SPS Day Camp in high demand for working parents

SPOKANE, Wash. — Hundreds of families signed up for the Spokane Public Schools (SPS) Day Camp within the first week of registration.

The camp is designed to help parents whose work schedules won’t allow them to be home with their children as they learn remotely. The fee-based program will provide child care for SPS students grades K-6, offering supervision and support while those students learn remotely.

A spokesperson for SPS said Friday that they have already received about 700 registrants. Sign-up for the program opened August 14.

There are 34 sites spread out at elementary schools in Spokane. Each is open to a maximum of 20 children, leaving room for 680 kids, according to SPS Associate Superintendent Dr. Mark Anderson.

Anderson said he wasn’t surprised to see so many families register.

Dr. Anderson explained that Day Camp is not like regular school, though it will be held inside one. Students will learn online while staff supervise them. Anderson is hopeful about keeping kids safe with rigorous safety standards.

“We follow all the protocols. Students wear masks, lots of handwashing. We take temperatures when they come in. We go through a checklist of if they have any signs of COVID,” Anderson said.

Anderson seemed confident that SPS Day Camp is a safe alternative for working parents. He said it is modeled, in some ways, after the child care they’ve been offering to first responders since March. He said they’ve managed to avoid COVID-19 spreading at those Express Care sites and he hopes to see the same results with Day Camp.

Anderson also addressed questions about why this program costs parents. He said that money pays for staffing.

While the number of registrants has already exceeded the number of spots for SPS Day Camp, Anderson said people can still apply. Some sites are already full though, so parents may be asked to pick another location.

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