Classes will begin in less than two weeks at Jefferson City Public Schools with new school start and end times.
With the change in start times, as of Wednesday afternoon, there were a few spots still available for enrollment in after-school or before-school child care programs, with plans and capacities for expansion, according to district officials and care supervisors.
JCPS elementary school class hours will be 7:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m.; high schools, 8:40 a.m.-3:40 p.m.; and middle schools, 8:50 a.m.-3:50 p.m. The school district's Board of Education approved the switch to that schedule in March.
Brenda Hatfield, JCPS director of quality improvement, told the board Monday that Jefferson City YMCA's Y-Care is looking to expand at Belair, Lawson, North and Pioneer Trail elementary schools to have available "at least 100 spots at each of those schools" for after-school child care.
Jessica Kever, Y-Care's director of childcare services, told the News Tribune on Wednesday that 73 of 80 current spots at Belair were full; 75 of 80 spots are filled at Lawson; 71 of 80 spots are filled at North; and 52 of 80 spots are filled at Pioneer Trail.
Kever added the Y-Care program at Cedar Hill Elementary School had 61 spots full out of 64; Moreau Heights Elementary School, 32 spots filled of 48; West Elementary School, 46 spots filled out of 48; and Thorpe Gordon Elementary School, 31 spots filled out of 32.
Kever said the program at Thorpe Gordon also includes students who are bused over from South Elementary School for care.
She said numbers may continue to change, as there may be registration paperwork that had not yet been processed.
"A lot of this hinges on staffing for us," she said.
She said more Y-Care workers are welcome, and applicants must be 18 years old and be able to pass a background check.
College students often work Y-Care, but Kever said it's always difficult to find college students this time of year, as they're just getting back to town after the summer.
Hatfield said Tuesday that Y-Care after-school care would be from 2:45-5:30 p.m., and would cost $135 per month per student for a Y-member and $165 per month per student for a non-Y-member — with at least 100 scholarships available to let students go for free or at a reduced cost.
More information about after-school elementary care is available at www.jcschools.us/Page/17237.
Boys & Girls Club
The Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City also offers after-school care and, given the start-time changes, is opening a new facility to serve low-income families from the west side of Jefferson City.
JCPS Board of Education member Stephanie Johnson — who is also the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City — told the school board Monday the Boys & Girls Club had opened up 120 spots for low-income children.
Johnson said Wednesday that those 120 spots will be located at "the annex building that is behind the Knowles YMCA. They have donated that building for us to use."
She said earlier this year that it would not be until September or October that the club would know whether it would receive a grant to fund a western site, but she said Wednesday that "we're opening the site regardless."
Johnson said children who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch from Lawson, Pioneer Trail, Belair and West will be bused to the annex building behind Knowles YMCA, and the program will cost only $25 a semester for those children.
She said dinner will not be served at the new facility, but if it turns out that meal service is needed, "we will prepare it (at the main club facility at the Railton Center) and cater it over."
The new facility for after-school care for low-income children is about half-full, as of Wednesday afternoon, Johnson said, adding there were about another 50 after-school spots left at the Boys & Girls Club's main Railton Center facility, which will serve elementary school-age children and teens from the east side of Jefferson City — Thorpe Gordon, Moreau Heights, East and South elementary schools, and both middle and high schools, including Jefferson City Academic Center.
She said there were about 25 spots left at the Callaway Hills Elementary School program, open to any Callaway Hills student, at a cost of $25 a semester.
The Railton Center also serves children regardless of whether they are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch at school, though for low-income children, care at the center costs $25 a semester, as opposed to $135 a month for children who do not qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Johnson said partial scholarships can be requested to reduce the $135 to $75 a month.
The after-school care at the annex facility and Callaway Hills will be from immediately after school to 6 p.m., and the Railton Center is open until 7 p.m., Johnson said, adding with a grant available for the Railton Center, children there with no transportation will get a ride home.
Middle school care options
Y-Care will also have a morning care program for students at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Kever said 19 students were signed up there.
Johnson said 16 students were enrolled for the Boys & Girls Club's morning care at Lewis and Clark Middle School.
Both morning care programs at the middle schools will supervise students from 7-8:20 a.m., though Johnson said students enrolled for morning care must be dropped off before 8 a.m.
Hatfield said Monday the 20-minute closure to dropoff is to prevent people from using the services without paying.
Both middle schools' morning care programs will cost $65 per student per month — unless children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Johnson said the cost would be $35 for students eligible for reduced-price lunch, and it would be free for students who receive free lunch.
More information about before-school middle school care is available at www.jcschools.us/Page/17238.
Separately, JCPS Chief of Learning Brian Shindorf told the board Monday that 26 high school students have requested to use a before-school "zero hour" class option; there are 12 students in personal finance and 14 students in English III.
Transportation for students in zero hour will not be provided, Shindorf said.