Beginning September 2020, the Roxbury Community School, part of the Roxbury Township Board of Education, will be offering a new Before and After School Enrichment Services (RCS B.A.S.E.S.) program in its five elementary schools for grades K-6.
The decision to make the switch from the Roxbury Day Care Center, an outside organization to an in-district program has been in discussion with the administration for the past few years and more recently solidified the move in its latest round of the Strategic Plan.
Over the past few months, community members, staff members, and district families got together to set the district’s vision and goals for the next three years and beyond with its Strategic Plan.
“In those sessions, one of the items that kept reemerging was that of a district-run before and aftercare program. With that, the Board of Education and Administration decided to pursue this possibility by running it through the Roxbury Community School,” said Ann Rhodes, Community Relations/Community School Coordinator.
The Roxbury Day Care Center itself has been providing these services to Roxbury families for the past few decades. RDCC is State licensed, non-profit corporation that uses the Roxbury facilities but has no affiliation with the district itself. It receives funding from parent fees and the United Way.
“By the district offering these services, we have the opportunity to serve more families start to finish while continuing instructional services with in-district staff to fill those educational gaps while providing the district an additional revenue stream which is beneficial to the taxpayers of Roxbury,” shared Rhodes.
RCS B.A.S.ES. will be a part of Roxbury Schools as all Roxbury Community School programs fall under the auspices of the Roxbury Township Board of Education. Because of that, RCS B.A.S.E.S. can build a cohesive program with existing teaching and support staff members. Each of the K-6 locations will have a NJ state certified lead teacher and an assistant, both of whom will be trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid. These individuals are familiar with the students, the school, and the district’s policies and procedures.
“Because each location will have a state certified teacher, we’ll be able to provide after-school homework support as these individuals are familiar with the district’s curriculum and teaching strategies that can help make our students successful.”
In the coming months, the district will be posting for these teachers and assistants to operate in the five schools.
“This doesn’t mean though that we wouldn’t fill these positions with individuals from the outside. All of our job postings will be open for internal and external candidates and we encourage all qualified applicants to apply. This includes those before and aftercare staff members from the Roxbury Day Care.”
Offering a district-run program affords the school district the opportunity to tie in existing programs and initiatives. For instance, Roxbury High School students who are interested in a career in education or working with children will have the opportunity through the Pathways and Senior Options program to be a part of RCS B.A.S.E.S. They will gain real-world experience and high school credit while being a peer and mentor to students within the program. Also, providing an extra set of ears, eyes, and hands to keep the students safe and having fun.
RCS B.A.S.E.S. can also tie in district initiatives like Sustainability, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Roxbury’s Portrait of a Graduate.
“The district embarked on the sustainability initiative a few years back and all seven schools are Sustainable Jersey for Schools (SJFS) Bronze certified as of 2018. Each of the K-6 schools now have aeroponic gardens thanks to grant funding by SJFS and the NJEA. Our program can help monitor and see that these gardens flourish with flowers and vegetables that not only beautify the school but help the district as a whole continue its path to sustainability.”
The district’s SEL and Portrait of a Graduate can be tied in as well with service learning projects and character education programs. As part of Roxbury’s Portrait of a Graduate, the precursor to the Strategic Plan, some of the themes that emerged was that of leadership, adaptability, resiliency, and active citizens.
“Our hope is that when our students graduate, they will encompass all these characteristics and more, and we can help support them within our program.”
The goals of RCS B.A.S.E.S. would include providing high-quality care in a safe, positive, and healthy environment while engaging in enriching age-appropriate activities and strengthening the academic skills of our students. RCS B.A.S.E.S. would work to support healthy behaviors and the physical well-being of its participants while promoting community engagement and character education with the goal of supporting the working families of Roxbury.
Developmentally appropriate and appealing activities will be made available as the children’s interests and needs will guide the selection of activities. This would include a variety of free choice and structured activities, homework support, fitness and physical activities both indoors and out, creative arts, STEM, puzzles, games, and more.
The format for RCS B.A.S.E.S. will be unchanged from what is currently provided. RCS B.A.S.E.S. will operate a morning care (6:45 a.m. to the start of school) and an afternoon care (end of school until 6 p.m.) with a three-day and five-day option available for parents.
Extended Care Days will also be available when the district has half days like those before a holiday or when there are parent/teacher conferences. This service will be provided at no additional cost.
Extra Care Days will be in the schedule as well. These are the days when the district is closed for certain holidays, breaks, and in-service days. There will be an additional minimal fee for this.
RCS B.A.S.E.S. is also working to add the ability of possible drop-in days. “We know some of our staff who live in district and have kids in our schools sometimes need extra care once or twice a month due to a faculty or club meeting, so if they have a need, most likely our families do too.”
The 2020/2021 tuition and fees for RCS B.A.S.E.S. will remain unchanged from what is currently being offered by RDCC. Funding for the program will come from parent fees and the United Way, the same as Roxbury Day Care.
There will also be a handful of eligible discounts for applicable families such as a multi-child discount, a discount for those families approved for free and reduced lunch, a discount for US Military and first responders, as well as Roxbury School District employees.
By early January, the RCS B.A.S.E.S. website and registration will be available at www.roxbury.org/BASES. Information will be shared with all current before and aftercare families in the coming months.
There will be a public presentation on this program during the Monday, November 18th Board Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Lincoln/Roosevelt School at 34 North Hillside Avenue in Succasunna. We would encourage everyone to come out to hear about this exciting new opportunity.
PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury)
- RCS B.A.S.E.S. logo
For more information, contact: Roxbury Community School/Community Relations Coordinator Ann Rhodes at email@example.com or 973-584-7699.
ABOUT ROXBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Roxbury Public Schools is a K-12 school district preparing the children of today for tomorrow. As a dynamic and thriving district, in partnership with a supportive and collaborative community, Roxbury Public Schools inspires and empowers all learners to flourish as ethical and global citizens in the 21st century. The district serves students throughout Roxbury Township, New Jersey, including the areas of Landing, Kenvil, Succasunna, Ledgewood, Mount Arlington, Port Morris, Flanders, and Wharton. Connect with us online at www.roxbury.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RoxburyPublicSchools.