Princeville seeking after school options

For The Weekly Post

PRINCEVILLE – The Princeville School District is considering external entities to oversee its student after-care program.
Princeville Superintendent Tony Shinall said he’s contacted three vendors: Champions, operated by KinderCare Learning Centers of Portland, Ore.; the Greater Peoria Family YMCA; and Right At School, based in Evanston.

The current in-house Princeville Grade School after-care administrator, teacher’s aide Libby Snyder, might be interested in other open positions in the district, according to Shinall.

“She does a really good job, but with finding staff so hard right now, it was at least worth the investigation to see what would that look like if we partner with someone else,” Shinall said following the school-board meeting May 14.

Grade-school after-care for children of working parents runs from dismissal, about 3:10 p.m., until 5:30 p.m.

Bethel Lutheran School in Morton is a Champions client, according to the organization’s website. Schools in Peoria and Norwood use the YMCA and Dunlap uses Right At School, Shinall said.

The organizations also offer full-day care – something the Princeville district hasn’t offered, at least in recent years.

Shinall wasn’t sure about exact after-care costs but told the board they’d be higher than the current situation. He said he’d probably offer options and details to the board when it meets in June.

During the public-comment portion of the May meeting, local parent Angie Onion asked the board and administrators not to reduce from three to two the number of fifth-grade classrooms for the 2024-25 school year. The reduction is likely because of an enrollment decrease, according to Shinall.

Onion cited special-needs fifth-graders who might require more individual attention. After the meeting, Shinall said the district might have a special-education teaching candidate for that purpose. The district had been unable to find one, so paraprofessionals have been filling the gap.

The 2024-25 fifth grade is expected to have 41 or 42 students, according to Shinall. He said the district bases its classroom decision on need and feel.

In other business, board members authorized the high school cross country team to attend a summer camp July 14-18 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Also approved was adoption of the Bookworms reading-and-writing curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade.

The board also agreed to move its next regular meeting from June 11 to June 17.

Following closed session, board members approved December 2024 graduations for six high school students and authorized the following hires:

• Jack Arnett as a high school assistant football coach.
• Anne Bosch, Jada Crose and Hilary Melick as teachers to work this summer with students whose first language is not English.
• Christine Hartz as a permanent substitute teacher for 2024-25.
• Raquel Hermann as a junior-senior high cafeteria worker.
Shinall announced the resignations of Hartz and Rebecca Shipley as grade-school paraprofessionals, Becky Gardner as a part-time intervention teacher, Jim Hankins as a transportation worker, Yesenia Koehl as a daycare worker and Mishona Waldis as a junior-high paraprofessional.