Victoria school district has committed to use Right at School for its after-school program provider but has yet to negotiate rent price for the company to use the district’s facilities.

Right at School, in its current contract, is expected to pay 0% of its revenue back to the school district for using its facilities. That payment will be negotiated after students have signed up for the program in fall 2020, district spokeswoman Shawna Currie said.

“They pay a portion of their proceeds back to most districts based on the number of students they have in the program,” Currie explained.

The YMCA of the Golden Crescent is currently the district’s after-school provider and enrollment for Right at School won’t open until closer to the 2020-21 school year.

Victoria school board members approved in December the change in after-school program providers from the YMCA of the Golden Crescent to Right at School, a for-profit company based in Illinois.

Emerging leader: Shawna Currie

 

The change came after Superintendent Quintin Shepherd reviewed its program and gauged parent input, and he recommended the board change the program.

“He looked at some programs and Right at School stood out and fit the perimeters that he was looking for,” Currie said.

District officials wanted to add more academic rigor to the after-school program, which they felt the YMCA didn’t offer.

Currie said there was no official search for after-school providers, but they found what they were looking for in Right at School.

“It’s a very comprehensive program that includes a lot of hands-on engaged activities, social emotional learning, creativity, physical fitness, homework help, just the whole package put together,” Currie explained. “How it operated was a great fit for what the district is looking for as far as engaging those students who are staying for after-school care and continuing that learning from the classroom.”

Right at School offers flexible schedules because parents can choose to pay for the days they need the care, Currie said. The program can also continue at home.

The program’s website also offers hands-on activities to continue at home for parents and students, Currie said.

It will operate in 12 of the 14 district’s elementary schools, which the YMCA ran.

Right at School requires that at least 15 students are pre-registered in the after-school program at each campus by July 15, according to the contract. If that number is below 15, Right at School may elect to close the program with two weeks written notice.

The Right at School contract is valid through June 2021.

The YMCA operated the district’s after-school program for more than two decades before the district’s vote to change providers.

YMCA currently pays $34,000 a year. It breaks down to $3,400 a month for the 10 months the organization operates from the district’s facilities. The after-school program is offered at the district August through May and operates from the YMCA’s Nimitz location June and July.

Victoria school officials have not renewed a contract with YMCA since 2015, according to district contracts. Former superintendent Robert Jaklich entered the contract with the organization who was headed by Chris Sellkop at the time.

“I guess we were going month to month,” current YMCA president William Oliver said.

In the 5-year-old contract, it states the district must give 30 days written notice for the change in after-school providers. The contract states it must be renewed every two years.

Oliver said in the year that school officials reviewed after-school programs, he was emailed twice asking for details regarding the YMCA’s program. Neither email stated the program would be replaced.

“They’re running VISD, they can make decisions they feel they need to make,” he said. “I just wish they would have included us in the process and given us a chance to present everything that we are doing and could be doing.”

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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