By the 2014-15 school year, all NISD elementary schools will use the award-winning, curriculum-based Learning Tree After School Program.
Offered since the late 1990s, Northside’s Learning Tree is currently available in six middle schools and 49 elementary schools as either a grant-funded or tuition-based program. The program will expand to the remaining 24 elementary campuses within two years.
“We feel strongly that our after school programs should tie into what we are teaching in the daily curriculum,” said Lydia Martinez, Director of Adult and Community Education. “The Learning Tree program offers enrichment activities that reinforce academic subjects taught during the school day in a safe environment.”
“The structure and variety offered makes the program a unique experience. It is an extension of the school day, providing a safe and structured environment that promotes academic enrichment and social success,” said Don Schmidt, Assistant Superintendent for Student, Family and Community Services.
All Learning Tree staff members are Northside employees and are trained by the District using an approved curriculum. It is run by the Adult and Community Education Department, known for its long history of providing quality programming for children. Anyone interested in working for the Learning Tree program can apply online or call (210) 397-8102 for information.
Although Learning Tree can accommodate up to 160 students at certain sites, there is an average teacher to student ratio of 1 to 18. The staff includes after school program specialists, site leaders, and youth leaders, many of whom are college students studying to become teachers.
Some Learning Tree programs are grant-based, funded at no or low cost to families, and other sites are tuition-based, with families responsible for the entire cost of monthly tuition.
Learning Tree is open each school day. The elementary programs begin at 2:45 p.m. and the middle school programs begin at 3:45 p.m. Closing times vary by site, and some offer bus transportation home. Attendance is taken each day and parents must sign out their children at pickup time.
Visit any Northside Learning Tree site and you'll see students that are active, engaged, learning, and above all, having fun. For more information about the Learning Tree and for a complete list of participating schools, call (210) 397-8102 or visit the Learning Tree website.