Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hot topic: After-school programs

This from a reader:
I'm trying to find out about the apparently "super tough to get into" after school programs, particularly those that serve the mission district. The programs offered through the SF Child Development Centers take the poor children first leaving no space for middle-class families. The man at the CDC basically told me my kid didn't stand a chance. The Boys and Girls Club has a 6 year-old age requirement. Where do people send their kids and how much does it cost?

27 comments:

  1. Should we try to get into afterschool programs connected to the school we are waitlisting?

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  2. I had a question about McKinley's program - there is either a spanish "after school immersion" or a mandarin "after school immersion" from 1:50 to 4 pm each day - this seems too good to be true. I would welcome comments from parents - is it a good program (it is one year old) and a good alternative if you did not get in to an immersion school? Do other schools have these? http://www.mckinleyschool.org/faq.php

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  3. can your child attend after school programs at a school they don't attend?

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  4. 8:30 AM

    I think it depends on the school. For example at Monroe we have an after school program onsite, and there is also an arrangement with the Buena Vista After School program where some Monroe students are picked up each day by a BV staff member and driven to the BV program. I am not sure of the costs of these different programs.

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  5. Carolyn, I was just inquiring about Monroe's after school programs and found there are not many spots for middle class families. Curious, which program isyour student in?

    thanks

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  6. After we received our assignment letter to the school of our choice, we called their after school program, GLO, first, because the principal on the tour said sign up asap on the first day if you get assigned. GLO told us to register at the school first, then with that proof in hand, you can register for one of it's coveted after school spots, but I couldn't do it the other way around. Good luck.

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  7. 10:26,

    My son is in the "after school Mandarin immersion" and he loves it. The teach is warm and kind and he has learned a lot. I don't speak Mandarin but friends do and they say that his accent is wonderful. It does cost a bit but it has been well worth it. We wanted a Mandarin immersion school and didn't get in, of course but this has been the next best thing. Also we found it much better than sending him all day on Saturday. He gets consistency that I don't think he would have gotten in a Saturday program. Sign up! All the parents I know are very happy with the program.

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  8. Are there any other afterschool immersion programs other than McKinley?

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  9. I'd like to advocate for Tule Elk Park CDC. Its a wonderful garden school in the heart of Cow Hollow. I know they service Garfield and Sherman...not sure if other schools are involved (or maybe they can be). I know for a fact that their afterschool program has PLENTY of space available as my kids class only has 12 kids. Program includes a school bus pick-up from school, snack time, structured homework time, outside garden free play then free play activities inside. My kid loves it there!

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  10. Look into Nihonmachi Little Friends afterschool program. It's reasonably priced, centrally located in Japantown, and serves students from a number of public schools, including Alamo, Rosa Parks, Sherman, Clarendon, and more. The teachers and director are great (we attended preschool there). Also nice if you have a preschooler, you can pick them both up in the same neighborhood (though not the same building).

    Also, I visited Tule Elk as someone else recommended, and they seem great, too.

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  11. the afterschool immersion program at McKinley started this year as a pilot program and so far has been running successfully. if you are an incoming McKinley parent, there will be parents there to speak to you about the program and what we envision for next year. hope to see you there!

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  12. Are there any other afterschool immersion programs other than McKinley?

    Some volunteers at SF Advocates for Multicultural Education compiled this list in 2008. (You may need to join the SF_AME yahoo group to view it):

    2008-2009 SFUSD Before & After-school Language Programs

    Most of the programs exist only because of energetic parents and PTA support, and things can change quickly.

    So before putting a school on your Round 2 list because of an after-school program, call first to make sure it'll still be there next year, then hope there is continued interest and funding for it the entire time your child is at the school!

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  13. Robert Louis Stevenson has a Mandarin after school program too.

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  14. link doesn't work, any info about before and after school language programs?

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  15. Look into what the programs are specifically, and how long they are - as that may plan into your after-school needs or considerations. McKinley's program is four days a week, for two hours+ (from 1:50-4pm) in either Mandarin or Spanish, with the option to continue on (from 4-6pm and Fridays) into ASEP, McKinley's other school-site after school program.

    There are after school language programs at other schools that are more of a one or two time a week option. And perhaps others closer to the model at McKinley (?) Only way to find out is to school the school(s) and ask directly.

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  16. I'll put in a vicarious endorsement for Tule Elk. My children are not there, but I work next door and it is a wonderful physical facility where the kids always seem to be having a ton of fun. Actually didn't realize they had an aftercare program; will have to check it out myself!

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  17. 9:51 AM

    My son goes to the BV program 2-3 days a week. We knew we were going to do it from the get go, because 3 of his pre-school friends are at BV and it was an easy way to keep their connection active.

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  18. Just a warning for those who may be counting on school buses to get their kids to particular afterschool programs next year. You should follow the budget cut discussion ongoing at the Board of Ed. There may be significant cuts in school bus service, so you may want to hold off off-site afterschool programs until that's all squared away.

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  19. can someone tell me what "BV" is? I looked through the postings and couldn't figure it out...

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  20. BV

    Bay View

    HP

    Hunter's Point

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  21. Couldn't BV be Buena Vista?

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  22. I'm open minded, so I looked into Tule Elk. But I'm confused. Their website says 90% of the children that go there are low income. So is it open to all or is this yet another subsized program where middle class/upper middle class families get to pay for it but can't use it?

    And regarding pickup, straight from the website:

    "The Center closes at 5:30 p.m. If your child has not been picked up by 5:45 p.m. staff may call the San Francisco Police Department. The police will take the child to social services juvenile facility unit until parents can be located."

    Our boys' preschool is pretty strict on lots of things, but they don't send our kids to social services if we're late!

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  23. sorry, my reference to BV was for Buena Vista.

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  24. My kids are in the EXCEL afterschool program at Monroe & we're middle-class. It's free, but there are limited spaces available. But in the past year or so the program was expanded to accomodate the demand from kinder parents so that might help.

    Monroe also has a fee-based CDC program after school (which is a sliding scale if you're low-income). You can also go to Buena Vista's fee-based program if you like--they have vans that pick the kids up right after school & take them directly there.

    There is also some kind of program at the Boys & Girls club down the road a bit on Mission but I don't know much about that. It's either free or very cheap. I think someone walks the kids there after school

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  25. Important to realize McKinley's is not an "immersion" program. It's an afterschool Spanish class. To call it immersion reveals a major lack of understanding of the immersion premise.

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  26. 8:44 "The Center closes at 5:30 p.m. If your child has not been picked up by 5:45 p.m. staff may call the San Francisco Police Department. The police will take the child to social services juvenile facility unit until parents can be located."

    With regard to Tule Elk...I had the exact same concerns when I read the website. Fact is, they are regulated by the state and may have to state certain laws in writting (my best guess). All schools have similar proceedures, though rarely act on them. Don't let it deter you from physically seeing the site. It is a magical place with a huge organic vegetable garden, new play structure with sand box, a motor developement room similar to Gymboree, an indoor AND outdoor art studio plus more. My kids go there and they love it. We are not low income and feel there is a well balanced mix of families at the site...not the 90% that's stated on the website. Most importanly to working families, it is FULL TIME M-F, FULL YEAR program (including easter break and summer) hence the massive waitlist for the preschool program. Hope you don't let that outdated website get in the way of your decision.

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  27. My private pay pre-school had the same policy that they would call police if you were late.

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