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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why was Right At School selected?

A: It is the intent of Edmonds School District to provide equitable access to on-site before and after school care throughout our district. Currently, we have nine out of twenty-two elementary and K-8 schools that have been unable to offer before and/or after school care to families. Partnering with Right at School will enable us to offer on-site before and after school care districtwide. For the first time, all twenty-two elementary and K-8 campuses will have before and after school care in the 2019-2020 school year, as well as care during holiday breaks and on professional days when students do not have school.

Right at School, as part of our agreement, is also able to align their enrichment activities and academic supports with Edmonds School District. They provide extensive training to their staff, who will come from our community, and have offered to pay their staff to attend the professional development the District offers teachers throughout the year. Additionally, they have agreed to integrate our curricula and school-based behavior expectations into their programs so that children have a seamless transition from childcare to the classroom. Right at School offers flexible pricing options with no waitlists. They will offer scholarships and reduced rates for families who need financial support.

Q: Why didn’t Edmonds School District ask for community involvement in the decision-making process?

A:  We sincerely apologize for not reaching out to our families to hear concerns and suggestions before making this decision. We performed an audit of current before and after school care and asked our elementary school principals for their input. The need for quality programs districtwide was frequently mentioned, including homework assistance and extracurricular activities. To ensure quality districtwide programming for our students and compliance with state law, the District proposed partnering with Right At School. The Board of Directors provided feedback during a board study session, then approved the agreement with Right at School on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the regularly scheduled public meeting. We should have reached out to our district families early in the process and will strive to work more closely with the community as we move forward.

Q: Why can’t the schools who already have before and after care keep their existing programs?

A:  Five of our schools currently partner with the Boys and Girls Club and three schools partner with the YMCA. Two schools have created their own school-sponsored, fee-based before and after school care. Three schools offer before and after school care through the City of Mountlake Terrace’s Kids Krew.

The YMCA and Boys and Girls Club do not have the capacity in the near future to offer before and after school care in all of our schools and they cannot guarantee there will be no wait lists. We have communicated with the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA that we are interested in continuing to support their programs in any way possible as they transport students to and from their community sites. There are great programs in place at some of our schools, and we realize the District’s decision makes it seem like we are taking away choices for parents when our aim was to provide more choices. Families always have the option to continue to attend Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, or any other before/after school program they choose; they will simply no longer be on-site programs in our schools.

During our audit of before and after school offerings, we learned more about the school-sponsored programs at Brier and Hilltop elementary schools. Simply put, school districts should not directly provide before and after school care due to potential legal issues including liability, licensing, and future audits. The school district does not have the resources to provide common professional training for implementing state guidelines, best practices, and safety to staff who are managing these programs. We also should not be generating revenue from tuition. We are a publicly funded organization and do not have the capacity to operate for-profit programs. We need to partner with licensed outside agencies who specialize in this type of work. Regardless of our decision to partner with Right at School, we would have been forced to shut down the Beyond the Bells program at Brier and the Window Room program at Hilltop for the upcoming school year.

We currently have an interlocal agreement with the City of Mountlake Terrace to share resources - they use our space and, in return, we have access for our high school students to their pool for students in our athletic clubs. The City of Mountlake Terrace’s state-licensed Kids Krew program will continue to serve Terrace Park, Madrona, and Mountlake Terrace Elementary.

Q: Will Edmonds School District make a profit from partnering with Right at School?

A: No. We currently ask our before and after school providers to pay a rental fee to use our space. This fee covers the cost of cleanup and utilities. We made an agreement to not charge Right at School rent; instead, they are providing us a percentage of their revenue to cover the cost of maintenance and utilities. Any funding that is left over, if any, will be returned to families via scholarships. Edmonds School District will not be making any profit from Right at School.

Q:  How do we learn more about the Right At School program?

A:  Learn more about Right At School at their website: https://rightatschool.com/

Q:  How much will the program cost?

A:  Families will be able to choose if they want to participate in the before school program, after school program, or both; as well as other options. There are also discounts based on income and number of siblings. Click here to see pricing options.

Q:  What hours will Right at School programs operate?

A:  Before school care will begin at 6:30 a.m. and after school care will end at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. depending on location and community need.

Q: Does Right At School honor state assistance payments for qualifying families?

A: Yes, Right At School honors state assistance payments for qualifying families. 

Q:  How do I register my child for Right At School?

A:  More information and pre-registration is available on the Right At School website: https://rightatschool.com/program-finder/

Q:  What does a typical day in the Right at School program look like?

A:  Click this link to learn more about a typical schedule: https://rightatschool.com/pdfs/Day_in_the_Life_at_RAS.pdf

Q:  Will there be school bus transportation provided to the Right At School program?

A:  No. The before and after school program is a supplemental service to families who choose to use it. The district will not provide school bus transportation.

Q:  Does Right At School offer programs on supplemental days, professional days, early release, etc.?

A:  Yes, Right At School will offer programs on days when staff report to school but students do not.

Q:  Does Right At School offer programs on winter and spring breaks?

A:  Yes, Right At School will offer programs on winter and spring breaks.

Q: Will Right At School offer programs for my child with special needs?

A: Yes, Right At School accepts children in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all other relevant federal, state and local laws.

Q: Is there a waitlist for Right At School?

A: Right At School does not have a maximum attendance at each site. They will staff according to student enrollment.

Q: Can I speak to someone directly?

A: Families can speak directly to Right At School personnel anytime by calling 855-AT-SCHOOL (855-287-2466) from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm (Central Standard Time). During program hours, parents will be able to call their child’s Right At School Site Manager on a dedicated phone that each Site Manager carries.

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