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Jun
20

Important Announcement Regarding Before-and-After School Enrichment Classes

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING

BEFORE-AND-AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT CLASSES

After careful consideration and within the guidelines of our bylaws, the OES PTA has voted to discontinue our before and after school enrichment program (not to be confused with SACC) for several reasons:

1. Primarily, it is a safety issue for the children.  We cannot collect the children from their individual classrooms so we run the risk of a child going home on a bus to an empty house if they forget to go to enrichment and a volunteer doesn’t recognize/see them errantly go to the bus. This has actually happened resulting in a very young student going home to an empty, locked house with no guardian present. In addition, we have had parents fail to collect their children at 5:00 and volunteers have had to stay long after the program only to, ultimately, drive the children home themselves. This is an unrealistic expectation of our already small volunteer pool and makes them liable for the safe transport of another parent’s child. 

2. We do not have confidence that we will have a sufficient number of skilled and reliable volunteers (as we have in the past) to adequately identify and check in students on a consistent basis. Volunteerism has been consistently low and last minute throughout this school year – frequently only coming under the threat of event cancellation. We cannot in good conscience agree to provide for the safety and supervision of the children months in advance if we do not have a reliable, predictable and dedicated source of volunteer monitors.

3. As the program has most recently become an expense, as opposed to a revenue neutral or positive program, we cannot afford to hire, manage/supervise and pay an enrichment monitor, which we would want to have regardless of what FCPS requires. (FCPS has recently been exploring the possibility of mandating a permanent monitor for after school programs, but has tabled the requirement for now.)

4. Many of our classes are cancelled for lack of enrollment.

5. There are many private after school programs that pick up at our school giving our parents and students several viable alternatives that have broader service offerings.

6. After consulting with the administration, OES has no objection to our discontinuing our program.

Please note: The volunteers who have run the program to this point have been incredible. We are so grateful for their excellent and selfless service. This decision is in no way a reflection on their dedicated and skilled administration of the program to date.