School board chooses TSL for middle school aftercare

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By Kate Bunster
Gazette Reporter
NISKAYUNA — On Sept. 24, the Niskayuna Board of Education approved TSL Adventures to provide before- and after-school childcare at Iroquois and Van Antwerp middle schools.
The effort to create middle school child care began last year after a parent survey revealed interest in one. The Schenectady Jewish Community Center has been the sole provider of aftercare in the Niskayuna elementary schools for upward of 20 years. Because of this, the school board’s decision to approve TSL has resulted in mixed feelings throughout the Niskayuna community.
The three bidders for the middle school duties were the JCC, TSL Adventures and the YMCA. The bids were reviewed by a committee that included Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra; school board members Rosemarie Perez Jaquith and David Apkarian; and Iroquois Principal Vicki Wyld and Van Antwerp Principal Luke Rakoczy. Taken into consideration was cost, quality of proposal, programming and parent opinion expressed in survey answers.
According to Tangorra, the selection process was “very objective” and he is determined to keep a strong relationship with JCC, as it will continue to provide care service for all Niskayuna elementary schools.
The school board voted unanimously in favor of TSL, but members were given an opportunity to voice their opinion on the decision before the vote.
“The JCC has long partnered with Niskayuna schools. My kids went to these programs. I was hoping to continue the relationship with them,” said Howard Schlossberg, a board member whose wife sits on the JCC board of directors. He did not, however, vote against approval of TSL.
Schlossberg said the reaction from the community has been a mixed bag so far: “I have gotten some emails saying that it’s great and others saying that they wish we stayed with the JCC.”
Tangorra said: “I am confident that either organization could provide great service. It just came down to how it worked out.”