KNIGHTDALE — The town has begun registering students for its own before-school program, set to begin Jan. 23, but as of last week, parents were choosing enrollment in track-out camps over the before-school program.
Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek said that as of last Thursday, there were no students signed up for the town’s before-school program, but she said she did see an increase in registrations for the town’s track-out camps.
Cheek said the track-out camp will open at the same time as the before school program, at 6:45 a.m., which is why she thinks parents have been jumping at the opportunity to enroll in the track-out camp.
Before the town introduced the before-school program, track-out camps started at 7 a.m. and most parents had to rely on third parties for before-school care.
“We’ve had some track-out parents who are excited about that,” she said.
Knightdale, Forestville Road and Lockhart elementary schools all have before-school programs through Wake County Public Schools. All of those programs operate if there is sufficient registration.
Hodge Road Elementary does not have a before-school program.
The town's program will cater to students on the single-track year-round school schedule, the same schedule Lockhart Elementary follows.
Cheek said the town created its program to follow that schedule because they observed the most need for families who had students in single-track, year-round schools.
Lockhart offers its own before-school program but it is often at capacity.
Cheek said her department often gets calls about a before-school program, since the town has an after-school program and offers track-out camps.
In addition to benefitting parents, the before-school program helps the town get a little more use out of some of their resources.
Wake County provides transportation for afterschool programs, so Knightdale’s activity bus is only really used during track-out camps. With the before-school program, the town will be able to use the bus to bring students to school.
Part-time employees in the Parks and Recreation Department will also get some more time on the books.
Those employees help during track-out camps and with afterschool programs, but while single-track schools are in session, there’s less for them to do.
The department calculated it would take only 10 students to have a full return on the cost of the program. The town’s investment would come to about $6,000 per year. Cheek said the department will likely cap the program at about 20 students to begin and will consider allowing more if the need arises.
After the first session begins Jan. 23, parents will not be able to register students for the town’s before-school program, Cheek said. For future sessions, she said it should be possible.
Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews