Save Beyond the Bell
5/9/2023 11:15 am
Dear Parents and Teachers,
It has come to our attention that the District is considering transferring operation of the Beyond the Bell program to a third party. This poses many logistical issues that can have unintended consequences and have had a tangible negative impact on our students’ experience. Please consider writing an email to Superintendent Dr. Taylor and the SOMSD Board of Education members to voice concerns about this plan and ask for transparency and community collaboration. A sample letter is provided below and you can find an online copy here.
PTA presidents of the 6 SOMSD elementary schools
Dear Dr. Taylor and Members of the SOMSD Board of Education,
It has recently come to my attention that the District is considering outsourcing the management and implementation of the Beyond the Bell program to a third party next year. As a parent in the school district, I have concerns about this plan and ask for transparency and community collaboration.
Past efforts to outsource services such as lunch aides, para professionals and transportation have come with many unintended consequences and have had a tangible negative impact on our students’ experience. I am concerned the same will happen if BTB receives the same fate
Not only does outsourcing this program – the success of which depends so intrinsically on working hand-in-hand with district staff – pose many logistical issues, but it also affects our most vulnerable students. How will a third party be able to work with school administration and social workers to help arrange for financial aid? Currently, BTB is able to provide para support for all who need it, will a third party be able to continue this benefit?
Additionally, aftercare and after school program options are already limited. There is not enough space to meet demand. Beyond the Bell spots fill within minutes. Families want and need these after school alternatives. Combining or reducing after school program options would only further exacerbate the problem.
As you move through this decision process, which could have significant impacts on this valuable program, I ask that you provide transparency into the goals and rationale for the switch and the opportunity to submit community input.