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YMCA to manage School Age Care at Bartlesville elementary schools

posted May 16, 2017, 11:40 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated May 16, 2017, 11:41 AM ]

The Bartlesville Board of Education has approved an agreement with the Richard Kane YMCA of Bartlesville for the YMCA to run the School Age Care Program at the school district’s six elementary schools. At its regular meeting on Monday, May 15, the board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the YMCA regarding the before-and-after school care program currently in place at each school as well as a summer camp. The program is based on a belief that healthy, active kids perform better in the classroom and goals of learning gains and preventing summer learning gaps.

Currently the district has 36 School Age Care employees. While eleven of them would be part of a Reduction in Force, most of them would have a job with the program as YMCA employees rather than as district staff. The YMCA will provide continued learning for students in literacy, physical education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and nutrition in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.

Robert Phillips, the Executive Director of the Richard Kane YMCA, was present at the board meeting. He told the Examiner-Enterprise, “We haven’t had a rate increase in years, but there is discussion that the rate may go up by $10 per month. We still plan on keeping the half-price rate for BPS employees. I’m hoping to get some grants and scholarship opportunities to help offset some of the costs. I want to really focus in on this program to make this the best it can be.”

YMCA organizations in other cities have successfully operated before- and after-school programs for school districts, Phillips said. He feels it is a win-win for both the school district and the YMCA. School superintendent Chuck McCauley agreed, pointing out at the board meeting that the district would save money through the decrease in the number of district employees and the various management costs associated with those positions, even within a program where tuition pays for the employees’ salaries.

McCauley said, “The YMCA has a great and successful program in other school districts to take care of students before school and after school. For years, our school district has provided this tuition-based service to our students and parents. What this will do is give that responsibility to the YMCA instead of the school district.”

The YMCA would staff, supply, and fund the program, and the agreement includes a provision that district employees would receive child care at half price. During the school year, the program will operate from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at each of the district’s elementary schools, with the district continuing to provide spaces at each site that are approved by the Department of Human Services. If a minimum of 30 enrolled students were not met at a site, consolidation of sites would be required. The 2017 Summer Camp will be held at Ranch Heights Elementary on weekdays from July 5-August 4 from 7:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The agreement contains multiple provisions to protect student privacy and security. These include enforcing  district policies which restrict the presence of sex offenders on school property and the employment of felons. YMCA employees and volunteers who will be among district students must pass criminal record background checks. Student information and records will only be used in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

YMCA Child Care

Bartlesville's Richard Kane YMCA will be managing the district's School Age Care program in 2017-2018. The program will still be housed at the district's elementary schools.