With start time changes this fall for Cape Henlopen School District schools, the district is helping out employees with before- and after-school care.
“There were concerns about before- and after-school care and how that would impact our employees,” said Superintendent Robert Fulton. “I wanted to meet the needs of as many people as possible.”
In particular, district employees who work outside of Lewes but who use Little Vikings Learning Center in Lewes as a preschool had expressed concerns about being able to make the 4:30 p.m. pickup. To help those traveling a distance, Fulton said, the pickup time for Little Vikings was extended to 4:45 p.m.
Fulton said employees also have an option of using free, school-provided care for a few minutes in the morning or afternoon, depending on which works best for the employee's schedule.
“No group should have to pay on both ends,” he said, referring to before- and after-school programs offered by outside vendors. At the Lewes School, Shields Elementary and Rehoboth Elementary, the YMCA is providing before- and after-school care for employees and parents; the Boys & Girls Club is offering care at Milton, Love Creek and H.O. Brittingham elementaries.
The cost is $328 a month for both sessions or $170 for one.
2017-18 school year
• Cape High – 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
• Mariner Middle and Beacon Middle – 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
• Shields, Milton, H.O. Brittingham, Love Creek and Rehoboth elementaries – 8:55 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.
• Sussex Consortium – 8:40 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Fulton said employees can only take advantage of the free care either in the morning or afternoon, but not both. “We can cover it once, but not twice,” he said.
Several employees attending the June 8 school board meeting applauded when Fulton announced the changes.
“Thank you for listening,” said Jason Blanshine, a Rehoboth Elementary teacher who had been concerned about before- and after-school costs.
Milton Elementary teacher Amanda Lantz was also pleased with the change. “Thank you for taking this all into consideration,” she said.
“This is something new, so I appreciate the feedback,” Fulton said.
Board President Andy Lewis agreed. “I'm glad we were all able to come to an understanding,” he said.
For parents who drop off their students in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon, Fulton said the district is offering a 15-minute window at all schools.
Board Vice President Alison Myers said she has experience with dropoffs at Shields Elementary and having a few minutes to do so is helpful.
“Knowing the sheer number of cars that drop off in the morning at our schools, a certain window is needed to get everyone through just for logistical purposes,” Myers said.