In a follow-up to an article that appeared last week (Sept. 2), the Siuslaw School District released additional information regarding the “Twilight” programs being offered this semester by the school district.
The information clarifies changes made to the program following a dramatic 13.5 percent — or $10 billion — reduction in the 2017 Department of Education budget. As a result of the cuts, federal funding that was once available through 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grants for after-school support programs, such as the local “Twilight” program, have been eliminated.
To keep the program available to local students, it will no longer be held at the middle and high schools. Instead, the district is offering a reduced schedule of academic support for middle and high school students by consolidating those services into the elementary school.
According to Siuslaw School District, the reduction in overall grant funding for the after-school program has dropped from $298,000 for 2016-17 to $197,500 for the 2017-18 academic year.
This reduction of more than $100,000 is the primary reason for the program scalebacks and consolidation put into place for the upcoming school year.
Another reason for that decision came from attendance figures for 2016, provided by the school district, which showed average daily Twilight attendance for Siuslaw Middle School was 20 students, with only nine students attending at Siuslaw High School.
By comparison, Siuslaw Elementary tallied daily attendance at 85 students for the program.
The current level of funding will allow the district to offer 12 hours of instructional programming for 36 weeks during the regular school year, and 16 hours each week during the month-long summer school session.
This means that Siuslaw School District will be able to offer 496 hours of programming outside of the regular school day for the students in the district through the school year.
For students participating in Indian Education, the program is in the process of being rebuilt.
School district administrators have said they will share the finalized plan for this program when it becomes available.