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Lathrop expanding after school effort due to pandemic
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The City of Lathrop is going to do its part to make sure that the youth of the community have a place to go after school.

Just hours after the Manteca Unified School District announced that in-person school would resume in the fall with a modified schedule, the City of Lathrop voted to spend $168,000 to provide staff for an enhanced after school program offered through the parks and recreation department.

According to the staff report, the money would be used to hire three part-time senior recreation leaders and 20 part-time recreation leader positions at 19-hours-a-week for each of the new hires. The staffing ratio will comply with the childcare guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and will meet the additional needs expected by the return to in-class instruction next month.

Representatives from Manteca Unified had communicated with the City of Lathrop to discuss the needs that the district had in providing a safe place for kids to go after school in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. They made the request of the city staff to bolster the existing program that already has a number of staff members in place.

Currently the Kids’ Club program employs 10 recreation leaders – 5 at Mossdale Elementary School and 5 and Joseph Widmer Elementary School – to provide the after-school instruction to students in the community. Because of more stringent social distancing guidelines as set forth by the CDC, those staffing ratios will have to further increased in order to meet the amended guidelines – essentially tripling the number of staffers at each school location in order to meet compliance.

Part of the reason that additional staffing is necessary is that intermingling among specified groups is expressly prohibited by the guidelines. That means the recreation leaders that are being hired will have to remain with the students that they are responsible for throughout the time that they are participating in program activities.

In order to assist with the program Manteca Unified has made additional space available at each of the campuses where it is offered free of charge, and those who participate in the program pay the City of Lathrop to help offset the costs for staffing and materials required to operate the program.

The discussion and approval of the item came just hours after Manteca Unified announced following a special meeting of the Board of Education that they would resume in-person schooling on a highly-modified, alternating-days schedule that will allow for students to receive the coveted in-person instruction proven to help students learn while at the same time shrinking class sizes significantly in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That is in addition to a charter school virtual learning option.


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.