The mission of the Watauga County Schools Extended Learning Centers is to promote the academic mission of Watauga County Schools while providing the working parents of our community a sanctuary of safety as well as intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being for their children. It is the staff’s intent to inspire each child to his or her highest potential while providing a fun and positive atmosphere.
Extended Learning Center Program Summary
The Extended Learning Center (ELC) after school program offers supervised educational, recreational, and enrichment activities 2:30 – 6:00p.m. for Watauga County Schools students in grades K-5 at each elementary school. We open at 12:00 on scheduled early release days, but do not operate on holidays, teacher work days, or when schools are closed or dismissed early due to inclement weather. A holiday/work day/snow day program is available at Hardin Park for most of these situations. The after school centers in each of the K-8 elementary schools and the Holiday/Snow Day program at Hardin Park are licensed as a school-age child care programs by the NC Division of Child Development. They each have achieved a five-star rating, the highest rated license availble, and are independently monitored by state consultants.
Program Personnel and Management
An after school Program Coordinator is in charge of daily operations on-site, including supervision of staff, activity planning, ordering and organizing materials and supplies, and compliance with licensing regulations and program polices. Most personnel are ASU students majoring in education or a related field. All personnel receive criminal background checks and each center has personnel trained in CPR and First Aid. Child/staff ratios are typically in the range of 11-18:1. Overall program management is provided by Pam Shirley (264-7190).
How do I enroll my child?
Please note that registration is required before a child can attend the program. Because licensing regulations require certain policies be explained directly to parents, even when the policies are also provided in writing,registration must be completed in person with the Program Coordinator. However, you can speed up registration by filling out the online registration form provided under your child's school in the left hand column. Remember to have child's student number, phone numbers, doctor and insurance information before you get started. You can contact the Program Coordinator from the "Staff Directory" information in the left hand column. After your online registration is submitted, parents must attend a policy class. To make these classes as expeditious as possible please be prepared to spend between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Please be at the registration class at the stated time, parents who are late may be scheduled for another class. During the policy class you will be given a parent handbook, asked to pay fees for the first month in advance and sign a statement of understanding.
After the initial registration at the beginning of the school year, registration is by appointment only.
Help with Fees
Subsidies are available to eligible parents through the Department of Social Services, Caldwell Community College (students only), and clients of WAMY Community Action. A limited number of ELC Reduced Rate scholarships are available to low income parents who do not qualify for child care subsidies available from the Department of Social Services. Parents must apply and be approved for the scholarship. Applications are available on this page in the same area as the registration link for your school.
Is there an option for middle school students?
Students in grades 6-8 can obtain after school services with our programs or through Western Youth Network (WYN) 264-5174. See WYN’s website at www.westernyouthnetwork.org for details on their after school program. A limited number of middle school students can participate as volunteers in the Watauga County Schools after school program for reduced fees; contact your school’s Program Coordinator for details.