About Stars & Comets
Check out this short promotional video for a brief look at what Stars & Comets @ Palm Harbor UMC is all about.
We know selecting a before / after school program is an important choice and we want you to have all of the information possible. Check out the "what to expect" section below.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact our office. Looking for a tour? We are happy to help you schedule one (during most times of the year). Just contact our office.
What to Expect at Stars & Comets:
Hours of Operation: Stars & Comets is open from 7:00 AM until school begins and then from school dismissal until 6:00 PM. On full days (when school is not in session), care is available from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM.
What's Included: In short, everything! After your initial registration fee, your tuition payment covers care and much more. There are no additional charges for full days or weeks (during the school year), half days / early release days (after care students only), field trips, special activities, or snacks. Additional fees would only result from late pickup, late / bounced payment, non-notification of student absence, or participation in a club sport / activity.
Classrooms: Each grade level has their own age appropriate classroom with games, activities, supplies, and manipulatives geared towards their age level. All classrooms are located in the A Building of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church.
Safety / Secured Entry: Parents and caretakers can enter Stars & Comets by using the designated Stars & Comets door. That locked door is equipped with a camera / intercom / buzzer that parents can use to communicate with office staff before access to the building is granted. During before / after school care hours, security gates help contain our program and separate it from the remainder of the campus. In addition, other than the church's main entry door, all other exterior doors to the campus are locked (and there is a security gate separating the main church entry from our program).
Staff: Each staff is throughly background checked / screened prior to hire and most have been working with children professionally for many years. All staff are also trained extensively about working specifically with school age children. Staff make weekly lesson plans for their own groups, scheduling activities that are age appropriate and interesting to the children in their group. They will also maintain the low teacher to student ratios of 1:18 or less - something you won't find at most other facilities.
Snack: Each afternoon a nutritious snack is provided. A calendar of those snacks is available outside the Stars & Comets office and just inside the Stars & Comets entry door. Please note that we strive to be a peanut / tree nut free campus. Snacks that we provide should not contain those allergens and we ask that any snacks / food provided from home would also not contain those allergens for the safety of all of our students.
Homework Time: Each class will have a quiet time / homework time in their classroom. During that time students can work on homework, read, or do another quiet activity. If a student still has homework after that time is over, he / she can choose to go to study hall and finish in a continued quiet and conducive atmosphere staffed by another member of the Stars & Comets team.
Play Time / Outdoor Time: We find it extremely important that all students have the opportunity to get outside and play every day. If the weather (or other circumstances) prevents students from going outside, indoor active games may be done in the classroom or in our large multi-purpose room / gymnasium.
Classroom Stations: Each room will have age appropriate choices of activities for students to play during free time. Those choices may include things like board games, art supplies, blocks or other building materials, creative play or "dress up" materials, computers, video games, and more.
Schedule: A typical afternoon will begin with free time until students from other / all schools have arrived. Then students will have snack and then proceed to quiet time. After quiet time, a group game / activity or art / STEM project will be completed. After the group activity, students will go outside for play on either our field or one of our age appropriate playgrounds. As the day finishes, students will return upstairs for stations, free play, and / or a group activity or game until pickup by 6:00 PM. Before school care consists of free time and quiet activities in a relaxed atmosphere. Older students may also have the opportunity to go to the gymnasium for a group game.
Tuition Payments: Enrollment in the program's auto-withdrawal program is required. Tuition payments can be collected on a bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-annual basis (as selected by the family). Most families select to pay bi-weekly. Payments that cannot be collected due to insufficient funds or another account / bank related error will be assessed a late payment / NSF payment fee.
Club Sports: Currently Stars & Comets offers golf, flag football, dance, and Bricks 4 Kidz (Lego / STEM). These club options are considered an addition to regular care and have an additional cost attached to them. Students may also choose to participate in children's choir, a free program offered by Palm Harbor UMC. Please note ALL CLUB SPORTS / ACTIVITIES ARE ON HOLD AT THIS TIME DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS.
Faith Content: Stars & Comets is a Christian before / after school care program, and a ministry of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church. While at the program, children will encounter some level of exposure to the Christian faith. Students are encouraged to grow their faith and given core principles (through the Orange Curriculum) that focus on KEY CHRISTIAN VALUES such as Compassion, Determination, Fairness, Generosity, Gratitude, Honesty, Integrity, Love, Obedience, and many more. Other forms of faith content may include: child or instructor led prayer during chapel, kid’s praise and worship songs during chapel, instructor led or group style prayer over food, Bible stories, student or instructor led discussions, and more. There are also optional programs offered through Palm Harbor United Methodist Church that involve spiritual content. These programs include Cherub Choir, His Kidz Choir, Flame, and more.
How To Get Started: Download the current registration packet now from the REGISTRATION PAGE, fill it out and return it to the Stars & Comets office along with your registration fee and first bi-weekly tuition payment. You can contact the Stars & Comets office for more information, to check availability, or schedule a tour before registration by phone - (727) 781 - 6343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.