The Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness and Aquatic Center (ISCFAC) has decided to eliminate Kids Club, a summer daycare program for school-age children, from their offerings.
According to a letter sent out by Tim Welch, director of the facility, the program will no longer be offered in an effort to provide more sport specific clinics and skills camps.
“When I speak of camps I mean various sporting camps and classes, such as basketball, weight lifting with fitness classes and even various aquatic classes,” said Welch. “Some offerings can be in a class setting or in a camp type setting.”
In addition, Welch hopes to enhance summer school in a way that will give students more choices.
“We have just begun to see how we can add classes in various academic areas,” he said. “Camps and classes could be taught by local professionals, me and the possibility of retired teachers, coaches or other district educators.”
He believes that this is what the facility was created for.
“We can impact the entire school district’s revenue by enhancing our summer school offerings,” he said. “By adding swimming lessons as a summer school class, for only $5 per district student, we can impact our revenue substantially by adding this to our summer school minutes per pupil and increase our state revenue.”
Included in the change of offerings at the ISCFAC will be the addition of swimming lessons for the Manawa School District.
“I continue daily to look for any way to use our facilities the most effective ways possible,” said Welch. “Manawa will bring over 100 or more students for lessons this summer, and I am very happy we can offer this. Having Manawa join us in addition to our summer school planning, is only a small part of growing the business.”
District Administrator David Dyb introduced a proposal of a school age summer program partnership with the ISCFAC and Young Impressions during the Feb. 9 board meeting.
“We are proposing an opportunity to partner with a local community licensed provider that will fill some of the need for summer child care,” Dyb said.
Young Impression is a state licensed daycare facility that currently leases space at the Iola-Scandinavia Elementary School to operate the after-school program. They currently hold a license for up to 30 children.
Board member Mike Koles expressed his concerns about the change.
“I wish I would have known about this ahead of time and had the dialog in advance,” he said. “One big concern is parents that have already allotted flex spending money for this.”
Dyb stated that only 16-20 families will be affected by this and that they will do their best to accommodate them.
“If it means we can expand our physical fitness, I think that is where our focus should be,” said Board President Charlie Wasrud.
The proposal from Young Impressions stated that the weekly rate per child would be $155 per week with a 10 percent discount for families with more than one child, and will include lunch and snacks.
This is a slight increase from the Kids Club fees which were $120 per week for members and $130 per week for non-members.
Rose McGuire, a parent from the Iola-Scandinavia School District, voiced her concerns.
“My kids have not attended Kids Club, but I have seen some of the great activities that they have offered,” she said. “I am concerned with the cost increase with this new program and about missing out of some of the things that kids were offered at Kids Club.”
No decision was made on the matter, as some questions on where the program would be located and other issues still need to be addressed.
Kids Club has served area families for the past seven years.