School board.jpg

Ada City Schools Superintendent Mike Anderson reviews information before Monday’s Ada Board of Education meeting. The board approved an agreement with Latchkey Child Services to provide after-school programs at four schools for the upcoming school year.

Eric Swanson/The Ada News

Ada City Schools will offer an after-school program for the upcoming school year, thanks to a new partnership with an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization.

The Ada Board of Education voted Monday to approve an agreement with Latchkey Child Services, which will provide after-school care for eligible students at the Ada Early Childhood Center and Hayes, Washington and Willard Grade Centers. There will be no cost to the district, other than the use of its buildings.

Latchkey officials are looking forward to working with the Ada school district, CEO Chuck Cohn said Tuesday.

“We are hoping that we have just as much success as the Ada school district had in the past (of running an after-school program,)” he said. “We are confident we will exceed their enrollment numbers by opening the program to more students and by also accepting Title 20 benefits from the state of Oklahoma from those who qualify for child care assistance.”

Title 20 — also known as Title XX — is a federal subsidy that helps working parents who meet income eligibility guidelines cover the cost of child care.

Based in Oklahoma City, Latchkey provides before- and after-school care for children when school isn’t in session and parents aren’t available. The organization is licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, which allows it to accept child care payments from the state.

Latchkey operates its programs inside school buildings, and the organization’s staffers look after the students.

The program offers hourly and weekly rates for participating families. The hourly rate per student is $6 for the first hour and $4 for each additional hour, and the weekly rate is $40 per week.

Latchkey originally proposed sharing revenues from the after-school program with the district, but that language was later dropped from the agreement, said Superintendent Mike Anderson. Instead, Latchkey will offer a tuition discount of about 75 percent — $10 per week — to qualified district employees.

“It’s the right thing to do for our employees,” he said. “Our teachers are going to be able to send their kids to after-school care for about $10 a week, and that’s a good thing for them.”

After-school care will be available when school is in session and may also be offered on professional-development days, parent-teacher conference days and vacation days as listed on the district’s calendar, according to the agreement.

As part of the agreement, the district will distribute informational fliers about the program to students at each school where Latchkey operates. In addition, the district will provide space for signs promoting the program on those campuses and in those school offices.

The program will be licensed by the appropriate authorities and will operate in accordance with all licensing requirements. Latchkey will run the program in cooperation with the principals at participating schools, and it will try to coordinate its weekly and monthly educational themes with the schools where it operates.

Latchkey and its staffers will be responsible each day for returning supplies and equipment to their proper storage areas and making sure the building is secured at the end of each day.

The agreement indicates that Latchkey may end the program if a baseline enrollment figure of fewer than 15 children is not maintained at any site. The district may terminate any or all after-school programs with a 60-day written notice.

Cohn said that Latchkey has not previously canceled any of its programs in other school districts in the middle of the year due to low enrollment. However, he said the organization has occasionally decided not to renew a contract the following year.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of former Ada High School baseball coach Justin Holeman, who recently accepted a job as an assistant baseball coach at Mustang High School.

The board also voted to hire Austin Jarvis as the new baseball coach. In addition to his coaching duties, Jarvis will teach social studies at one of the Ada schools.