The Community Learning Center at the Reedsburg School District plans to expand its program with the help of a continuation grant.
Westside Elementary School Principal Paul Biermann said the district received a $145,000 continuation grant from the 21 Century Community Learning Grant Center to operate the program for five years. The amount is an increase from the $50,000 received in the last grant cycle.
“It’s exciting times,” Biermann said.
The additional money will cover adding Fridays to the schedule, not charging a fee for the program, and increasing the amount of students in the program.
Coordinator Allyson Cummings said the program plans to increase the total number of participants to 135 students, with 86 attending daily. Cummings said 51 percent of students must be from Pineview Elementary School.
Over 90 students are enrolled in this years program, which operated at maximum capacity out of Westside Elementary School. The program will transfer to Pineview Elementary School starting in the 2019-2020 school year.
Cummings and Biermann shared the information at the Aug. 19 regular school board meeting at the district central office. The board approved applying for the grant in February.
According to the school districts website, the after school program is geared towards grades K-5 during the school year with its original schedule Monday through Thursday. Cummings said the Community Learning Center will add other activities this year, like bilingual actives and social activity learning.
The program began in 2009, when the school district received a $60,000 grant to implement the program. Biermann said the last monitoring visit with Department of Public Instruction this spring showed the program “excelled in all areas.”
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Anyone interested in volunteering for the program can contact Cummings at 608-678-8934 ext. 2403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Manager Pat Ruddy shared in his reports the preliminary numbers for the 2018-19 fiscal year show a surplus of $88,669.49. The district was expected to run a planned deficit of $176,000 during the fiscal year.
He said the numbers could change since the surplus is pending review from the school district’s auditors, finalization of the numbers and sending the information to the Department of Public Instruction.
Ruddy believes the reason for the surplus is because the district under spent its $900,000 facility maintenance budget by almost $630,000 by putting off projects. If the full budget was spent the district would have ran an over $500,000 deficit, Ruddy said.
District Administrator Tom Benson shared the district continues to grow. He said enrollment numbers at Webb Middle School is over 600 and approaching 650 students, and the high school is over 900 students.
Enrollment at Ironton/La Valle and Loganville buildings are low at over 40 students for kindergarten through second grade. The school district will have a final count of enrollment on the third Friday in September.
The board discussed the possibility of implementing a policy for virtual learning as a way to make up lost instruction time during the school year. The district is in the planning phase of implementing the opportunity with plans to conduct a survey with students in late August to determine if the program is feasible. No action was taken.
The board unanimously approved a second reading of handbook language changes.
Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.