Contact: Jerry Jewell
916 600-2295

Parent Information for the Scary U Program

Scary U is many things:
  • A youth development program that teaches leadership and teamwork skills
  • The only Haunted House school in the world
  • A performing arts school
  • A community-wide event supported by the City of Rancho Cordova, Cordova Recreation and Parks District, schools and other local groups and individuals
  • The most fun your kids will ever have at Halloween
  • A commercial business run by the students
Starting in early September Scary U students will after school at the Hagan Park train yards. Students that cannot make the after-school sessions can attend weekend construction sessions.

Curriculum - Scary U is a perfect venue for teaching leadership and teamwork skills because there are enough different skills, projects and jobs available to fulfill any student's interests and abilities. We match the student's abilties and interests to the projects that need to get accomplished and each student gets to lead their own project. Specific skills that the students will learn include:
  • Construction
  • Costumes
  • Makeup
  • Lighting
  • Animatronics
  • Script writing
  • Sound effects
  • Acting
  • and of course - How to be Scary

Background - Scary U is in it's 14th year. It was made an official Parks District event in 2003 when it moved from Ambassador Drive to Hagan Park. Scary U is a production of the Jewell Performing Arts Center, Inc. (JPAC). JPAC provides performing arts and youth development programs to the children and teens of Rancho Cordova at no charge to the students. JPAC is supported by donations from the community and by the contributions of the Jewell family. JPAC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.

Parental Obligations - Attend at least one parent meeting scheduled for early September. Your child will be expected to be reliable, punctual, properly dressed for the tasks at hand, follow all safety rules and inform the supervisors in advance of planned absences. We need your help in enforcing the discipline necessary to accomplish this large and complex event. Some days will include painting, and other activities that might get the students dirty. A proper change of clothing should accompany each student. Shoes should be appropriate for construction, which means no open-toed shoes, no high-heels. The working area is outside and can get very cold during October. For weekend sessions your child should pack a lunch. Only drinking water is available at the site. We don't provide any food or drinks beyond what the parents contribute. Please contribute extra drinks and snacks when you can. You will be responsible for transportation to and from the site. Because the program is presented free to your child we need your help doing fund raising or in acquiring construction materials. We welcome parents as volunteers. You may show your support of your child and the program by purchasing ad space in the printed program, by purchasing photos produced by our official photographer and by attending the "Eat Drink and Be Scary" event. Details will be added here as they are developed. Last - we need your emergency contact information, signed medical release and a copy of the student's insurance card and the signed release of liability.

Student Obligations - Each student will be responsible to attend as many sessions as possible and must attend all official rehearsals and open nights - unless excused for religious reasons or by prior arrangement with the staff. This includes October 26, 27, and 31 and tear down the weekend following Halloween. Students must bring a change of clothes, wear appropriate work shoes and bring their own food and drinks. Students must actively participate in the class sessions and must abide by all the rules. Proper respect for the program, staff, other students and visitors must be maintained. The program is meant to be challenging and a positive attitude is necessary from all.

Security - The class location is a fenced and secure area and adult supervisors will be in charge at all times. Students will check in and out with their supervisor. During the actual performance nights security patrols will be maintained around the event.

Safety - The working environment presents some unusual hazards that are unique to this venue. These include working in costume with or without masks, working with construction materials and power tools, pneumatic devices (animatronics), electronics, the never predictable public, and the odd assortment of darkness, fog, gopher holes and trip hazards around the train yard. We do what we can to ensure the safety of the students, including removing students from the program who don't abide by safety rules that we establish or that just can't focus on the tasks at hand. As a parent you are welcome to come to the program at any time to check on the conditions and you are ultimately responsible for agreeing to the risks involved. You will be required to sign a release of liability in order for your child to particpate in this event.