Parents have the right to review background check policies and discipline policies. These specific policies as well as the policy on how to file a grievance are listed below.

Procedures for background review of staff and volunteers
Each staff person and volunteer shall have a background free of conduct that bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well-being of students at Red Gate Farm. The Farm Director shall determine whether each staff person's and volunteer's conduct, criminal or otherwise, shall disqualify that person from employment or service at Red Gate Farm. The Board of Directors shall determine whether the Farm Director's conduct, criminal or otherwise, shall disqualify that person from employment at Red Gate Farm.

At a minimum, the following information shall be considered:

  1. Prior work history, including name, address and phone number of a contact person at each place of employment for the previous five years
  2. Three positive reference checks from individuals not related to the staff person including, but not limited to, previous employers or school administrators.
  3. Inquiry by the Farm Director into each staff person's prior criminal history. Such inquiry shall include a criminal history inquiry where:

    a) The Farm Director shall obtain a sex offender registry information check from the Massachusetts Sex Offenders Registry Board for all prospective staff.

    b) The Farm Director shall obtain a CORI/Juvenile Report from the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) for all prospective staff.

The Farm Director shall maintain written documentation verifying the background and character of each staff person and volunteer for three years.

No person shall be employed or allowed to volunteer at the Summer Camp until such time as the Farm Director is in receipt of, reviews and makes a determination with regard to all background information.

Discipline and Behavior Management Policy
In all interactions with campers and staff we are guided by our core values of kindness and respect.

We also use the tools of Success Counseling to guide our relationships within our community. The central concept of Success Counseling holds that individuals have a greater ability than most people believe to choose how to feel in any given situation. The object of Success Counseling is to help people make good decisions and act constructively to fulfill their desires and achieve their goals. Success Counseling focuses on self evaluation and creative problem solving rather than ineffective reactions to personal problems, such as blaming, shaming, excuse-making or inappropriate anger.

If there is negative or inappropriate behavior, staff will intervene with the individuals involved and work to help resolve the situation to everyone's satisfaction. If the behavior continues, then Senior Farm Staff will become involved and attempt solve the situation. If there is still no resolution, the student's parents may be contacted and the student sent home.

If more serious problems occur (i.e. fighting, safety issues) Farm Staff may refer the child to the Farm Director immediately and the child may be sent home. The Farm Director will talk with the people involved and consult with parents.

Parents will be notified if there are any major behavioral issues or repeated minor behavioral issues. Staff will document any major behavioral issues and any repeated minor behavioral issues. Prohibitions

  1. Corporal punishment, including spanking, is prohibited.
  2. No camper shall be subjected to cruel or severe punishment, humiliation, or verbal abuse.
  3. No camper shall be denied food, water or shelter as a form of punishment
  4. No child shall be punished for soiling, wetting or not using the toilet

Grievance Policy
Grievances, other complaints or concerns should be brought promptly to the Farm Director's attention. A grievance can be filed in writing by:

Ben Murray, Farm Director
Red Gate Farm
4 Norman Road
Ashfield, MA 01330


Should the Farm Director's efforts to resolve the issue be unsatisfactory, the issue will be forwarded to the Board of Directors by the Farm Director for their consideration. The Board will not consider any issue until all best efforts are made to resolve the issue with the Farm Director.

Questions or concerns?
Farm Director, Ben Murray, is happy to connect with you! Give him a call at (413) 625-9503 or email him a note.