in an update to yesterday’s article on Wonderspring offering a “School-Age Care for Virtual Learners,” we have some more details. First, a school board member asked that we clarify that “classrooms” aren’t being used. The space being utilized will be gyms.
We also received the following statement from the district:
In an effort to support families in need of day-care during our virtual learning period, the district provided limited capacity to Wonderspring (formerly Montgomery Early Learning Center) in a few of our gyms. There will be approximately 30 children in each space, 10 feet apart. If we were to permit hundreds of students it would be similar to having in-person instruction which would not be safe. Our intent was to help families and maintain safety. Wonderspring is required to clean the space on a daily basis. Colonial joins with several school districts around the region that have opened their schools at no profit to child care providers to accommodate families in need.
These types of programs are being set-up throughout the Colonial School District. Each municipality that is served by the district has one:
Other organizations like the YMCA (outside the district) are offering this type of program as well, plus some families are forming pods that bring a few children together and hiring someone to assist them throughout the day. What is effectively happening is that unofficial classrooms are being established in everything to rec halls to homes.
We also inquired with the district about how the program by Wonderspring was marketed. As we reported in the previous article, Wonderspring first offered the program to its existing clients (those who have utilized its previous pre-care and aftercare services in the school district). Those families got first shot at the limited spots in the new school-hours program.
We asked the district about equity in regards to families having an equal opportunity to sign-up for the limited spots, but the representative of the district just kept saying the district didn’t control the process.