Leaders School – Frequently Ask Questions for Parents/Guardians
Q: What is the housing situation at Leaders School?
A: Teens are housed in dorm style rooms according to their gender identity with at least one other teen as their roommate. Staff are also housed on each floor for supervision and an overnight campus security officer is station at the dorm entrance. Only Leaders School teens and staff are allowed in the dorms we use.
Q: What experience or expertise do the staff/volunteers have?
A: Staff are vetted through an application process to ensure they have the skills and expertise to provide high quality, safe and impactful programming. Staff and volunteers are given background checks by their local YMCA as well as receive 5 days of training prior to the school program. The Leaders School management team comprised of seasoned professionals who work year round to plan the program.
Q: What happens in a medical emergency or illness?
A: Safety, in all forms, is our utmost priority. Leaders School has staff trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED as well as common developmental and behavioral challenges with teens. Minor medical treatments are provided by trained staff. In the event of a serious medical emergency or illness the injured person is taken to the nearest hospital by staff or local Emergency Medical Services and you will be contacted immediately.
In the event of a minor illness most teens feel better with rest, hydration and a good meal. While we strive to have teens stay parent pick may be required for serious illness or illness that is persistent, involves significant loss of fluid (i.e. vomiting and diarrhea) over a long period of time or provides enough discomfort to the teen that they are unable to participate in activities.
Teens with serious or contagious illness who haven’t been on antibiotics for 3 days prior to Leaders School should remain home.
Q: What if my teen has dietary needs, medication or allergies?
A: It is very important that our staff know if your teen regularly takes prescription medication, over the counter (OTC) medication, as well as any allergies. Please list them all on their registration form. We work very closely with our food service partner to ensure dietary needs including allergies are met.
All medication including OTC medication is turned into our staff upon arrival. It is kept secured and provided to your teen when they need it. Exceptions are made for life saving medication such as insulin/insulin pumps, inhalers, and epipens. It is vitally important for all medication, prescription and OTC, be brought in its original container. Teens may bring only the dosage needed while at Leaders School but it still must be in its original container.
Q: How do they get there? Do they need money?
A: Transportation to and from Leaders School is coordinated by your local YMCA. Drop-off/pick-up by parent/guardians is also acceptable. There is no need for money while at Leaders School however your teen may need a little for meals during travel to and from the program. Please consult with your teen’s Leaders Club Advisor.
Q: Can my teen leave early?
A: No. Teens leaving early can drastically change the group dynamic which is a vital part of our program. Exceptions are made for unforeseen or emergency circumstances, in which case please contact the School Director. If you know in advance your teen is unable to stay for the entire program we require that they remain home instead.
Q: Can my teen call/text me?
A: Part of the magic of Leaders School is the connections and relationships established between teens and staff and teens to each other. To this end cell phone usage is not allowed. If there is a serious need or emergency your teen will be allowed to call home. If you have a need to reach your teen we ask you call the School Director and you’ll be connected from there.
A BIG tradition at Leaders School is receiving mail from home! Instead of calling to check-in on your teen we encourage parents and YMCA’s to instead send mail. A simple card or letter can mean a lot. Some even send care packages full of goodies!
Mail/packages can be sent to
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109
Attn: YMCA Northeast Teen Leaders School
Your teen’s name