REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education is looking into the merits of creating a supervised afterschool program for high school students following concerns aired by a parent.
Prospect resident Trish Spofford, who is the mother of a student-athlete at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, asked the school board last week to implement a supervised study hall after school to give students involved in sports something to do between the time school lets out and their games or practices start.
“There’s no where for them to go,” Spofford told the board. “They can’t go to the media center. They can’t go anywhere. They just roam the school.”
Spofford said sometimes practices or games don’t start until 3:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m., more than an hour after the school day ends at 2:05 p.m. Spofford told the board she lives on the farthest side of Prospect away from Woodland and must decide whether it’s worth bringing her son home after school only to turn around a short time later to bring him back for a game or practice.
Currently, Spofford said, students have no access to a supervised location after school to do work. She said she’s looking to the board to find a solution and suggested the media center at the school could be opened from 2 to 4 p.m. for students. She added the media center would also give students access to computers.
While Spofford was speaking as the parent of a student-athlete, she said such a program would be a benefit to any student at Woodland.
“You have kids with no where to go,” she said.
Superintendent of Schools Tim James told Spofford that he’d start working on the matter. In a subsequent interview, James said he will reach out through the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents for information on how other superintendents in the state deal with similar situations and whether they do anything at all. James said he’s also going to get a legal opinion from the board’s counsel on what the board’s liability and responsibility is in this case.
If the board ultimately decided to create the supervised study hall, James said, whoever watched over the study hall would have to be paid a stipend that would be negotiated with the teacher’s union.
Woodland Principal Arnold Frank could not be reached for comment as of this post.