As Marshfield schools welcomed students back into the classroom, it also welcomed a new school schedule: a four-day week. To assist parents or guardians with the new schedule, the district partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of America. The two organizations would work together to provide care, tutoring, and a safe place for children ages K-8th grade to spend Mondays.
Since that time, some confusion has risen among parents and guardians resulting in conversations online, and questions for both the district and the Boys and Girls club.
A handful of parents who registered for the Monday service have been put on a waiting list, stirring emotion in the community. This waiting list is a result of the limited staffing the organization currently has.
Didem Koroglu, Director of Development for the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, spoke about what is going on regarding the waitlist,
"Right now, we are serving 50 kids. By our guidelines, we have to follow a certain ratio." Koroglu is talking about the number of kids per staff. She continues, "We are not fully staffed right now though we are actively hiring and onboarding some, but we have to follow a procedure. Our number one priority is the safety of our kids and club members."
The onboarding is an extensive process involving many steps, including background checks and fingerprinting. Koroglu shares more, "Candidates must pass two background checks, a safety and family registry. The challenge we are going through right now is, with the way the world is, there is a huge queue of background checks we are waiting on. We are not the only organization that applies for that and so we cannot start someone without passing those checks."
Rocky Valentine, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Facilities, and Maintenance of Marshfield R-1 school district, gave some insight into the matter,
"Like many organizations, the first headache is having trouble filling positions. When the Boys and Girls Club sent out their initial registration they only had enough staffing to support 50 students. So once that filled up everyone else was put on a waiting list." Valentine acknowledged that like a school, the Boys and Girls Club is held to specific standards regarding the amount of adult and student ratio.
After learning of the situation the Boys and Girls Club was having, along with the need for child care, the district knew it had to act. Valentine continues, "We stepped in and said we will take care of those kids on the waitlist until the Boys and Girls Club is fully staffed." He mentions that the district tries to communicate with the parents as much as possible. Valentine would encourage families to sign up for the monthly newsletter through the parent portal of the website www.mjays.us or by downloading the Marshfield R-1 schools app, which is free.
To clarify, The Boys and Girls Club only has enough staffing for 50 students, and the others are currently on a waitlist. The district is providing additional care for those on the waitlist until the Boys and Girls Club is fully staffed.
This whole process has caused headaches for everyone however, please keep in mind that the four-day school week is a new concept for everyone. Both organizations are still learning the ins and outs of making this work for both schools and parents. To ensure your child is signed up for the Boys and Girls Club, sign up on the website www.bgclubspringfield.org/register.
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