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Partnership Of School, City Benefits Kids
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The City of Riverbank and the Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) have created a partnership so they can continue to provide services to children and youth of all ages in the community before and after school.

According to a report submitted by Sue Fitzpatrick, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Annabelle Aguilar, Riverbank City Clerk, the program would encompass a broad range of focus areas including academic, support, mentoring, youth development, and recreation.

Earlier this year, the city was informed that the school district lost a major funding source for its afterschool programs. Fitzpatrick and RUSD representatives have been working together to complete the Memorandum of Understanding for the joint effort to retain the afterschool programs at Mesa Verde Elementary, California Avenue, and Riverbank Language Academy.

Earlier this summer, city council members approved a partnership with the school district to continue providing an Afterschool Program to serve children.

The report from Fitzpatrick and Aguilar states that as part of the approval, the council acknowledged that a Memorandum of Understanding would be presented to formalize the partnership, however, due to the short time period to have the program in place by this August, staff was directed to proceed with all the necessary preliminary steps to offer the program by that time. One preliminary step that requires city council approval to proceed with the establishment of the program is the sliding fee scale that is designed to be self-sustaining.

The proposed Before School Program fee is $20 per child per month. For the Afterschool Program the proposed fee is $125 per month for the first child and $50 per month for the second child. For the families that meet the criteria for free and reduced lunches the after school fees would be proposed at a lower rate of $50 per month for the first child and $25 per month for the second child.

The city will offer in-kind support for administrative oversight. The project will be considered a pilot project for one year. The fees will be reviewed at mid-year to evaluate if they are sufficient to cover the needs of the program and are offering a quality program. If fees are not sufficient and other funding sources are not obtained, fees may need to be increased or the program may need to be terminated for the next fiscal year. With careful design and budgeting of the program, and the partnership with the RUSD, Fitzpatrick and school district representatives are confident that they can make this effort successful.

A formal agreement is scheduled to be presented to the Riverbank City Council at its meeting on Monday, July 22 for review and likely approval.