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photo credit: Dean Buscher
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Don't Wait in the Wings

Throughout the school year, students of the Quinte Ballet School of Canada reside with local families.  Providing a family environment to dance students can be a rewarding experience for all involved in the billeting relationship.  QBSC appreciates and understands that billets play an important role in the development of a QBSC dancer.  To facilitate the finding of suitable billets for the students, QBSC has established a Billet Committee.  In its role as a facilitator, the Committee has established a recruitment and application process to provide parents/guardians with a list from which to select a potential billet.  The Committee has also created a package of guidelines to foster a cooperative and positive relationship between the billets, parents/guardians and students.

Application and Selection Process

1. Application

Once individuals have received the billeting guidelines and are interested in furthering the process, the next step requires them to complete the application and reference forms.

2. Police Records Check

A current police records check is required of all potential billets.  A check is also mandatory for any individuals residing in the billet home who are 18 years of age and older.  With a receipt, QBSC will reimburse the cost of the police records check(s).      

3. In-Home Visit

Once the completed forms have been submitted, an in-home visit is scheduled.  The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the individual(s) fully understands the responsibilities and expectations required of a billet family.  It will also allow the individual(s) the opportunity to ask questions and determine their own suitability as a billet. 

4. Billet List

Billet candidates that successfully complete the above steps will be added to a list of potential billets, which will be available to parents/guardians upon request.

5. Final Selection

It is expected that the parents/guardians and the student(s) visit the billet home prior to a final decision being made. 

Once selection has been confirmed, the billeting agreement, either written or verbal, should be clearly established in cooperation with the billet, parents/guardian and students prior to the student moving into a home.  QBSC accepts no responsibility for an agreement made between the billet, parents/guardians and the students. 

General Responsibilities and Expectations of a Billet Family

1. Fire Prevention

All billet homes must comply with the Ontario Fire Code requirements and the Belleville Property Standards Bylaws.  Any billet providing accommodations to more than three students must have a City of Belleville Municipal Rooming Licence.  These residences are strictly regulated and all billets with this situation must comply with the regulations.

2. Nutrition

Proper nutrition is very important in the development of a young dancer.  Thus, it is advisable to discuss early in the billeting relationship the food likes and dislikes of the student(s), as well as any related allergies the billet should be made aware of.  Since the students dance six days a week, healthy and sufficient meals and fluids are necessary to fuel their bodies.

QBSC's consulting nutritionist is available to provide additional support. 

3. Supervision

Sufficient supervision of dance students is required for evening and weekend hours.  Out of courtesy, please provide ample notice where possible for your absence from the home in order to facilitate alternate arrangements for adult supervision and care of dance students.  An adult is considered 21 years of age or older for the purpose of providing responsible supervision.  Examples of an alternate care provider would be another billet family, a friend of the student’s family, or the student’s parent/guardian.

4. Insurance

It is recommended that billets check with their individual insurance companies regarding extra liability insurance for both their home and automobile.

5. Transportation

Transportation of the students is a major responsibility for the billets.  Billets are required to ensure that students have reliable transportation to their academic classes in the morning and following their dance classes in the evening.  The last class and/or rehearsal ends at approximately 6:30pm and usually applies to the senior students.  However, the class schedule tends to vary by day and by the student’s level.  Saturday classes are part of the curriculum.  During performance and exam time, additional classes and rehearsals are often scheduled on the weekends.

The following are various situations that require transportation from the billet home.  If for some reason the billet is unable to provide transportation in these situations, an insured driver known to the student(s) or alternate means of transportation as agreed upon by the parent/guardian must be arranged by the billet:

  • Transportation to a medical clinic or QBSC's Doctor if the student(s) residing in the home is ill.
  • Transportation to physiotherapy appointments.
  • Following out of town performances and bus trips, students are to be picked up at QBSC.  QBSC provides the students and/or billets with an estimated time of arrival.
  • Transportation for occasional trips to the mall, movies, School dances, etc.; transportation to and from the train station for weekend excursions home.

6. Monthly Fee

The monthly fee that a billet charges is an arrangement made between the billets and the parents/guardians.  Fees and method of payment should be discussed during the selection meeting between the parents/guardians and the potential billet. Fees and method of payment should then be agreed upon once selection of a billet has been confirmed.

7. Notice of Withdrawal

Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, things may not work out in the billeting relationship.  It should be made clear from the very beginning as part of the billeting agreement the amount of notice required by either party to dissolve the relationship. 

Suggested Topics of Discussion for Parents/Guardians:

In order to assist the parents/guardians in selecting a billet, it is expected that they visit the homes of prospective billets and meet with all members of the billeting family living in the residence.  Although the topics were discussed by the Billet Committee during the application process, it is advised that these points be re-addressed as they pertain to your individual situation and needs.  The support of parents/guardians of these issues is crucial to a successful billeting relationship.

  • If my son/daughter goes home for the weekend or for scheduled holidays, will you provide transportation to/from the train/bus station?
  • Would you be willing to drive to social excursions such as the mall, movies, school dances, etc.?
  • Physiotherapy appointments are often scheduled during the day: will you provide the necessary transportation to and from the clinic?
  • If my child is sick, can he/she stay home?  If so, will there be someone home to take care of him/her? (applies specifically to younger students)?
  • If, in your absence, would you provide the appropriate supervision of my child?
  • Can we rely on you to contact us if problems arise in your home or at the academic school and/or QBSC)?

Other important issues for discussion:

  • Curfews and acceptable behaviour of the student(s) residing in the billeting home (i.e., clear and consistent house rules)
  • Monthly fee; method of payment; amount of withdrawal notice
  • Language and/or culture, church and religion, if necessary
  • Telephone use; long distance calls; time limits, etc.
  • Household chores (for eg., helping with dishes, keeping their bedrooms clean, laundry)
  • Special dietary needs; medical conditions, etc.
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