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School board approves new after school care provider
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The Dawson County School Board approved a new vendor for after school care at all four Dawson elementary schools during Monday's special called meeting. The new provider for the school system will be the Georgia Mountains YMCA.

Previous after-school provider, White Oak Academy, notified the school system on May 8 that they would no longer be able to provide the service that operates at each elementary school from 2:30 to 6 p.m. every school day.

"White Oak, who is our current provider, gave us an indication that they do not need to offer that service next year," Gibbs said during the meeting. "Mr. Brown sent that request for proposals for all of the other providers in Dawson County. We received zero responses from that."

Brown sent out the request on May 15, but after the lack of response within the county, the board turned to the Georgia Mountain YMCA.

"Approximately four years ago we were contacted by the Georgia Mountain YMCA expressing an interest in serving as our after school program provider and actually, they finished second in the bidding process," said Rick Brown, chief operations officer for Dawson County Schools.

Gibbs said that Dawson County schools reached out to the Hall County organization because of the services they already provide to 17 schools within Hall County.

"They have given us a proposal that not only meets our needs, but I think exceeds what we have offered in the past to our residents including some financial assistance based on socio-economic issues that they may have," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said that Hall County YMCA will reach out locally to staff the program in each of the Dawson elementary schools.

"We were going to wait until July to bring this but realistically for them to be prepared to serve our students, we needed to bring it now. We want to get there information on our web site and sent out to all of our parents and give our parents an adequate amount of time to compete the paperwork," Gibbs said about approving the change during the special called meeting.

According to Brown, the rates for after school care will remain the same at $55 a week with the new provider.

"We hope to have any pertinent information regarding the after school program added to our System web page by the end of this month, and each individual school's webpage shortly after," Brown said.

"We are very pleased with our choice for the program. Georgia Mountain YMCA is serving 17 Hall County elementary schools, as well as, serving students from other counties and come highly recommended from the Hall County District office," he said.