Student Program Policies
Welcome to The Literacy Center. We hope you enjoy your learning experience with us. The following guidelines and policies will help you succeed and will create a positive environment for all students and teachers. Please read each section carefully and let us know if you have any questions.
The Literacy Center Adult Basic Education Program assures that all ADA guidelines will be followed. We will ensure equal opportunity for access and participation for staff and program participants to overcome barriers such as race, color, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and age. This will be accomplished by complying with the federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination. The Literacy Center Adult Basic Education Program makes available to students, staff and other interested persons information in different languages regarding the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Address and Phone Number Changes
Please notify the Educational Counselor of any changes to your phone number and/or address. If you are planning to move out of the area please let us know in advance. We will schedule an exit interview so you may leave in good standing. This will allow us to send you to a new program or take you back if you return to the area. Please note that our Educational Counselors will follow up with you periodically to see how you are doing and collect some basic information such as current employment status, as need for our grant reporting.
All attendance policies outlined below also apply to online (Zoom) classes.
• Attendance in class is necessary for your progress and success.
• If you know in advance you will be absent, please tell your teacher or a counselor.
• Please call 508-455-5382 in case of an emergency, absence, or tardiness. Leave a message with your name, class or teacher’s name, and reason for absence.
• Absences will be excused only if the call is received before the start of class, and with a valid reason.
• All students must arrive on time for class and remain until dismissal. To be considered “on time”, you must arrive no more than 5 minutes late.
• Students must spend no longer than 10 minutes on break. Returning late to class from break will count as being tardy.
• When students have 3 unexcused absences, a written warning will be given. If absences continue after two written warnings in one year, the student will be taken off the active student list. No student will be allowed to return to class until they speak with a counselor or the Director.
• Students who are frequently absent (excused or unexcused) will be asked to withdraw until such time when they can attend class regularly.
Books & Materials
Textbooks and workbooks are supplied for use free of charge by the program.
When you are in the building, all textbooks are to be used in class only and left in the classroom. Workbooks and handouts may be taken home for personal use and homework. If a student wishes to purchase a book for personal use or to keep they may pay for it in advance and the clerk will order the book.
Textbooks and workbooks may be provided for Distance Learning (classes over Zoom). It the responsibility of the student to take care of these materials, as replacements may not be able to be provided.
Computers, tablets, phones, and other technological devices may be loaned to students who do not have the proper technology to complete Distance Learning. In this situation, devices are the sole property of The Literacy Center and a technology loaning contract must be signed, which will detail the arrangement of the loan with the student.
If in-person classes are cancelled due to bad weather, information will be posted on The Literacy Center webpage, social media accounts, and a message will be recorded on the general answering machine (508-226-3603). Students are responsible for finding out if class is cancelled when there is inclement weather.
If a teacher has to cancel class unexpectedly, a text will be sent to students at the phone number we have on file.
In most cases, cancelled classes will be made up at a future date.
Tuition will be discussed with you at your Intake session. There are programs available to assist you in paying your class fees, and tuition can be waived in most cases for students who are unable to afford classes. Classes that are funded by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education never have fees.
Computer Lab Information
When the TLC building is open:
Computers are available for educational purposes and job search purposes. Games, watching videos, and other recreational uses of the computers are prohibited.
Computers are available for use by anyone over age 16 if there is no class in session. Exceptions can be made for minors who are accompanied by an adult. Please keep printing to a minimum.
Food and drink in the computer laboratory are prohibited.
Headphones are available for use. Front desk staff will assist you and will keep identification until headphones are returned.
Anyone may be banned from the Lab for inappropriate use of the computers, printers, or other TLC property.
All participants are required to dress in a professional manner for classes in-person and when participating in classes on Zoom.
Students must be wearing appropriate clothing in all classes, including shirts, pants/skirts, or dresses. Students are asked not to wear pajamas, bathing suits, beach clothing, and/or revealing clothing out of respect for their fellow classmates.
Cell phone use is not allowed in the building or during your Zoom class, unless you are using your phone to attend class. Please turn all cell phones off or switch them to silent prior to arriving for class. Please give your family the main phone number – 508-226-3603 – in case they need to reach you in an emergency.
Food & Beverages Policy
To ensure the cleanliness of the building, food consumption is not allowed in the classrooms at The Literacy Center except during special events. Beverages are allowed, however all cups, bottles, cans and other waste must be disposed of properly after class. Recycling bins are available in all classrooms.
If students would like to eat in between classes, food is allowed in the conference room on the first floor or in the lounge on the third floor. Please ask a staff member for assistance locating these spaces.
It is requested that students do not eat food while they are attending their Zoom classes.
Should you have a grievance (complaint), please follow the steps below:
Any student who has a complaint concerning disciplinary action or discrimination recognized by federal and local civil rights laws (i.e. race, age, disability) has the right to file a grievance according to procedures outlined in this policy.
No student will be discriminated against, harassed, intimidated, or suffer any reprisal as a result of filing a grievance or participating in the investigation of a grievance. If a student feels he or she is being subjected to any of the above, that student has the right to appeal to the Executive Director. If the complaint involves the Executive Director the student may appeal to the Board of Directors.
Students should attempt to resolve the problem, informally first with the Educational Counselor, as soon as possible. If a solution cannot be reached, the student may present a formal grievance, in writing, to the Executive Director.
All complaints will be handled in a timely manner. As a goal, TLC attempts to resolve a complaint within 20 working days from the time of its initiation. If an extension of the time limit becomes necessary, all involved parties will be notified.
To contact the Executive Director, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 508-399-1026.
To contact the Grievance Officer of the Board of Directors, please email: email@example.com
Parking and Building Information
During normal operations, The Literacy Center is open Monday through Thursday 8:30am-5:30pm, and for evening classes from 5:30pm-8pm. Appointments with Educational Counselors are available 9am-4pm.
Bathrooms are located on the first and second floor. The handicapped accessible bathroom is located in the computer lab on the first floor.
There are three exits to the building: the front door, the handicap ramp on the side of the building, and the rear door through the computer lab. Emergency exits are marked with signs. In case of a fire or other emergency, follow instructions by Literacy Center staff.
When classes are held in the building, parking is available in the front and rear of the building. Parking is also available in the municipal lot near the library (no fee after 6pm). Please don’t park across the street at the Collin, Smith and O’Connor business parking lot or in the doctor’s office behind the building.
Smoking is not allowed in the building. Smoking is allowed in the parking lots only. Please do not deposit trash in the cigarette butt receptacles. Do not leave cigarette butts on the ground or anywhere on the property other than designated cigarette disposal receptacles.
Program Behavior and Safety
All program participants and staff are to be treated with respect and courtesy at all times.
Obscene language will not be tolerated anytime in classes, on Zoom, or in the building.
Participants should carry their personal valuables (purses, wallets, money, etc.) at all times.
Participants are not allowed to use the office telephones, unless it is an emergency.
Drugs, alcohol, or weapons are not allowed in the building.
The Literacy Center will not tolerate sexual harassment of its staff, volunteers, or students. This means that the following behaviors are grounds for disciplinary action, including termination from the program or from employment from TLC:
Unwelcome sexual advances;
Request for sexual acts or favors;
Insulting or degrading sexual remarks or conduct;
Retaliation against students, volunteers, or staff for complaining about such behaviors;
Any other unwelcome comments or actions (including email, text messages or tweets) based on sex that are sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to unreasonably interfere with an individual’s educational performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Any person who has a complaint of sexual harassment should bring the problem to the attention of the Educational Counselor, Volunteer Coordinator or Executive Director. The Literacy Center has a whistleblower policy and prohibits retaliation against anyone for having raised a complaint in good faith or cooperating with an investigation of a complaint. Complaints will be investigated and handled as confidentially as possible.
To report a situation of harassment, please contact Amanda Blount, Executive Director at 508-399-1026. You may leave a message confidentially on her voicemail if she does not pick up.
Volunteers are not allowed to provide transportation for their student. Transporting students by private vehicle is strictly prohibited. There is no additional insurance provided through The Literacy Center. Upon request, students can be given bus and train schedules convenient to their home.
The Literacy Center can provide stop-gap transportation services to students who are in need on a temporary basis through their shared Uber program. Please contact an Educational Counselor if you need assistance with transportation.
Volunteers should refer to the Tutoring Handbook for policies pertaining to tutoring. Tutors are subject to the same policies listed herein and are expected to uphold these policies in any space that they tutor a Literacy Center student. Tutoring a Literacy Center student is only allowed with the express permission of the Volunteer Coordinator. Tutors are requested to honor this system as to create a fair and equitable environment for all students who seek tutoring. Any questions about tutoring can be directed to Kristen Williams, TLC's Volunteer Coordinator.
To receive volunteer support you must request to be matched with a tutor by the Educational Counselor. You are not to request support from a volunteer without making a request to the Volunteer Coordinator or Educational Counselor.
The same policies apply to Zoom Virtual Classrooms as do in the building. All the above listed policies are applicable, including the food and beverage policy, attendance policies, and dress code policies. In addition, please be mindful of your behavior on Zoom and respectful of others by following the below recommendations:
Reduce background noise as much as possible while you are in your Zoom class;
Show respect to your classmates and teachers by directing your attention to the screen throughout the class and paying attention to the classwork;
Avoid talking over others and use the Raise Hand option or chat box to alert your teacher that you have questions;
Be respectful of others and do not conduct other activities such as looking at text messages, talking to people in your house, or watching TV while in the Zoom classroom;
Mute your microphone when you are not speaking to reduce background noise that can interfere with your teacher's presentations;
Alert your teacher if you are going to be late or if you need leave early prior to the start of class;
Ask others in your household to respect that you are in class and help you in creating a quiet, studious environment for studying.
COVID-19 Mask Policy
If you need to enter The Literacy Center building during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are required to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose at all times. There will be no exceptions to this rule unless you can produce documentation from a medical professional that states that you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask. Masks are required during testing in the building and during any other instances where you have to enter the building, including to pick up equipment.
Anyone who declines to obey this policy may be refused service and may be asked to leave the building immediately.
This policy is in place to protect individuals who are vulnerable. We are all in this together and we respectfully thank you for your compliance.