Northfield Community Schools Welcome Students, Families
September 27, 2022
Community school programming is expanding this fall to serve students and families in all three public elementary schools in the Northfield district.
Bridgewater and Spring Creek are joining Greenvale Park in offering free out-of-school-time programming for their K-5 students Monday through Thursday, immediately after school until 4:45 p.m., starting Oct. 3. Students can receive homework help and can participate in a variety of other programs, like art club, STEM club, and LEGO builders.
Erin Bailey, director of community education for Northfield Public Schools, said the district is excited about the program expansion.
“Full-service community schools lead to better learning environments for all students, stronger families, and a healthier community,” she said. “Each of the Northfield Community School sites can and should look a little different, as they are responsive to the needs, opportunities, and resources at the individual schools.”
Programming will also be offered for all students and their families on weeknights from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Evening events and classes – things like Zumba, Spanish and English language lessons, and open gym time – will be scheduled at Spring Creek on Mondays, Greenvale Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Bridgewater on Wednesdays.
Although parents are required to sign up their children in grades K-5 for the after-school programming, the evening programs don’t require registration.
“Students and families can attend evening Community School programming at any site that works for them – Bridgewater, Greenvale Park or Spring Creek,” Bailey said.
Northfield Middle School students can attend free after-school programming Monday-Thursday through the Middle School Youth Center, and they are invited to attend evening opportunities at the Community School locations.
Jenny Jones, site coordinator at Bridgewater, said the community school is kicking off its first evening night of programming on Oct. 5 with a visit from “Mike the Reptile Guy.” Other planned events include cookie decorating with Sweet Tooth Treats, and regular visits from staff at the River Bend Nature Center.
The Community School at Bridgewater will feature five clubs a day, including a Care Club, where students will play board games with adults at FiftyNorth.
“All the clubs are fun, and the students will be able to learn at the same time, and use different skill sets they might not use at school,” Jones said.
Megan Zwolenski, site coordinator at Spring Creek, said the most common questions she’s heard from parents are, “Who can come?” and “What’s the catch?” She tells them there is no catch – the programming is free, and all students in the school are welcome to join.
Spring Creek currently has a waiting list for the after-school programming, but she said students can still sign up. The first session of Community School runs through Dec. 22, and clubs will change throughout the school year, based on student interests.
Community School is not new for Greenvale Park – the program launched there in 2014, and hit an all-time high of participation before COVID – but site coordinator Brisa Zubia said parents, students, and volunteers are excited to re-engage this year.
“This summer, into this fall, we’ve seen an increased interest, as families are getting ready to get back into the groove of normalcy, whatever that may be,” she said. “We’re feeling that energy and hoping it stays strong.”
The Northfield Community Schools are still hiring staff at each site; to apply online, click this link.
If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up through www.acceleratenorthfield.org.
For more information, contact the site coordinators:
- Jenny Jones at Bridgewater, email@example.com
- Brisa Zubia at Greenvale Park, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Megan Zwolenski at Spring Creek: email@example.com
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