The after school program for students in the Baker School District has survived many challenges in recent months.
Because of recent budget cutbacks, the City of Baker and its Recreation Department no longer was involved with the after school program, but Superintendent Aaron Skogen was able to coordinate with the Fallon County Commission to get the financial support it needed to keep the program going.
“So far things are going good,” the superintendent said Tuesday.
However, the program is facing another challenge. “We do have a hiccup. We are looking for a director for the program again,” he said, adding that the person selected has had to step down for personal reasons.
The district is accepting applications until the director position is filled. “The job description is on our website,” the superintendent said.
The after school program runs Monday through Friday until 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary School. The program is for students from Kindergarten through sixth grade, he added.
“At this point, it is running very smooth. The individuals who have helped us run it have run the program in the past. We were able to start the school year very similar to the way the City Rec Department used to run the program.”
The program is now being financially supported both from the parents and from county funding, the superintendent explained.
“They (the Fallon County Commissioners) agreed to help fund the program and they started our fund balance. We do charge parents $4.60 a day,” he added.
The participants get a nutritious snack each day while having a chance to get tutoring with their classwork and homework, in addition to games and other activities available.
“We won’t really know until the year’s end how we are doing (financially),” the superintendent explained. “All of our numbers were projected on what we anticipated for the cost of staff. So we are going to re-evaluate come spring and sit down with the commissioners on how the program went for the year... what the funding revenue looked like.”
“We are not trying to make money off the program. We are hoping just to break even,” the superintendent said.
In terms of participation, the number of students participating is about average for the amount of participation in the past. “We typically average about 20 (students) a day.”
This is the first time the district has had full administrative control of the program, he explained.