After-school program gets board approval

After about four months of consideration and discussions, the Boone Central School Board gave formal approval Monday night to a new after school program to begin next fall.
The program is much the same as originally discussed last fall, except that much of the funding for curriculum and materials will come from a Nebraska Department of Education grant that was announced last week.
The $893,000 grant will be shared by Boone Central and four other schools to develop expanded learning programs over the next 30 months. Once those programs are formulated and tested, they would be available to other schools across the state.
The board action Monday night cleared the way for the school district to hire a part-time site director, as well as two para-educator assistants, and make other preparations for the program. Training will be required for the program staff.
Lindsey Jarecki, who has done most of the advance planning for the after school program, made presentations to the board last October and again in December. She returned to Monday night’s board meeting to discuss the next steps.
The site director must be in place before the after school program can apply for licensing, said Jarecki. so this is the immediate priority. This director would be on site at least 75 percent of the time, would handle all paperwork, supervise staff members and communicate with the program director and school administration.
The after school program is a collaboration between Boone Central Schools and the Boone County Foundation Fund. Mrs. Jarecki is employed by the Boone County Foundation Fund as childcare coordinator. She will also serve as program director of the after school program.
The program is intended for kindergarten through fifth grade students, and it would be available from 3:30 to 6 p.m. each school day. A goal is to keep the cost affordable, at about $5 per child per day, with a target enrollment of at least 45 students.
This program could connect with Boone Central’s Career Academies program, with high school students under supervision assisting in its operation.
Mrs. Jarecki explained that the Boone County Foundation Fund would like to see the after school program grow into a summer program for students. The additional goal would be to expand it to other school districts in the county.