Officials mull school program | SteamboatToday.com
Susan Cunningham

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Officials mull school program

South Routt looks at day-care equivalent

South Routt Elementary School officials are considering starting a before- and after-school program next year.

Without such a program, families have been using private day care when they are unable to watch their children. Day-care centers can be expensive and difficult to find, South Routt Elementary School Principal Kim Rabon said. The proposed school-based program also would require parents to pay for care, but at a lesser cost.

At the South Routt School Board meeting Thursday, board members said that because the program would be self-funded, they could not think of any downside to putting such a program in place.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t go ahead,” School Board President Hank deGanahl said.

The School Board agreed that Rabon should begin to plan the program but asked her to bring it back to the School Board before implementing it.

Most details of the program, such as where it would take place, how much it would cost and what grades it would serve, have not been decided, Rabon said

The program could expand to provide services during school breaks, teacher workdays and summer.

Other schools in Routt County have similar programs in place. In the Steamboat Springs School District, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department runs a program for students after school, during breaks and teacher workdays and during the summer. Also, Strawberry Park Elementary School offers an after-school homework club during certain times of the year.

In the Hayden School District, there also is a program available after school, during breaks and teacher workdays, and during the summer.

The South Routt School District program would not require funding from the school district; it would be completely self-funded. For such a program to support itself, a minimum of 10 children would have to participate, Rabon said.

It likely will cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to get the program started, she said.

Board member Bill Babcock said he liked that the school district would not have to spend any money.

“You ought to go for it,” he told Rabon.

Results from a survey to determine whether parents of elementary and middle school students wanted an after-school program were presented at the School Board’s meeting.

Of the 32 respondents, 18 said they would use the program at least some of the time.

Half of the respondents thought Soroco High School would be the best location for a program, and the other 11 who answered the question said the elementary school would be the best location.

The survey proposed a cost of $5 to $7 a child for a before- or after-school session, which 18 people thought was reasonable and five thought was not reasonable.

Grants might be available to subsidize the cost of the program for families who could not afford it, Rabon said.

— To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com