Albemarle Co. Teachers Struggle to Find Open Slots in After-School Program
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - With enrollment in after-school programs on the rise, some teachers in Albemarle County are finding themselves in a pinch.
Now they are taking their concerns to the Albemarle County School Board to try and get some help.
The Extended Day Enrichment Program usually has a long wait-list in Albemarle County, and now some teachers are asking the board for early consideration.
The school day rarely ends at the bell for Greer Elementary teacher Ginna Palmer, who also has to think about her own children once classes end for the day.
“After school is such a huge need for families,” Palmer said.
Palmer is one of the hundreds of parents who enter their children to be in the county's Extended Day Enrichment Program.
But like many other teachers in the county, Palmer struggles with high enrollment and demand for the program.
“If they don't have a safe place for their children to go after the school hour ends, they find themselves in a tough situation,” Palmer said.
Palmer and her fellow colleagues are now asking the school board to give teachers early access to registration.
“My daughter being admitted or not admitted could determine whether I am able to return to my position at Greer next year,” Meaghan Craddock, a teacher in the county, said.
Assistant Superintendent Bernard Hairston says the demand for a spot in the program grows every year.
“We currently serve about 1,000 students through the Extended Day Enrichment Program, and we have generally had up to 200 on a wait-list," Hairston said.
Hairston says giving teachers priority would require the division to entirely restructure the program and find the staff and space to hold more students.
“It’s about how we manage the resources,” Hairston said. “The primary resource to be managed is that of the human factor - how do we get people in the building to service these requests."
Palmer says taking away some of the stress of finding after-school care for county teachers’ kids would give them one less thing to worry about.
“As teachers, we take care of our children and our families and that is our first job, so it would alleviate the stress for teachers but it would alleviate the stress for all working parents as well,” Palmer said.
The school board is set to discuss restructuring the Extended Day Enrichment Program sometime next month, and it’s considering the teachers requests.