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Sycamore’s Out of School Care Program faces challenges due to concerns over safety guidelines

How coronavirus has affected the reopening of the sycamore school district's OSCAR Program
Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 8:56 PM CDT
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SYCAMORE, Ill. (WIFR) - Sycamore families face challenges as they try to meet the educational needs of their children, make sure they’re safe, and balance work responsibilities. The cut to the districts Out of School Care Program, also known as OSCAR, will affect the entire community.

When the Sycamore School District released its fall plans, OSCAR didn't make the cut. And that's left its director with a big hole in her heart because she won't be able to spend time with the students.

"It is hard to close a door, but I know that we'll be able to open that door at some point," says OSCAR Director Courtney Walz.

Walz says she will wait and hope to get the green light to reopen the program.

"My goal is to get my program back where we were, providing safe quality care to families in Sycamore," says Walz.

She says she never wants the students to feel lost in their social life, in their school, or in their community.

"I live and breathe Sycamore, which sounds silly but I do, I love every student," says Walz.

Sycamore School’s Superintendent, Steve Wilder, shares what the district’s end goal is for its students.

"The end goal is when we can open the doors, let everybody in, not be so concerned about the safety protocols, and really just kinda breathe easy and see everyone back in school again," says Wilder.

Wilder says everyone knows the kids are anxious to get back to school, but it's the adults' job to make sure it's done safely.

"I hope that in not only my career but my lifetime, we don't have to deal with anything like this again. But, like other schools in the area and across the state we're committed to doing it right as best as we can," says Wilder.

"We as a community do a great job to be there for each other, so I would just encourage people to continue that community feel. We will get through it, we will. And we'll become a stronger community because of that," says Walz.

And Walz says OSCAR will be there, too.

"When you're part of Oscar, you never leave, that's something that stays with you forever," says Walz.

Superintendent Wilder says the district couldn't offer OSCAR this year because of space limitations and difficulty achieving the government's safety guidelines. But the district is working toward the goal of reopening.

Other area facilities are offering help for parents needing child care for the school year. The district recommends contacting the Kishwaukee Family YMCA or the Sycamore Park District.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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