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Learning continues after school

August 11, 2014

The City of Bishop Community Service Department, Bishop Unified School District and Inyo County Superintendent of Schools are collaborating on The After School Program for grades 2-4 school age children.
Recreation Supervisor Waylon Cleland presented the concept to City Council on July 28. According to an agreement between the city and the county superintendent’s office, the program is “a well-developed afterschool program (that includes) instructional classes and team development.”
The program comes at a time when the afterschool Kids Club has been disbanded, City Administrator Keith Caldwell said, adding, “There is a real need for an afterschool program with a focus on recreation.”
The After School Program will start on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 18, with an orientation that includes a group walk over to the program facility just north of Bishop Elementary School, on the West Elm Street cul-de-sac.
Regular program hours will begin right after school ends until 5:30 p.m., excepting school holidays and teacher in-service days, Cleland said, and will serve 25 students. In groups of about eight, the children will rotate through the three phases of the program: homework, snacks and recreation. Small groups will allow program leaders to really focus on homework tutoring, Cleland explained. Tutoring will be followed by nutritious snacks, then outdoor fitness activities. On Fridays, he said, the program will, hopefully, bring in guest speakers or take the kids on off-site field trips.
The program registration form is currently posted on city website www.ca-bishop.us, on the Community Services page under the “After School Program” tab.
A minimum of 15 full-time slots and a minimum of 10 part-time slots will be available each week.
An annual non-refundable $20 fee for supplies will be due at the time of registration. After School Program cost is $14 a day for four-to-five-day-per-week attendance; $16.60 daily for three days or $17.50 daily for one or two days. Special fees will also be accessed for absenteeism and late pick up.
As to the program leaders and coordinator, the city is currently flying those positions on www.ca-bishop.us, on the “Administration” page, under the “Jobs” tab. The city is looking for applicants with experience with tutoring, kids and day- or afterschool programs, Cleland said.
According to the website, the after school program coordinator will work with and oversee program leaders to provide age-appropriate activities and assistance in homework, fitness, nutrition, literacy, science, special events and family activities. The afterschool program leader will administer those services on site.
Cleland said, the city is also considering using Bishop Union High School students to act as aids for the program – perhaps AVID students or students who need community service credits. Furthermore, the city will provide training for all program staff, which will include group lessons and classroom and recreational instruction, states the agreement.
Program goals are varied. Cleland said, “We hope that it’s very successful.… We want to keep the program full everyday,” whether students are scheduled for part time or full time participation. The program “should relieve the stress on some of the parents who have to pick up their kids right after school.
“It is a real new, fluid program. We’re going to have to make adjustments to find out what the kids need.” It is also hoped that the program can coordinate with school curriculum so students receive help with current lessons throughout the school year, Cleland added.
Registration is now open online or at City Hall, 377 W. Line St. Call (760) 873-5863 for more information.

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