A quick rundown on whats happening within Arc
By Enrique Ormeno (Staff Writer) -3/6/17
The Arc program at Kennedy has recently seen a reduction within the staff and in the extracurricular activities offered on campus. Various coaches and a cooking teacher were dismissed. The issue the program is facing is finding a method that works, a method that allows them to have enough money throughout the year to fund all the activities they have planned.
Arc Coordinator David Montoya stated, “The recent layoff doesn’t have a direct correlation with how much or how little our grant is. The amount of money we receive from our Federal Grant is a fair amount.” The grant is designated to fund activities happening during July 1st up until June 30th of the following year.
Some students felt overwhelmed with the situation such as senior Destenee Earl-Mathews. She came to Kennedy just last spring and felt an instant connection with the dance program. When she heard of what was happening she said that she felt very hurt because the dance team allowed her to express herself in a multitude of different ways. She expressed, “I understood we had very few members, but it seemed unfair.”
The main reason why after school activities have ended is because there was either an excessive or insufficient amount of people going to these activities after school. Arc employee Enrique Contreras added, “Kennedy’s grant forces Arc to have a minimum of one teacher for every 20 students. If there’s an activity that breaks this rule by having more students then allowed, it becomes a hazard, and if you have any less than 20 students per adult, it becomes a question if the class is actually worth maintaining.”
Montoya left it clear that education will come first and that the tutoring offered after school will remain a priority when it comes to budgeting Arc’s programs. Those who desire to try and learn something new should not be disappointed because Montoya believes that Arc will receive additional money with the tremendous amount of support they’re receiving. Future projects include building a skater workshop and bringing back the programs that were terminated with any extra little money that is gifted to Arc. Although these are speculations, the likelihood of this happening is very probable.Their goal every year is to obtain 25,000 student signatures, and it’s looking like they will surpass this number with ease.
It may have felt like there was something wrong with the program, but that was certainly not the case.The main reason behind why they lost various coaches and their cooking teacher all at once was because Montoya and his group wanted to wait until the end of the semester to implement these new changes.
An anonymous source explained, “I feel like Montoya’s compassion towards students here at Kennedy who wanted to try something new drove him to the issue he faces now.”
Montoya, having less than a year working as the director of Arc, thinks it has been a good learning experience. He has learned to save towards the start of the year to assure they have enough money for the activities they planned towards the end.