Petition to keep schools’ extended day run by Southborough Extended Day (Updated)

by Beth Melo on June 18, 2021

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Volunteer members of the parent-run Board of Directors for the Southborough Extended Day Program are asking the community for support. After 35 years of running the after and before school programs for Southborough schools, they’re being replaced.

According to emails from board members, the Northborough-Southborough Public Schools issued an RFP for the Extended Day program. The bid was awarded to Kidsborough. 

I just learned the news, and will be asking the school administration for their side of the story. But here is SEDP’s side of the story from the public petition posted last night:

PLEASE SIGN IN SUPPORT OF SEDP REMAINING OUR EXTENDED DAY SERVICE PROVIDER

For 35 years the SEDP program — founded and managed by local parents — has served our community. But it is more than a “program”, the staff have been a part of our lives, some as close as family.

For reasons that are not clear, the district has chosen a corporate entity — Kidsborough– to replace SEDP. [petition edited 6/19 to further investigate Kidsborough’s leaving the town in 2015]*

We believe this choice is not in the best interest of our children, our schools or our community. Please sign here if you support SEDP’s bid to stay our provider for extended day care.

The action to do a petition was not taken lightly. Many parents, kids, and staff of our schools both past and present already sent letters voicing support and were ignored by the district.

As of this morning, close to 600 people already signed the online petition. An update by Katherine Rose (who posted the petition) asks parents to also have their kids sign.

As the petition notes, Kidsborough did formerly operate in Southborough. That program was run out of the old post office building at the corner of School Street and Main St, and not directly tied to the school. (Though, it was an official morning and afternoon bus stop.)

In the summer of 2015 Southborough parents were informed the program wouldn’t be coming back in the fall. Although, I didn’t hear back from them directly, I was told by a parent at that time that management blamed an issue with their lease.

I have to run, but plan to follow up on this next week.

Updated (6/21/21 8:13 am): I learned that on Friday, the petition was edited to replace the statement “This is the same Kidsborough who abruptly closed a few years ago with little warning to families and no help with alternatives, leaving them scrambling for child care.” with the note “[petition edited 6/19 to further investigate Kidsborough’s leaving the town in 2015]”

Katherine Rose informed me that while they had heard the initial characterization from some parents, they have since heard from others who viewed it as a mischaracterization.

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