From Icy Frantz and Kyle Silver at the Arch Street Teen Center
To the Community,
Summer affords many families the chance to step back and take a look at the past academic year and consider what worked and what did not.
Here at Arch Street, we did the same.
As the longest running teen center in the country, we are proud of what we have been able to provide the teens in this community for over thirty years. And now we are ready to move forward…and take on the next thirty, safely and successfully.
Since our conception, we have taken safety very seriously. Our weekend social events are always staffed by the Executive Director (who has guided the center for the past 15 years), certified chaperones, representatives from GEMS, and a police officer. We believe that it is because of our attention to the wellbeing of our teens that we have had relatively few incidents. While teens are in our care, we are doing everything in our control to keep them safe.
But the world has changed in so many ways, and at this time we feel it is prudent to establish a few new policies to assure the best possible experience for all.
As of this fall, we are instituting the following changes:
1. All teens – regardless of age or school grade – will need to register with Arch Street to get an Arch Street Pass. Registration is free and can be done online. It includes acceptance of our Code of Conduct, a release to be signed, and a form that will provide us with emergency contact information (standard information such as address, cell phone, email, emergency contact, etc.). Should a teen or family prefer, a hard copy of the Arch Street Pass registration form can be picked up at the Arch Street Teen Center to be filled out and signed by both parties.
2. Middle School participants (6th, 7th and 8th graders) can no longer arrive or leave by Uber (or any other car service). We understand that this is a service that is helpful to many families but restricting the use of all car services for our middle schoolers is the safest policy for our center and our teens. Many schools have similar restrictions regarding drop off to and pick up from school dances and social events, and we feel it is in the best interest of Arch Street and our local families to put in place the same restrictions.
3. Middle School participants (6th, 7th and 8th graders) will need written permission in order to leave The Arch Street Teen Center after dark by foot or bike. Although the area around Arch Street is very safe, the sidewalks under 95 are very narrow, and we want all parents to be aware of our concerns.
4. All 6th grade families with children who would like to attend events at Arch Street will need to join us at an orientation. Come meet our Executive Director and tour the facility. Orientations will be held at Arch Street on September 17th at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and September 18th at 3:00 p.m. In addition, families are invited to stop in for an informal orientation on weekdays between 2:30-6:30 p.m. Although orientations are geared to our 6th grade population, families of all Arch Street participants are invited to attend.
5. Time spent at Arch Street is a wonderful way for teens to meet and connect with other teens. Given the restraints of the pandemic, we think this face-to-face time is extremely valuable, important, and vital. Because of this, we will limit cell phone use to designated areas.
6. Ticket purchasing for all Arch Street events will look a little different this year. Once a student is registered for an Arch Street Pass, event registration will take place easily on our website.
7. Our website has a new look and launched on Thursday, September 8th. Please visit us at ArchStreet.org to find registration and event information, and a whole lot more.
And finally, Arch Street has exciting news. Beginning on September 12th, The Brick House Café (formerly known as The Coffee Grind) will be open Monday – Friday from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The Brick House Café is an after-school opportunity for students to have a snack, unwind, host a school club meeting, do homework, listen to music, have a pre-scheduled time in the recording studio, participate in one of our weekly scheduled programs – yoga, art, dance (to name a few).
The Brick House Café is free to all Arch Street Pass Registered 6th-12th graders living in Greenwich or attending a Greenwich school.
We are excited to welcome the teens back to the center. I know together we can assure that the youth in our community have a safe and successful year.