SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) – Neighborhood schools will serve as gathering places for students, families, and community members with a new after-school care model coming next fall to Sioux Falls.
The plan involves “structured, safe, high-quality, licensed after-school care” using an educational framework called the Community Learning Center (CLC) model. Students will receive a combination of academic enrichment opportunities and activities that build on what is taught during the school day, as well as city-wide field trips, and life-skills development.
According to the Sioux Falls School District, the plan will involve continued partnership with the City of Sioux Falls and area non-profits, including Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, YMCA, Volunteers of America-Dakotas, and EmBe.
Support offered through the program includes mentoring, homework help, science and technology programs, art, music, sports, and community service opportunities.
The district will begin using this model in all public elementary schools starting in the fall of 2023, with plans to expand to middle and high schools in the future.
Pending city council and school board approval, the City of Sioux Falls will transfer the oversight and management responsibilities of five community centers to the school district for use as part of the Community Learning Center program for elementary students. The district already owns the spaces. The new agreement maintains shared use of school and city spaces for years to come while also securing the city’s use of community center gyms for existing adult sports leagues.
“I am thrilled to be able to work collaboratively with SFSD to provide more opportunities for families to have access to structured, high quality, after-school care,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Providing the community center space, allowing this CLC program to expand, is a win/win partnership that benefits kids and families across our city.”
Enrollment for the elementary program is required. Registration begins in January. The Sioux Falls School District will provide detailed information to families leading up to the enrollment window.
Families choosing to participate must enroll their K-5 student through the Sioux Falls School District. Scholarships and tuition assistance are available for eligible families to attend at little to no cost.
Families currently enrolled in Kids Inc. will have the option to continue enrollment in the SFSD Community Learning Center program. Students not currently enrolled may apply for enrollment.
Middle school students previously using the community center spaces are encouraged to enroll in the existing YMCA after-school program located at their school or the Downtown Community Youth Center, operated by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire. High School students are also encouraged to utilize the Community Youth Center or engage in interest clubs at their respective schools.
“Consistency is key when working with children,” said Dr. Jane Stavem, superintendent. “The Sioux Falls School District is eager to launch the Community Learning Center model so our students and families can grow and learn beyond the school day. We are grateful to the city for providing opportunities through the community centers for more than four decades. We are also excited to enhance offerings with strong support from our community partners,” she said.
For additional information, visit SF.K12.SD.US/Page/After-School-Programs.
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