Stillwater Elementary PTA  2.16.24   •   Serving Duvall & Carnation, WA   •     Riverview School District

Enrichment Survey Response

Stillwater Families,Thank you for taking the enrichment survey that we e-mailed out last month. We used the survey to discuss improvements that can be made to the enrichment program with the YMCA and Stillwater Administration.

The survey made is clear that enrichment is important to Stillwater families, so we are committed to working with the YMCA to help them create an enrichment program that appeals to the majority of families and becomes a program that parents can rely on each year. However, this does not mean that the PTSA will be taking over the enrichment program again. After reading the comments, we want to address why the PTSA does not run enrichment anymore.

Back in 2013-2014, the PTSA Board attended a Washington State PTA training session where they were advised on the insurance requirements for enrichment classes. Essentially, the PTSA should have been requiring anyone we contracted with to teach enrichment classes to carry their own insurance. Failure to do so, put the PTSA, and subsequently its board members, at risk for huge liability issues if something awful were to occur during an enrichment class. After learning this information the PTSA asked its contractors to show proof of insurance before they could continue teaching enrichment, most backed out at that point and the variety of classes we could offer suffered. In addition, the PTSA was having a very hard time securing volunteers to supervise the enrichment program after school each day. Because of this, the board ASKED Stillwater administration if they could get out of the enrichment business and that is when the YMCA came into play. The board was thrilled that another organization had the capability to keep the enrichment program going at Stillwater.

Several comments were made on the survey that other schools run their enrichment program through the PTSA so why can’t we. We cannot speak to why other schools would choose to ignore the liability issues, but for the board in 2013-2014 and for the board today, betting on the small town charm that is Duvall/Carnation to protect our own families livelihood is not something we are prepared to do.

The YMCA, with a focus on safety, health, social growth and academic enhancement, are dedicated to leading afterschool programs that serve kindergartners through middle schoolers with a variety of programmatic and activity options to explore and develop their interests and talents. This makes them a perfect fit for leading an enrichment program at Stillwater. The PTSA has the local knowledge in regards to parent volunteers who might be interested in teaching classes and we have the communication channels that can be used to promote the program. This is why, after the enrichment classes had to be cancelled this year at Stillwater because of a lack of participation we offered to help out.

We are happy to announce that after meeting with the YMCA to discuss the survey results, that we have all landed on a model for enrichment we believe the YMCA can use to bring enrichment back to its full potential. The YMCA will be releasing its full class schedule and cost before school is out for the summer to allow ample planning time for parents. However, for now what we can tell you is that YMCA will be sticking with a fall, winter and spring session, each 6 weeks long. To help ensure strong enrollment, at first, they will be offering 3 classes a session: 1 art based class, 1 physical activity based class and 1 STEM based class. We cannot report what the cost will be for each class yet. However, the YMCA is working with its vendors to keep cost down to around the average number parents listed on the survey that they would be willing to pay. It is just important to keep in mind when it comes to cost that vendors have a fee and then on top of it, a program of this magnitude requires on site supervision.

The last thing we want to let families know, is that if you have a business and want to partner with the YMCA for an enrichment class, please reach out! In addition, if you are a parent with a skill/hobby that you can bring to Stillwater and want to volunteer (or even become a Y employee to get paid for your time) please reach out to us and we can get you in contact with the YMCA. There were a few comments on the survey in regards to parents being able to volunteer their time to share their skill when enrichment was under the PTSA, they can still do that!!

If you have any questions, please let us know. Thank you so much for your feedback and please look for full details regarding the enrichment classes, dates and prices before the end of the school year.

Thank You,

Jen and Lindsey
Stillwater PTSA Co-Presidents
president [at] stillwaterptsa [dot] org