SARATOGA SPRINGS — With less than a month to solidify their fall school year plans, educators and local parents alike are scrambling for options. Last minute questions such as student safety, academic progress, work and bus schedules, family life and childcare are leaving parents with unanswered questions that need to be quickly addressed.
The private sector is stepping up with creative solutions to help parents navigate the evolving situation. Businesses with large indoor spaces are a natural fit, but creative ideas come in all shapes and sizes. We found a few local businesses who have stepped forward with potential options.
The Saratoga Regional YMCA (SRYMCA) reworked their B.A.S.E. Program (Before and After School Enrichment Program for Kindergarten-Fifth Grade) B.A.S.E is a morning and afternoon program for children to learn, grow and thrive. This NYS licensed program engages students in fun, social play. Children are empowered through indoor/outdoor activities, creative arts, homework help, large and small group games. This program provides working parents with a sense of comfort and security.
SRYMCA is working with the following five local school districts: Ballston Spa, Cambridge, Corinth, Greenwich and Saratoga.
The Saratoga Ninja Lab will be running ‘Ninja Hangouts.’ Ninja Hangouts are two-hour structured Ninja sessions offered throughout the days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. “We wanted to do something to help parents, and get the kids moving” said General Manager Dan Kirchner. According to Kirchner, the most frequent request they hear from parents is “Please tire them out, they are bouncing off the walls.”
The Ninja Hangouts will include 45 minutes of free play, 45 minutes of structured training and 30 minutes of study hall to give kids quiet time in which they can read, do schoolwork, or enjoy a snack. They can also bring their laptop for non-gaming. “Parents can also choose 2 sessions back-to-back, allowing them 4 ½ hours to get to work, run errands, or just have some free time” Kirchner added. More information can be found online at saratoganinjalab.com.
The Waldorf school is heading to the great outdoors where all classes will be held on their one-of-a-kind Forest campus, located in Spa State Park. For more information on the unique Waldorf experience, see story: "Waldorf School Early Childhood Programs: Growing Up Strong"