Dear Kaiser Elementary Community:
I am writing to share an update about our current after school provider as well as the proposed service provider for next year.
I met Wednesday morning with Neil Tuller, Executive Administrator, and Kit O’Leary, Senior Supervisor of Adventure Time, to discuss the Kaiser-Sankofa merger and to understand their thinking about next year.
They shared that they had already made a decision that Adventure Time would not seek to move to the merged school for next year. They were aware of the current after school program at Sankofa run by Bay Area Community Resources (BACR). BACR qualifies for local, state, and federal funds (OFCY, ASES, and 21st Century), which allows them to offer a sliding scale cost, with the majority of students receiving free after school programming. Adventure Time (AT) is a fee based program, and while they have been generous in providing scholarships, AT leadership shared with me that they are not positioned to qualify for funding streams that would allow them to match the quality programming currently in place at Sankofa at low cost to families. They shared that they did not think a model with two programs on one site was a good idea.
Our conversation then shifted to supporting Adventure Time staff during this transition. AT has an exceptionally strong staff, many of whom have been at Kaiser for a long time. This change is hard on our whole community, including our AT staff. AT leadership is committed to supporting ALL of their staff and offering them opportunities at other sites for the next school year.
There will also be both school day and after school opportunities at the merged school that current AT staff may be interested in, and I am personally committed to working with our AT staff to support them in pursuing these opportunities if they are interested. Our current AT staff play many different roles at Kaiser. In addition to caring for our students after school, some are employed by OUSD as noon supervisors and some work in PTA-funded positions supporting academic intervention and socio-emotional learning. Again, there will be both school day and after school opportunities at the merged school next year, and I will work with interested AT staff to find meaningful roles in the merged school.
To clarify, Ms. Pearl McClelan is not and has never been an Adventure Time employee. She is a PTA paid employee. She would absolutely have a role at the merged Kaiser-Sankofa should she want it.
BACR currently offers many popular programs at Sankofa, and BACR staff are looking forward to meeting with Kaiser families to solicit input in planning for next year. Within the next few weeks there will be an opportunity to learn more about the BACR program offerings and give input about the program for next year.
During these hard times, more than ever, we need to recenter on the values of our school community. Within Kaiser we have people who are continuing to fight against future school closures, others who are investing time and energy into designing a merged school, some who are considering other options, and many who have not yet made a decision about what will be best for their family next year.
Kaiser has always embraced diversity and difference: we can certainly embrace differences of opinion and choice, even under these most challenging and complex circumstances. We can continue to honor our school wide expectations of being safe, mindful, and responsible while also staying true to what we believe to be right for our children, ourselves, and our community.
~ Dennis Guikema