.

     

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  • 2. Who can pick-up my child at the end of the day?
     

    We understand that there may be times when someone other than yourself may have to pick up your child at school and you were unable to notify us.

    • If we do not know the person coming in to pick up your child we will ask for identification.
    • If the person is not on the list, we will not release your child to that person
      unless we have received a written notice that you have given permission to release the child to the designated person for the day.

    We strongly request you call or email Hanwen School if someone other than yourself will be picking up your child.

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  • 3. What is your SICK POLICY?
     

    Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are all signals that your child is ill and potentially contagious. If your child experiences any of these symptoms while at Hanwen School, we will call the parent phone numbers provided at registration. Parents must pick up their child within two hours of our phone call. If you are not able to pick up your child, please call your emergency contact and request that they pick up your child. Our policy is that your child must be free of fever and have no vomiting or diarrhea episodes for at least 24 hours before returning to Hanwen School.

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