After school programs at both Coarsegold and Rivergold Elementary schools have been discontinued for this school year.
A mass voice mail message from Bob Rose, principal at Coarsegold Elementary, was sent to 270 school families Monday, announcing that the after school program will not be offered this year. A similar message was sent in late July from Rivergold to 400 plus families.
Yosemite Union School District Superintendent James Sargent said the loss of the programs was due to the district's budget.
"It's unfortunate, but the discontinuation of the after school programs is a result of current budget restraints," Sargent said.
According to Cindy Simons, principal at Rivergold, the Hawk Club, that existed for about 10 years and operated five days a week from 2:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m, offered study, play and craft time for the students.
"Participation in the after school program varied from a couple students a day to as many as 40," Simons said. "Many days we only had a few children and the the program was running in the red."
Similar to the Hawk Club, the Cougar Club at Coarsegold Elementary was provided five days a week from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rose said the program consisted of homework, recreation and art time time, and averaged about 15 students a day.
"A group of students did community service projects including some public gardening," Rose said.
Some parents voiced concern that the notice from Coarsegold was so close to the start of school, giving them little time to make other arrangements for their children's after school care.
Simons said she is referring parents to Sand Castle Preschool and Day Care in Yosemite Lakes Park, who take children up to 12 years old. She added that one of the after school buses stops at Sand Castle.
Diane Ortmann, owner of Sand Castle, said her day care operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and has limited space for additional school-age children.