With an impending change in the schedule, Nehalem Elementary School’s Swim and Safety Program at NCRD will remain as part of the standard school day, next academic year.
Following the implementation of an uninterrupted 90-minute literacy block that has caused the school district and NCRD to reevaluate the schedule for swim lessons Paul Erlebach, superintendent of Neah-Kah-Nie School District, said “after analyzing the many brainstorming options for swim lessons, Neah-Kah-Nie School District staff, NCRD staff, along with parent input, clearly decided the only viable option is to continue with swim lessons during the school day.” Erlebach also reiterated the mutual goal for the school district and NCRD is a weekly 30-minute swim lesson for all students.
The literacy block is set to combat District reading scores at grades three, four and five that do no meet school administration and Board expectations. “Literacy is vital. It’s demonstrated by our active libraries and fantastic community support for these programs,” Erlebach said after a question & answer session on April 5 regarding the future of the swim program where he saw parents that were passionate about both the swim program and literacy. “Any time we get parents involved, it creates a healthy environment and brings people together to problem solve and find creative solutions,” he said.
NCRD interim General Manager Barb McCann said that NCRD is flexible in clearing out times for the school to do their lessons. “It is our mission, NCRD’s mission to teach every child in our community how to swim,” she said “I’ve been here since the beginning and am aware of so many positive effects on the kids.” McCann noted aside from a curriculum focused 1/3 on water safety, the students build confidence and strong muscles, and also a sense of community service, through their involvement with the annual Pool-a-Thon. In a recent success report for the program, Sue Dindia-Gray, NCRD Aquatics Program Manager said “It is evident that the impressive success rate of the program is a direct result due to the consistency of weekly swim class,” which is between 34-36 classes per school year for six years.
Erlebach said no contract has been signed yet, but will once it is ready, “NCRD and Neah-Kah-Nie School District staff are currently collaborating to ensure the swim program’s legacy continues for the next generation of swimmers.”