Sept. 8, 2018 — The Siuslaw School District has announced that funding needed to offer the Twilight After School Program for this semester has been obtained. However, the after-school classes will only be available to students at Siuslaw Elementary School.
The Twilight program, as well as the various classes and meals offered to Siuslaw students after school, was in jeopardy of disappearing completely last year. This was due to a decision made by the U.S. Department of Education to eliminate all financial support for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants. In addition, the district’s application for a Federal Title IV Block Grant was rejected by the U.S. Department of Education.
In the past, Siuslaw had used funds from these two sources to offer the after-school programs to students at all grade levels.
Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak said he was disappointed that a program that has helped hundreds of students over the past decade faced elimination.
“Over the last decade, the Twilight After School Program has become a program that many in the community have come to depend on, and it has been a great enrichment resource for students,” he said. “Right now, the district is looking at shifting one grant source and restructuring another.”
In an attempt to offer some form of non-athletic after-school activities, Grzeskowiak and district staff have decided to redirect a small amount of available funds to support a reduced and streamlined slate of instruction.
Now, the district will have after-school activities for kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Siuslaw Elementary from 2:50 until 5 p.m. The program will begin on Monday, Sept. 10, and will follow the school calendar.
“Currently, we are funding this stop-gap rendition of Twilight out of Federal Title I funds. Title I funds can be used for a variety of services, including small-group instruction, individualized instruction and extended learning opportunities. An afterschool program fits right in that portion of Title I,” Grzeskowiak said. “The majority of our Title I funds help with supplemental, research-based instructional programs for students with special needs in reading, English language arts or math.
“Much of the work done with students in Twilight was homework assistance and supplemental instruction or individual assistance, so this will allow us to carry on that work a bit longer with a minimal impact to the regular school day.”
Unfortunately, the elimination of funding means Grzeskowiak has had to decide which students to target with the limited resources available.
“Looking at the population and needs, most of the resources will be focused at the elementary level,” he said. “The after-school program will run basically as before, but shorten up with an end time around 5 p.m.”
Families interested in participating in Twilight can obtain an application at the Siuslaw Elementary School main office.