Board awards contract for program

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REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education turned to a familiar Beacon Falls company to run a before and afterschool program at the new Prospect Elementary School.

The school board, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, awarded the contract to the Beacon Falls-based United Day School at its Jan. 14 meeting. The contract is for three years, and the United Day School will pay the district a $14,480 fee annually to run the program at the new school.

There currently are no formal programs to provide child care before and after school in place at Algonquin and Community schools in Prospect. Students at Algonquin and Community schools will attend the new school when it opens this fall.

The United Day School has run a program at Laurel Ledge Elementary School in Beacon Falls since 2002. The business is owned by former school board member Wendy Oliveira, who resigned from the board in November.

Three bids were submitted for the job. Along with the United Day School, the Greater Waterbury YMCA out of Waterbury and Springboard Education in America, Inc of Lexington, Mass. submitted proposals.

The decision last week came down to the United Day School and the Greater Waterbury YMCA. Both bid an annual fee of $14,480 to the district. The board awarded the contract to the United Day School by a 6-2 vote.

Board member Sheryl Feducia, who represents Beacon Falls, said the United Day School is a local business that’s done a great job for many years at Laurel Ledge.

“They go above and beyond for that school,” she said.

Beacon Falls resident Mary Pruzinsky addressed the board during public comment regarding the United Day School.

Pruzinsky said her daughter went through the program at Laurel Ledge and her son does so currently. She said the United Day School has been good to her children and is responsible and dependable.

“They’re kind of like a family to us,” Pruzinsky said.

Board members Robert Hiscox and Nazih Noujaim, who both represent Prospect, favored the Greater Waterbury YMCA.

Hiscox said the United Day School provides a wonderful program, but that he was speaking on behalf of parents from Prospect. He said the Greater Waterbury YMCA is currently a vendor with the town of Prospect and has a track record with parents in Prospect.

Hiscox said that since the bid amounts were equal, he favored the Greater Waterbury YMCA because its program was a little cheaper for parents.

According to documents given to the board, United Day School will charge $127.50 a week for a child to attend both the before and afterschool program. The Greater Waterbury YMCA would have charged $122 a week for the same service.

Noujaim added the Greater Waterbury YMCA is a nonprofit versus the for-profit United Day School.

Hiscox and Noujaim also liked that the Greater Waterbury YMCA would leave the school if there is an early or emergency dismissal, while United Day School wants to follow the same practice currently where it has been allowed to stay until closing and all children can be picked up.