The Beginnings Academy is unsurpassed anywhere in the world in its supervision of children, teens, and young adults. This unprecedented level of care is provided throughout all educational, professional, and cultural activities, all meals, and especially overnight. As a result, the workshop enjoys a spotless thirty-five year track record of perfect safety and health.
Throughout its long history, encompassing a total population of nearly eight thousand students from all parts of the United States and Canada, there has never occurred a single major accident, injury or illness, nor a single medical insurance claim involving so much as one penny in reimbursement, nor even a single significant complaint of any nature whatsoever.
For authentication, please consult the New York State Department of Consumer Affairs, the New York State Attorney General's Office, the New York State Office of Children and Family Protective Services, New York State Social Services/ Family and Children's Services Division, the New Jersey and New York State Departments of Health, the New York State Better Business Bureau, (A+ rating), as well as thousands of available references among alumni of all ages and their parents, from all parts of the United States and Canada.
Concurrent with its goals in the professional performing arts field, the Academy also focuses on the self-worth, confidence, communication skills, eating habits, hygiene, self-discipline, and maturity of every student. These dynamics, along with the proper development of one's God-given artistic talent, are considered not only an essential component of the program, but are viewed as the most important fundamentals of professional success in any field.
Chaperone to student ratio in New York is 1:6. In London and Hollywood it is 1:4. Chaperones are present at all times of the day and night, including meals, traveling, activities, classes, and overnight. No student of any age is ever alone or unsupervised or permitted to leave the university campus for even one moment at any time throughout the Academy session.
Additionally, there is professional licensed on-site campus security present 24 hours per day.
There is a thorough orientation session, encompassing two full days of training, for all supervisory staff prior to each six-day session, dealing almost exclusively with basic tenets of health, safety, and supervision. This is conducted jointly by Mr. Sklar and the workshop’s Assistant Director.
Additionally, in New York, there are two (2) two-hour chaperone meetings every day to monitor and assess the personal progress and growth of each student. These meetings are the basis of detailed, constructive written evaluations which are mailed to the parents of each student following their child’s session.
Although (non-emergency) cell phone use and internet communication is not permitted at the Academy, all students are required to keep a daily journal of their experiences, and additionally to write to their parents on at least three occasions during each Academy session. All parents have direct and immediate emergency contact with Mr. Sklar at any reasonable hour of the day or evening, and are of course notified immediately of any significant problem involving their child.
Job requirements for chaperones include a state-mandated criminal background check, verified experience and references in child care, past general employment experience and references, an examination of high school and college transcripts, a personal interview with Mr. Sklar, two (2) full days of pre-workshop training, a physical health examination verified by a physician, and the execution of a sixty (60) page legal contract governing specific duties and responsibilities.
Approximately fifty (50%) per cent of all chaperones are alumni students or chaperones, who, in addition to undergoing the above screening, must first work successfully at least twice as chaperones for the New York Academy before becoming qualified for chaperone positions in London and Hollywood.