Jazzing it up, summer school style: "Jazzing it up, summer school styleNice recap in the article.
Pittsburgh Public Schools hopes to attract more middle-schoolers to its program
Sunday, November 08, 2009
By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
The deadline for community groups to apply for the afternoon partnering opportunity is this Friday. I'm climbing in my cave to knock off the applications again this week, I hope.
There had already been a RFP (Request For Proposals) from PPS (Pittsburgh Public Schools) with an early October deadline. I call that round one. All of that work ended up to be a meaningless expercise thanks to changes in the Pennsylvania budget. Ouch. The entire RFP was retracted. Sixty two proposals came from community groups then. Now the terms from the PPS have changed in significant ways.
Not only is there a lack of money for field trips, the time of the camp in the afternoon periods was cut by one third. Rather than three hours followed by a full hour for lunch, the afternoon session is with a 45-minute lunch time block and a two hour period. Plus, the budget matters now -- not a sky's the limit approach. The district says it won't allow for any camp to exceed a cost of more than $650 per student. So, the upper limit of $650 covers two hours per day for five weeks for a total of 25 sessions. This investment limit from the school district comes to $13 per hour per kid for total costs incurred by the community partner.
The biggest sticking point for community partners is the hiring of staffers.
A number of hurldles exist for the overall program. I'm not sure the kids are going to attend the camp. Attendance is going to be a huge factor. From July 12 to August 13, most are not conditioned to attend school from 8:30 or so to 3 pm. Sure, they'll get a free lunch and some neat play time each afternoon, but it is still school.
My first round camp applications, mentioned slightly in the past on this blog are posted online. Read about the Olympic Sports Camp, the Junior Lifeguard Camp, the Swim and Water Polo Camp and the Sport Manager and Entrepreneur Camp at the A For Athlete wiki.
There are significant changes to what I'm going to put in for funding now from my end. Gone in full are the Junior Lifeguard Camp and the Sports Manager and Entrepreneur Camp. The kids can't take field trips with the new budget and the two hour day kills them anyway. We wanted to take the kids to Sandcastle for a week of instruction there followed by a week at the Allegheny County Parks pools (Boyce, Settlers, North, South). Can't get there. And, if we did, 120 minutes isn't going to cut it. The Sports Manager field trips were every Tuesday and Thursday to various sports businesses (Pitt, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, golf course, etc.). We were going to learn about their customer experiences, transactions and even how the coaches take and use stats.
With the Olympic Sports Camp, we'll have to do everything on a school site now. So, golfing at a golf course is out of the question. And, biking at the Washington Road oval is going to be difficult unless we get there either on bikes or magic carpets. We can't really buy new bikes so I'm in the market for 30 or 35 magic carpets, used or new. Plus, helmets, bikes and water bottles would be nice too. Those are big hits to the overall quality of the offering to the students.
Since there are two pots of money, and one source is more definite while the other is not, I'm going to need to make a application for the Title I Literacy Camp option. Stay tuned for Olympicpedia Camp. I started a two hour, drop in, summertime, day-camp in 2008 called Olympicpedia. So, this is familiar ground for me but now there is a bunch of red tape from PPS. Before, I just contracted with the private provider with the computer lab space.
If you want to help, leave me a message in the comments area. Mostly, I've got to re-tool the older grant applications and dream up the Olympicpedia educational rubic justifications. I am turning to Wiki Educator for some assistance.
Back to the drawing board. Deadlines loom large.