Middle School U

Please note:  families are varied and the use of the word Parent(s) refers to the adult(s) who are responsible for the child(ren).

Program Description

Middle School U (MSU) courses are designed to meet the needs of students who are entering grades 6-9.  Students have the opportunity to develop skills and explore hobbies with hand-on courses.  MSU provides the ideal environment for youth to develop their independence and build supportive relationships.

Supervision and Staffing

In the interest of safety and quality programming Middle School U staff are required to know the whereabouts of each student at all times.

Instructor to student ratios are course specific and range from 1:6 to up to 1:16.  In addition to the course instructor, the program is staffed by is staffed by a program coordinator, lead youth leaders and youth leaders.  These staff members assist the instructors during course time and supervise the students during non-course time.

At least one lead youth leader or program coordinator will be on site at all times.  Staff have been selected for their experience with and sincere interest in working with middle school age students.

What to Bring to Middle School U

More information regarding what to bring (or not bring) for the course will be provided through the introductory letter; however, we will cover a few important items here:

Personal Property
Please make sure to label all items clearly with your student’s name.  Students are discouraged from bringing items beyond what is needed for their course(s).  Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, including clothing and electronics.

Appropriate Clothing
Watch the weather forecast and plan for the activities of the day to make sure that your student is dressed appropriately whether it be for rain or heat.  Please send your student in appropriate clothing for the activities.

Appropriate footwear for MSU includes gym shoes with socks or sandals with a heel strap.  Please, do not send your student wearing flip flop sandals.  Flip flop footwear does not stay on, often breaks and can cause injury.

Lunches and Snacks
It is very important that students start each day with a good breakfast prior to arriving at MSU, and bring with them a nutritious and satisfying lunch if they are staying with us for the whole day.  As many children have allergies, it is recommended that students pack a nut-free lunch.  A morning and afternoon snack, as well as milk for lunch, is provided daily.  Wisconsin Youth snacks are nut-free.

Field Trips
Students should bring whatever is appropriate for their specific course field trip.  Please see the course description for more information.

Electronics in Program

  • Cell phones and Personal Electronic Devices:  MSU does allow students to use personal cell phones or electronic devices during non-course time.  Students carrying devices will be asked to place them in their backpack during course time.  Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged cell phones or electronic devices.
  • Digital Photographs:  students and Parents may wish to take photos of MSU activities and events.  Wisconsin Youth is not responsible for the use of photos taken by participants or Parents.  Wisconsin Youth’s photo release is stated under Required Information for Enrollment section.

Middle School U Arrival and Departure

/Out and Independent Arrival/Departure
Due to the age of the participants served by MSU, students arrive at and depart from the program independently.  Students are expected to be on time for courses and remain in the program until the end of their courses.  It is very important that you arrive on time, especially if your course is off-site because buses will leave promptly at the start of the course.  Buses will not be held for late arrivals.  MSU is responsible for students only during the time they are signed into the program.

Arrival and Sign-In
All students are expected to check in with staff upon arrival and sign themselves in to the program on the attendance list.  Time of arrival must be noted. It is imperative that students taking off-site courses be on time for the start of their courses.  Buses will not be held for late arrivals.

Transition from A.M. to P.M. Courses
Students enrolled in an a.m. and p.m. course should sign-out of the a.m. course and immediately sign-in to the p.m. course during lunch time.  Students enrolled in a morning course can arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and can remain as late as 1 p.m.  Students enrolled in an afternoon course can arrive as early as noon and can remain as late as 5:45 p.m. MSU staff members supervise free-choice, independent activities before and after course time and during the lunch hour.  There is no additional charge for this time.

Departure and Sign-Out
All students are expected to check out with staff before departing and sign themselves out of the program on the attendance list.  Time of departure must be noted.

Field Trip and Aquatic Policies

Wisconsin Youth believes field trips and special activities away from the program location are an important part of a quality program.  When taking students on field trips that require transportation, notice will be provided to the parents of all students, including date, times and destination.  Staff carry first aid supplies, attendance and registration information, as well as a cell phone on all trips.  Field trips are made in accordance with MSU policies.

Aquatic Policy
Some MSU courses include swimming in natural bodies of water or in swimming pools as well as other aquatic activities such as canoeing, kayaking and water park attractions in a variety of settings.  Specific activities, as well as the swim level required for those activities, are outlined in the course descriptions.

Swim Permission
Students will be allowed to participate in water activities based on their swimming ability.  All students participating in an aquatic course with MSU must have intermediate or advanced swimming skills.

  • Yellow Level – Intermediate Swimmer:  student has intermediate swimming skills.  They can tread water for at least 20 seconds; swim with arm action and some side breathing; and have been introduced to deep water.  They may swim anywhere within the designated swim area of the swimming pool with water levels up to six feet.  They can participate in canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard activities, if applicable.  They may use water slides dropping into water up to six feet deep.
  • Green Level – Advanced Swimmer:  student has advanced swimming skills.  They can tread water for at least one minute; swim for an extended period of time with arm action and side breathing; and are is comfortable in deep water.  They may swim in water deeper than six feet.  They can participate in canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard activities, if applicable.  They may use water slides dropping into water up to six feet deep.
  • Double Green Level – Advanced Swimmer with Diving Board & Deep Water Slides Permission:  student has advanced swimming skills, as listed for “Green Level.”  If available, they may jump off low diving boards (feet first only and no flips).  They may also use water slides dropping into water deeper than six feet.

General Swimming Procedures
A certified lifeguard must be present at all times while students are swimming.  Students will be checked in and out of the water with a buddy and under the supervision of a designated staff member.  There will be at least one staff member for every eight swimmers.  Students will remain within twenty feet of their buddy while in the water, and pairs will inform staff when they enter or leave the water. Buddy checks will be called regularly throughout the swim trip.

Pool Swimming Procedures
All pool rules will be enforced by the lifeguard and by all MSU staff.  The capacity of the pool may not be exceeded.  Pool safety equipment (extension poles, buoys, etc.) must be present and in working condition when students are swimming.  A divider between the deep and shallow ends must be set up if typically used at occupied pool.

In addition to the pool’s lifeguard, one other adult should be out of the water watching any group of more than twelve students in the water.  MSU staff present may either be swimming or on the deck watching, but should and be ready to assist students as needed.

Beach Swimming Procedures
Students will only swim in those areas designated as safe by the municipality and county health departments.  Students will only use beaches where lifeguards are on-duty is present.  All students will stay within the roped off limits of the beach.  All swimmers will stay in water no deeper than chest level.  Middle School U staff may either supervise from shore or from in the water.

Boating Procedures
Only students who have the required swim level may participate in boating activities.  Students will only participate in canoe or kayak activities when a lifeguard is present. PFD’s (Personal Flotation Devices) must be worn by everyone when on all boats.

Middle School U Fee Structure

During registration, a $25 deposit per week is required to reserve space in the program.  The deposit will be applied to the student’s weekly fee and is non-refundable and non-transferable.

General Fee Policies
The remaining amount of fees are due by the end of business day Monday (5 p.m.), five business days prior to the start of program.  A $20 fee will be assessed if payment is late.  Fees repeatedly unpaid by the due date may result in the student’s removal from MSU.