5 questions regarding 5th Day Programs at schools

CAMP VERDE – As it observes a Monday through Thursday schedule, the Camp Verde Unified School District has a unique opportunity to provide additional – yet optional – education programs on Fridays.

Called 5th Day Programs, or Friday Camps, the offerings range from robotics to art, from photography to karaoke.

As these programs are still in their infancy, the Camp Verde school board is still trying to understand the function and form of the classes.

At Monday’s special work session, 5th Day Programs Coordinator Peggy Dickey solicited feedback from the school board by asking five questions:

Is this goal participation, academic or park and rec ... or all the above? 

Says Dickey, “Our job as an educational institution is to not only make sure that these camps are fun but to make sure that students are learning something important at the same time.”

Should the 5th Day programs accommodate students from outside CVUSD?

Some board members said yes. Others, no. Arguments against focused on liability and affordability.

Dickey says that “one possible solution is to get the numbers on exactly what the extra costs are, then see if we can figure that into an out-of-district fee structure that can cover the additional cost.”

The board charged District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Goodwin with determining the cost of allowing non-district students to participate in the programs.

Do the 5th Day programs need board approval for new courses?

The board agreed that its collective approval would not be required for new courses. But board members did say that they would like a list of criteria to approve new courses

“This makes sense to me,” Dickey says. “The board needs to make sure that the courses meet certain standards set by the district administration.”

Both Dickey and District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Goodwin “are supposed to come up with criteria for proposed classes that the school board would approve,” Freeman says.

How much student participation does the board expect at its 5th Day programs?

Depends on the money, says CVUSD Board President Christine Schneider.

More funding means more resources to educate more students.

“I’d like to see [the program’s] ability to get grants to increase.”

Since the 5th Day programs are still relatively new, Dickey says she is still trying to accumulate more data before she can predict “what reasonable growth expectations are.”

“We should have a good idea on this around the end of May 2018.”

What level of funding from grants vs. cash accounts are you thinking for the 5th Day programs?

In its first year, Friday Camps are funded in part by grant money, but primarily by what the district calls “seed money.”

Dickey says she hopes that the program “will eventually be self-sustaining, primarily grant money.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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