G.1. Safety Policies

UNOW Parking Lot Use and Safety Guidelines (1.2.2019)

The parking area is reserved for the convenience of current families and visiting guests.  There is a rotation of limited staff permitted to use the parking spaces to be sure there are enough spaces available to families and guests.  The majority of staff park in an adjacent lot #21.

Please adhere to the following safety guidelines to ensure the safest and most efficient use of the UNOW parking area. 

  • Families may use the parking spaces for drop off and pick up and any UNOW business related activities or events. We encourage families to be mindful, when possible, not to linger too long during peak drop off and pick up times when parking may be limited.
  • Families may not park in UNOW spaces for non UNOW purposes and leave their cars in the parking lot during UNOW operating hours.
  • To meet the needs of busy families, the UNOW parking lot is a two way entrance and exit at both ends.
  • Proceed cautiously and slowly through the parking area and be aware of pedestrians, small children and other vehicles.
  • The parking lot is a “Hand Holding Zone”.  It is important to hold a child’s hand or use a stroller while walking in the parking area.  Families are advised to use the white lined crossing areas and sidewalks when exiting and accessing the parking lot.  Children walking freely through the parking lot are in great danger as they are difficult to see as cars are entering and exiting parking spaces. 
  • Do not leave children unattended in your vehicle or parking area.
  • The parking lot is not designed for use as a thoroughfare between streets. Drivers must come to a complete stop at either end of the parking lot and proceed with caution while exiting to the roadways.

Help us keep everyone safe by being cognizant of your children’s as well as others whereabouts while entering and exiting the parking area and UNOW grounds.

UNOW Safe Entry Practices

Keeping our community safe is one of our top priorities. To enter the building, UNOW families and staff must use a proximity access card (prox card).  PROX cards may not be shared with others as they track the comings and goings of individuals. When entering UNOW, it is important not to let anyone in that you do not know.

Visitors must buzz into UNOW so that they will be identified by a person at our front desk. Visitors are required to sign in on the visitor registry and obtain a visitor’s pass at the front desk.

Obtaining a Prox Card (proximity access)

For University Employees and Families (spouse or domestic partner)

New University employees are able to use their Tiger Card to enter once UNOW administration receives confirmation of the active Tiger Card 9-digit ID number located on the front of the card. This can be provided either in person at the front desk (a copy of the card) or via email to the Executive Assistant (send the name exactly as it appears on the card along with the 9 digit ID number). Once this information is sent through our security channels, access shall be granted to the UNOW center usually within 24-48 hours. University employees must request a Family Card which would serve as their access card to the center. University employees may request a Family Card online on the University website (Family Card Requests) University employees will be notified when the card is ready for pickup.  The family member will need to visit the Tiger Card Office on Level A of the New South Building on the Campus to complete the process and have their picture taken in order to receive the card. Activation of this card for access to UNOW is the same process for family members as is for the University employee, by email or in person at the front desk.  Access to the building will continue until the family leaves the UNOW program or the card expires. Please note, if the card is not renewed according to the expiration date on the front of the card, your card will no longer give you access to UNOW.

For Non- University Affiliated Families

Non University Affiliated families will obtain a Visitor prox card by providing the full name and birthdate of the person(s) receiving card(s) to the Executive assistant, either at the front desk or via email.  Once a request for the card has been sent to our Tiger Card office, the family member will be notified by email once the card is ready to be picked up.  They will then need to visit the Tiger Card Office on Level A of the New South Building on the Campus to complete the process, have a picture taken and receive the card.  Once UNOW receives confirmation that the card has been picked up, the Executive Assistant will send an access request on behalf of the family member.  Each new program year, all returning Non-University affiliated families that have continued enrollment at UNOW will receive new Visitor cards when we process the bulk renewal of the cards. They will be available for pickup at UNOW once received from the Tiger Card office.

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times

Children entering or exiting the building must be accompanied by an adult.  At no time will children (UNOW child or older/young sibling) be permitted to run about the building without the direct supervision of a parent/guardian.

Policy on the Release of Children

Each child may be released only to the child’s parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) to take the child from the center and to assume responsibility for the child in an emergency if the parent(s) cannot be reached.

If a non-custodial parent has been denied access, or granted limited access, to a child by a court order, the center shall secure documentation to that effect, maintain a copy on file, and comply with the terms of the court order.

If the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) fails to pick up a child at the time of the center’s daily closing, the center shall ensure that:

1) The child is supervised at all times;

2) Staff members attempt to contact the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s); and

3) An hour or more after closing time, and provided that other arrangements for releasing the child to his/her parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) have failed and the staff member(s) cannot continue to supervise the child at the center, the staff member shall call the 24-hour State Central Registry Hotline 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) to seek assistance in caring for the child until the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the child’s parent(s) is able to pick-up the child.

If the parent(s) or person(s) authorized by the parent(s) appears to be physically and/or emotionally impaired to the extent that, in the judgment of the director and/or staff member, the child would be placed at risk of harm if released to such an individual, the center shall ensure that:

1) The child may not be released to such an impaired individual;

2) Staff members attempt to contact the child’s other parent or an alternative person(s) authorized by the parent(s); and

3) If the center is unable to make alternative arrangements, a staff member shall call the 24-hour State Central Registry Hotline 1-877-NJ-ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) to seek assistance in caring for the child.

Families must sign their child in and out each day

In order to keep track of children and for supervision purposes parents/guardian must sign in their child’s classroom and sign out when the child is picked up.  This is required by the State Office of Licensing.  It is important that the parent/guardian touch base with the teacher in the classroom so their presence on site is known at all times.  Before or after parent sign in, the parent/guardian is the main person responsible for their child’s well-being on or off the site. By 5:50 pm. each evening, teachers will escort children to the front lobby area to ease the transition at the end of the day.  Parents will still be expected to sign their child out each day even if the child has been brought to the front lobby area or the classroom was in another part of the building at the time of pick up. 

Emergency Closing and Delayed Opening

The following policy is for cases of severe weather, power outage, and other unplanned events that impact the operation of the school. This policy is in place to insure the safety of UNOW families and staff and includes a decision-making policy and a communication/pickup policy.

Emergency Decision Making Policy

The most common emergency event that requires UNOW to close operations is severe weather conditions such as snow storms or hurricanes. In accordance with this policy, which was vetted and approved by The UNOW Board of Trustees, the Director follows the lead of Princeton Regional Schools during severe weather to factor in regional road conditions for the safety of UNOW families and staff as well as simplify the decision making and communication process.  In the event of a closure due to inclement weather the following steps will be taken in the decision to close operations for the day.

  1. When Princeton Regional schools announces they are closed for the day because of severe weather conditions, UNOW will automatically be closed.
  2. When Princeton Regional schools announce a 90 minute delayed opening, UNOW will also have a delayed opening of 9:30 am.
  3. When inclement weather develops during the school day and Princeton Regional schools close early, UNOW will also close early at a time set at the discretion of the Director. 
  4. When Princeton University closes due to severe weather, UNOW will automatically be closed or will close within an hour of such an early closing announcement.
  5. When Princeton Township, Mercer County, or the State of New Jersey declares a “State of Emergency” due to severe weather or other emergency conditions, UNOW will be closed or will close within an hour of such an announcement.
  6. When Princeton Regional Schools and/or Princeton University are not in session, emergency closings and delayed openings will be made at the discretion of the Director.

When there are other emergency events that impact the safety of UNOW families and staff, the Director has the authority to declare emergency closings and/or delayed openings to insure the safety of the UNOW community. An example of such an event in the past has included localized power outages that impact UNOW building operations.

Emergency Communication and Child Pick-up Policy

During severe weather events families and staff should check the following information sources to determine if closures or delayed openings are in effect.

  • Princeton Regional Schools – www.prs.K12.nj.us web site or Princeton Regional School’s Emergency Closing Messages at 609-806-4202.
  • Broadcast Media – regional stations that announce Princeton Regional School’s openings and closings include the following radio stations: WHWH: 1350AM; WPST:97.5 FM; New Jersey 101.5 WKXW FM, or the following television stations: WPVLTV Channel  6 Action News; WCAU, Channel 10 NBC; Patriot Media Channel 25
  • Princeton University – www.princeton.edu or 609-258-SNOW (7669)
  • U-NOW – E-mails to the UNOW community as well as calling UNOW’s answering machine phone line – 609-258-9600

Please make sure UNOW has your current telephone, cell phone and e-mail.

During severe weather events UNOW families are encouraged to check multiple communications mechanisms to determine closing and opening status. Please do not assume that if you did not receive a closure e-mail during a major weather event that the school is still open. While the staff makes every effort to send closing and delayed opening announcements by e-mail, in the past due to wide area power outages, UNOW e-mail servers have been down so that it was impossible for staff to send out e-mails. If any of the above decision points and communication sources indicates a school closure families should assume UNOW is closed.

Families will be contacted directly under the following conditions and in the following formats:

  1. In the event that the school is closed early, UNOW will e-mail and call the parent(s) to notify them that they have to pick up their child(ren) by a specified closing time.
  2. In the event that the school has a delayed opening independent of the Princeton Regional Schools and Princeton University operations, UNOW will e-mail through the family list-serv. And place a message on the UNOW main phone line indicating adjusted opening time.

Parents must pick up their children no later than the declared closing time. This is very important so that families and teachers can get on the road as soon as possible. Many community members have long commutes. If you are not able to pick up your child by the specified early closing time, you must have a form on file with the school that will allow another individual to pick up your child within the designated time period.