Irving ISD Partners with YMCA for After-School Programs
At the Irving ISD school board meeting Monday night, the Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the Irving YMCA for after-school programs at nine of the district’s campuses. With this formal approval, the district continues its 25-year partnership with the YMCA for on-site after-school programming in Irving ISD schools.
For the Irving ISD schools with on-site programs from the YMCA, parents can enroll their child(ren) in after-school care for the 2014-2015 year at www.ymcadallas.org.
Irving ISD has offered on-site after-school programming with the YMCA since 1989. In addition, it has offered a federally-funded, on-site after-school program at 10 campuses for several years. Although the district re-applied for the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant funding that particular after-school program, the Texas Education Agency did not select the program for continued funding for a third consecutive five-year cycle. Since the time the district received notice of the grant non-renewal in May 2013 and later with Superintendent Jose L. Parra, Ed.D., joining the district in January 2014, the district has been exploring a number of options to continue the non-grant funded after-school programs for students throughout Irving.
At the school board meeting Monday night, Superintendent Parra described several approaches the district has been considering in order to provide enrichment opportunities for students after normal school hours. “I want to bring you up to speed on after-school programs,” he told the Board and audience. “We will continue having after-school programs throughout the district. You approved an agreement with the YMCA tonight. In addition to that, each campus principal at a campus that previously housed the 21st Century Learning Community grants will design and develop their own after-school program that meets the needs of students on their campuses.”
In a meeting with principals and district leaders yesterday, Superintendent Parra explained the grant process and the absence of federally-funded after-school programs for the upcoming year. “We will find resources,” he said. “Whether it’s human resources or fiscal resources, we will offer after-school enrichment. It will look different, but we will have programs to offer our students and families for the 2014-2015 school year.”
According to Superintendent Parra and members of the Board of Trustees, Irving ISD has always been committed to providing appropriate after-school programs for students. “We will continue our efforts with the YMCA and we will continue to explore other options,” Parra said. “Our campus principals have the latitude to design strong academic experiences for children. Our campuses need to develop and run their own programs and we’re hoping to continue partnerships with outside organizations to provide opportunities that will enrich children’s learning experiences and meet their physical activity needs as well.”
As plans for campus-based after-school programs are solidified in the next month, Irving ISD leaders will provide additional information to families and the community. With new leadership at several schools, campus principals are currently developing plans for the upcoming school year.