After School Clubs FAQs

1. Who runs clubs at Riverside?
Clubs are led by Riverside teachers, external providers and parent volunteers. All the administration is done by parent volunteers. If you have ideas or would like to get involved in organizing After School Clubs at Riverside please email president@rspto.org  

2. How many weeks do clubs run for?
Most clubs run for 5 weeks. The PTO aims to run three sessions in an academic year: Fall, Winter and Spring. However, we depend on the hard work and commitment of parent volunteers to make this happen. So, if there are no parents stepping forward to run clubs then no clubs will happen.  

3. How much do clubs cost?
Clubs run by teachers and parent volunteers cost $50 for a 5-week session. Clubs run by external providers cost $75 for a 5-week session. Scholarships are available. Clubs are open to everyone. Please contact Valerie Ulrich (609-806-4260 or valerie_ulrich@princetonk12.org) if you are interested in finding out about financial assistance.  

4. If my child has special needs can I register for PTO run After School Clubs?
Yes!! All students are welcome to register for Clubs.  If your child has special needs requiring additional support to participate in a Club, please contact Valerie Ulrich (609-806-4260 or valerie_ulrich@princetonk12.org) so that the Riverside School can accommodate your child! 

5. How do I register for clubs?
There is an online application form which can be found on the website (www.rspto.org). Paper copies are available on request. Once you have registered for clubs your child's name will be entered into a lottery (see #7 below) and you will find out about a week later whether they have been allocated a spot.  

6. How do I pay for clubs?
You can pay online via Paypal on the clubs page of the PTO website. Alternatively, cash or checks (payable to Riverside PTO, with ‘Clubs’ in the memo line) can be dropped into the PTO box in the Front Office. Payment should be made only once you have been notified that your child has a Club slot. Payment is required to secure that slot. Scholarship funds are available and requests are handled in a confidential manner. Please submit your inquiry about financial assistance directly to Principal Valerie Ulrich. 

7.  How does the lottery system work?
The lottery system is a computerized process to create as equitable an experience as possible. Each child is randomly assigned a place in "line". Starting with the first child, we go down the line, assigning each child to his/her top-ranked club that still has available space. If there's no space, we place the child on the waitlist and try the next-ranked club. Once we reach the end of the line, we turn around and go backwards up the line, giving each child a chance to enroll in another club that still has open spots. We end when each child has either been enrolled or waitlisted in all the desired clubs. 

8. How long has this lottery system been in place?
Riverside has had a lottery system for clubs for a number of years, and the computerized system was implemented for the winter 2017 clubs. It was a much welcomed change to what was previously a manual and time consuming process. Other schools in the area operate a ‘first come first served’ approach. Riverside PTO has worked hard to develop the lottery system because we feel is a fairer approach.

9.  What is the role of parent volunteers?
A Lead Volunteer is required for each Club. The Lead Volunteer could be a parent, guardian, sitter, grandparent, or friend who will attend each Club meeting and be responsible for taking attendance, escorting children to and from the restroom, and helping with set-up, clean-up and pick-up. Club fees will be waived for the Lead Volunteer's child (up to two fee waivers per family). In the event that a Club is without a Lead Volunteer, the PTO will be required to cancel the Club. Additional volunteers are always welcome, for any number of sessions. Volunteer recruitment will begin once families have been notified of their Club slot/waitlist. 

10. Does my child need to bring a snack?
Each child may bring a nut-free snack which may be eaten between 3 and 3:15 pm in assigned locations. 

11. What time do clubs end and where do I pick up my child up?
Children are released from the gymnasium exit (the door to the left of the main school entrance when facing the main entrance) at 4.15pm.  

12. What if I’m late and cannot pick up my child in time?
Please make every effort to pick up your child on time (in order to alleviate club instructors and volunteers), however if the unexpected occurs, please call the Riverside office on 609-806-4260. You will receive the contact information for your club in your welcome email at the beginning of the club session. 

13. My child didn’t get into a club last term. Does that mean they will get in this term?
No - the computerized system does not take into account prior club participation/attendance. 

14. My child has never gotten into a club - how is that possible?
The underlying problem is that there are not enough spaces in the clubs, compared to demand. Some clubs have been oversubscribed by a factor of three. In such cases, some children will not be selected even after repeated attempts, regardless of the details of the lottery. 

15. How does the process work where multiple children in the same household are applying to the same clubs?
If desired, the children can be treated as a single individual for the purpose of the club assignment lottery: all the children will either be admitted or waitlisted as a group. This option is only possible if all the children have exactly the same club preferences and are all grade-eligible for the requested clubs. (In practice this option has been rarely exercised.) 

16. Why can’t the lottery process be changed?
The lottery process has evolved over time through parent feedback and ideas (for example, the computerized algorithm was a significant improvement introduced in the winter of 2017). Please feel free to share additional ideas or volunteer your time going forward - all ideas and participants are welcome! Please send an email to the Riverside PTO: president@rspto.org 

17. It seems like there aren’t enough clubs to accommodate all students that want to participate...is that true, and if so, why is that?
It is true that not everyone is guaranteed to get into a club. While it would be highly desirable to enable 100% acceptance, the reality of the situation is that clubs exist through volunteers (both subject matter experts and supporting volunteers). We all have busy lives and are grateful to anyone whose schedule permits volunteering each club term. The likelihood is that there will always be greater demand for clubs than available supply of volunteers to lead and support. 

18. This process is frustrating to me because I have a really hard time getting my child into after school clubs, but then I see that some of the clubs have what I consider to be low enrollment...why can’t we just put more students into the clubs?
A club’s enrollment is determined by the instructor. This person has the subject matter expertise to determine the appropriate club size that will deliver a valuable experience for your children. 





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President RSPTO,
Dec 17, 2017, 3:03 PM
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