Changes are coming to the Fort Discovery program.

Changes are coming to the Fort Discovery program.

Beginning this summer, the Fort Osage School District’s before- and after-school program will close at the conclusion of the summer school session. It will reopen at the start of the 2010-11 school year in August. If the state of Missouri decides to cut summer school funding, forcing the school district to cancel the summer program, Fort Discovery will not be offered after the last day of school, which is June 2.

In addition, Fort Discovery will be closed during the winter break, Dec. 22 to Jan. 3.

“This was never a money-making program for the district. Our costs were not covered by what we charged parents to operate the program,” said Stephanie Smith, public relations director for the Fort Osage School District. “This was the best option for the district to continue offering the before and after school program during the regular school year without passing any increases onto the families.”

The Fort Discovery program first opened in 1984 at Elm Grove elementary. Now, five sites are operated at each of the district’s elementary schools. The goal is to offer parents a safe childcare option within the school environment.

Activities are designed to support the social and physical needs of the children and include homework time, tutoring, service learning projects, sports, creative arts and special interest activities.