CAMP VERDE – It’s great that the Friday programs at Camp Verde Unified School District are fun.
But for the district to continue investing money in the unrequired classes, they need to have some sort of educational purpose.
And the programs need to be self-sustainable financially.
That is what members of the school district’s governing board said Monday at a special work session held to consider business planning and logistics, budgeting and funding, educational expectations, student population and program liabilities for what the district also calls Friday Camps.
How involved would the board be?
The Camp Verde school board will continue to oversee the 5th Day Programs. But the board “will not micromanage the school’s efforts to develop unique and innovative ways to keep their programs going,” said Camp Verde School Board President Christine Schneider.
“We will trust our administrators have the autonomy they need for success,” Schneider said. “We of course will want regular updates on how things are going.”
The board also asked 5th Day Programs Coordinator Peggy Dickey and District Superintendent Dr. Dennis Goodwin for the strategic plan outlay of one-year, three-year and five-year plans.
Just because the board will not manage the Friday offerings does not mean it will be uninvolved. Monday’s meeting was an opportunity for the board to both solicit and offer information from both Dickey and Dr. Goodwin.
Camp Verde school board member Helen Freeman also said that the 5th Day Programs “should also [include] some sort of commitment from the families who participate.”
“I don’t agree that it’s free,” Freeman said. “I have no problem asking them to put something in. ‘We’re providing this opportunity. This is what you need to put in.’”
Freeman further explained – and other board members agreed – that asking for some sort of buy-in isn’t solely about funding the program. It’s about personal investment.
“We have free and reduced lunch; you should see how much goes into the garbage,” Freeman said. “You can afford what you make a priority to afford.”
No figures were discussed, as the board has charged both Dickey and Dr. Goodwin with providing additional information for a future meeting.
“The board is leaving it up to the school leadership to develop and define what that personal cost is, [such as] time, money, service rendered, etc.,” Schneider said.