Town of Frisco hopes new programing for students will address after-school ‘crisis’
The Afterschool Fun Club will join Frisco’s array of programming to address the county’s after-school programming “crisis,” said Linsey Joyce, Frisco assistant recreation and culture director and programs manager. The program aims to provide a variety of activities, from sports and outdoor activities to arts and education.
“We realized our role in the community to provide consistent, fun, reliable after-school care for the kids,” Joyce said. “Whatever we can do in our department to keep kids busy and having fun after school, that is what we will do.”
The program’s current capacity is set at 25 kids aged 5- to 12-years-old, Joyce said, but the town will add more space if it can secure more staff. The town hopes to one day reach the “sweet spot” of 50 kids, Joyce said. Presently, the program has between two and four staff members depending on the day of the week. State licensure requires at least one staff member for every 15 students, but Frisco is aiming for a ratio of one staff member to about every 10 students, Joyce said. She added that the town doesn’t know how long the waitlist will be.
Likewise, the town doesn’t know how the program will grow or shrink over the coming semesters, she said. The town’s staffing fluctuates with the seasons, and its after-school programming is run by town staff.
Registration for the fall semester of the Afterschool Fun Club will open Aug. 10 at 8 a.m., with the semester beginning Aug. 18 and running to Oct. 31. Parents can register their children online at FriscoCamps.com. Joyce said there is no priority registration, and kids will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Registration for the winter semester of the Afterschool Fun Club will open Oct. 4, and the winter semester will run from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28.
Registration for the spring semester will open Feb. 1, and the spring semester will run from March 1 to May 30.
Programs will run from 3:55 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 3:05 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The program cost is $15 per day, per child on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, the cost is $20 per day per child to account for early start time.
Scholarships are available for kids. Families can fill out an application or reach out to FriscoCamps@TownOfFrisco.com to learn more.
The program will take place at the Frisco Elementary School, although kids can also take advantage of the town’s various other after-school programs, like its Little Vikings nordic program or skateboarding program. Joyce said one goal of the Afterschool Fun Club is to provide kids with other activities when programs like nordic skiing or skateboarding are not available on certain days of the week.
If enough people apply for the program, the town will create a waitlist for families. The town will contact families from the waitlist to fill any vacancies if it has an open spot on a particular day, Joyce said, since parents can select which days their child will attend.
“We are continuously reaching out to parents when spots open up in our programs,” Joyce said. “We realize the importance of getting as many kids into the program as we can.”
The Frisco Town Council approved the program in response to the shortage of after-school child care and programming, partially caused by the abrupt closure of Keystone Science School’s CATCH program in the spring of 2022, the town said in its press release.
It was “dramatically taxing” for the organization, Keystone Science School’s Director of marketing and Strategic Partnerships David Miller said. Staffing issues plagued the school for the last eight years, he said, so the school administration ultimately made the difficult decision of shuttering its after-school programming as issues continued to worsen.
Since the spring, Miller said the school has worked with all its community partners to help fill the gap created by the closure of its after-school programming.
Miller said having an available after-school program is incredibly important to Summit County, where many parents work more than one job and aren’t available to pick their kids up after school or even by 5 p.m.
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