During an April 14 meeting of the PSD Board of Education, directors voted to approve a district contract with AlphaBEST to provide before- and after-school childcare programming in district schools.
Key highlights of the contract include that AlphaBEST will provide:
- About a 20-25% reduction in service rates for families, compared with the rates of PSD’s former contracted before- and after-school care provider,
- Discounts for families who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch as well as members of the military, and
- A 50% discount on rates for the children of PSD staff who utilize the services.
AlphaBEST will also allocate 13 percent of the business’ revenues to support additional discounts and scholarships for PSD families and staff.
Fostering an environment in which district leadership believe students will grow before and after the bell rings each day, AlphaBEST will also tailor each school’s program to align with the school’s specific educational goals for the year.
“We believe our new agreement with AlphaBEST will provide benefits to students, families and staff,” PSD Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser said. “We know any change can be difficult, and possibly more so when it occurs during these tumultuous times. That said, we believe deeply this is in the best interest of our communities and the taxpayers, for whom we are steadfast stewards of their investments.”
AlphaBEST is under the umbrella of Kaplan Early Learning, not Kaplan Inc., contrary to common misconception. Its leaders are thrilled for this opportunity and committed to providing high-quality and equitable services to families and children or varying backgrounds and needs.
“From the moment we met the PSD committee at the RFP interview, we knew that there would be a natural and collaborative relationship, if we were selected,” said Judy Nee, AlphaBEST’s CEO. “We share a deep commitment to inclusion of students of all needs, a desire to integrate into the schools and community, and a belief in engaging, enriching experiences outside of the school day.”
District policy IHCFA states that PSD shall prepare and advertise an RFP for school-based before- and after-school care services no less frequently than once every five years. In this case, the RFP was determined to be necessary and long overdue. PSD procurement processes are designed to ensure the district is consistently going out to the marketplace to find the best services available for the best value.
A PSD evaluation committee recommended that the district enter negotiations with AlphaBEST from among five finalists that participated in PSD’s competitive Request for Proposal process. Vendors submitted proposals and participated in presentations and interviews as part of the RFP, posted publicly in December 2019.
The district could not be more thankful for the work of long-time, previous childcare provider Before and After School Enrichment Camp, or BASE Camp. BASE Camp had provided services in PSD since about 1988.
Nee said that AlphaBEST is interested in hiring as many of the current program staff who want to join the team.
“It’s important that families get to see the staff they know and love, and it’s the right thing to do to keep dedicated individuals employed in the jobs they care so much about.”
PSD schools and facilities are closed at least through the end of the 2019-20 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it is unknown at this time when AlphaBEST will be able to move into district facilities and open for care.
The district will continue to closely collaborate with health officials to respond to the outbreak and determine next steps, which would include determining a time to re-open buildings when health officials recommend it appears safe to do so.
PSD will collaborate with AlphaBEST to share additional information about before- and after-care services as soon as more information is available. Read more in the April 14 Board of Education packet.