Time has run out for the partnership between the City of Baker and the Baker School District - at least as far as the after-school program is concerned.
The program was put in a fragile position when the city suspended the Recreation Department in order to help meet a budget shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of local revenues from the oil industry.
Baker Superintendent Aaron Skogen said that when the after-school program wasn’t put on as an agenda item for the next City Council meeting, time had run out and that he had to make a move to try to save the program.
“I respectfully told her I am out of time and have to find other options,” he explained Tuesday.
“My plan is to present and meet with the (Fallon) county commissioners on Monday to see if they can help subsidize the program and work with us.... and see if there is a point where we can ultimately break even for the year.”
“Essentially, the school would be running the after-school program and the county would be helping with the costs,” Skogen explained. “The county and commissioners won’t have anything to do with health and education courses. We’ll see if we can coordinate together to make the after-school program go.”
The superintendent said that the school will work with the past director. Mrs. (Angie) Rabbitt has agreed to sit down and help us plan out the activities that she did in the past. We’ll have to decide how many employees that is going to take. We’ll probably have to create about three positions. We’ll have to work with the public health department and make sure we have a plan that allows us to move forward in the fall,” he added.
When Skogen meets with the county commissioners, he said that he’ll see if the commissioners can work with the program.
“We’ll probably have a board meeting next week to see if the board can take action. Then we’ll try to iron out precisely what that program might be,” he said.
“The after school program allows students to stay after school and receive a snack as well as recreation activities. There is tutoring, as well.”
“The program itself is an opportunity for the students and parents to take advantage and have the kids stay on campus.”
“Our only focus is making sure we still have the after-school program, if not the little kids basketball camp or the little kids football training.”
“Typically, the students would meet at Lincoln Elementary after school and that is where they would receive a snack, then do some activities. If the weather is nice, it could be outside,” the superintendent added.
The school and the after-school program will start Aug. 20.