ESP and REAL frequently asked questions

View a list of frequently asked questions below. Click on the question to expand and view the answer. Do you have a question that isn't on this list? Feel free to email, and we will be happy to answer it.

What are ESP's hours of operation?

During the school year, ESP operates from the time school dismisses (2:35 p.m.) to 6 p.m. Full days, such as fall break and election day, where we are in service all day, we are available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Summer camp operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More information about summer camp can be found on our ESP Summer Fun Camp page.

What does a regular day look like at ESP?

Students are dismissed to ESP where they are offered a snack and drink. Many sites have announcements about the day before groups follow a rotation schedule that includes playground time, gym, and cafeteria (crafts, board games, etc.). Some sites have additional rotations on their schedule. Each rotation typically lasts between 30 – 45 minutes.

Based on what works best, sites will offer homework club where students can work on their homework in small groups. As the school year carries on, students have clubs and will check-in later. They are still provided a snack before heading to their group.

When you come to pick up, bring your valid photo ID. Sites have varying procedures on how to call for students, and we ask you abide by their procedures to ensure a quick and safe pick-up.

What are REAL's hours of operation?

Morning session: 7 – 9 a.m. (start of school)

Evening session: 4 – 6 p.m.

What does a typical day at REAL look like?

Students are supervised by their counselor with the ability to have free choice within reason. Many students use this time to catch up or finish on homework, read, socialize with others and play provided games.

Does REAL offer full days or summer camps?

REAL does not offer full days or summer camps. For summer, we have various exciting camps for different ages through Parks & Recreation. You can find more information about other summer camps offered by Parks & Recreation at the link below.

Parks & Recreation summer camps

What are camp's hours of operation?

Summer camp operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Do I have to apply for all camp weeks? Can I drop weeks?

You may sign up for only the weeks you want/need. You are not guaranteed additional weeks other than the above indicated after the application has been received, but email your site director if additional weeks are desired.

There is a deadline as when you can drop weeks without being charged. Please note that the registration fee is non-refundable.

What if my student/camper requires medication?

Let the director or front desk person know so that we can provide you with a medical form if you haven't filled one out. We require the original container with the camper's name, dosage, time, and physician on it. Epi-Pens require an Epi-Pen Release form. If it's medication that is needed daily, you will need to fill out a log each day.

Is financial assistance available in summer?

We offer scholarships and accept CCAP. Refer to our Financial Assistance page for additional information.

Is there swimming included with camp?

Yes, campers will go twice a week to a local Lexington pool with days finalized closer to summer camp. Everyone wishing to swim outside the kiddie pool area, regardless of previous swim experience, will be required to take a swim test (that can be taken multiple times). Lifeguards determine where campers can swim based on the swim test. Campers are encouraged to bring their own goggles, water bottle, towel, and shoes but will be held responsible on keeping track of their belongings and not sharing with others.

Weather is often unpredictable in the summer. As such, we can not guarantee that they will swim twice a week due to thunderstorms or extreme heat advisories.

If you have any concerns about your camper's swimming capabilities, don't hesitate to let us know.

What should my camper bring each day to camp?

We request that campers bring the following with them each day:

  • Comfortable shoes for running outside and in the gym
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch – required
  • Additional snacks in case they wish to have options
  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Towel (swimming)
  • Change of shoes like flipflops (swimming)
  • Goggles (swimming)
  • A bag for belongings

We are unable to provide a cooler for camper lunches or access to a microwave. On field trip days, we request lunches are packed in throwaway bags.

How do you handle sunscreen?

As sunscreen is classified as a lotion/spray, we require that families/guardians fill out a sunscreen permission form before/on the first day their camper(s) will be attending. This allows ESP to provide sunscreen as needed throughout the day.

Please note that we do not provide sunscreen and it is the camper's responsibility to bring in a labeled/marked bottle of their own sunscreen. This includes face sticks. We will provide a reminder when they are running low. Campers can not share with other campers due to possible allergies.

Sunscreen is applied in the morning, after lunch, and in the afternoon. When on field trips or at the pool, sunscreen is applied more frequently.

Can I request a change in my child’s group?

Please reach out to your student's ESP director about requests in change of group. While we will try to do our best to accomidate your request, we must adhere by ratios and other factors.

Can my student/camper bring toys/electronics/etc from home?

We want to make sure that all belongings are kept safe. For this reason, we ask that all toys/electronics stay home. We offer a variety of different activities throughout our program. There may be an opportunity to have a share day where students can bring in things, but it will be based on the student's group and schedule.

ESP/REAL can not be held responsible/accountable for missing/damaged items outside of what we provide. Please be assured that if immediate contact is necessary about safety/emergencies, we will contact parents/guardians via our site phones and/or email.

What are your policies regarding coats/jackets in the cooler seasons? What do you do when it's extremely hot?

To make sure that everyone stays healthy and warm, we require long sleeves/jackets when it's below 50°F and encourage coats when it's colder. We will still go outside if it's chilly unless it's below 32°F or there is snow/ice on the ground.

When there is a heat advisory, we limit our time outdoors to 15 minutes or less and have students/campers drink plenty of water. In extreme heat advisories, we remain indoors.

How many students/campers are with a counselor?

  • 5 to 7 years = 1 staff for 15 children (max group size = 30)
  • After school, 7 & older = 1 staff for 25 children (max group size = 30)
  • Full-day, 7 & older = 1 staff for 20 children (max group size = 30)

I may be/am running late, what should I do?

Call your site's phone to let them know your situation and when your estimated time of arrival will be. Please be aware that late charges will occur if picked up after 6 p.m.

I didn't sign up for a week long break, do I need to pay for that week?

You will not be charged unless signed up.

I did sign up for an extended break or full day, but decided to not use it. Will I be charged or can I get a refund?

A charge will still occur even if you do not attend.

We were only in school for a certain amount of days due to a holiday, how does that get charged?

The week of Thanksgiving, we are closed that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Due to this, we only charge part-time rates. If you are part-time, you may attend that Monday/Tuesday, but let your director know of this change in schedule.

As for other holidays or closures, we do not prorate for days missed.

School was out due to weather/illness. What happens?

Visit our holidays and closings page for more information.

How do I get my tax information?

Please follow this guide on how to access your year-end tax statement via ProCare. If you are still unable to access your statement, please call our main office at (859) 288-2929.

Year-end taxes guide