Fort Dodge Community School District

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Dodger Academy is located at Butler Elementary, 945 South 18th Street, in Fort Dodge. 


Principal: Jessica Kruckenberg - 574.5882

Program Coordinators: Erin Brookshire - 574.5863

Hours: 3:05 - 6:00 p.m. on school days. The program does not operate on no school days or days school is cancelled or released early for any reason. Cancellations will be announced via District notification and on the Dodger Academy Facebook page.

Dodger Academy begins immediately after the close of the school day. Children report to the cafeteria at Butler Elementary where they check in and are provided a snack. After they clean up from snack, they play games and socialize with their peers until the students from the other schools arrive. Snack and social time typically lasts until about 3:55.

All students participate in Power Hour from 4:00 - 5:00.  During Power Hour, the focus is on reading, math and writing skills as well as Community Circles.  Each activity is 10-15 minutes long so students have time to practice but not become bored. Dodger Academy staff are provided with grade level educational materials that support the learning that takes place during the regular school day. For students who finish their work early, there are hands-on activities and games to play that also align to the school day curriculum. Accommodations are made for students who need more time to finish their work. 

Dodger Academy has been in place in the District for over 10 years. Based on outcome data, the program has been successful both in raising the academic bar for students and in supporting working families in our community. The enrichment activities for students give them access to experiences they might not otherwise have, building the background knowledge they bring to their learning. 

Dodger Academy Mission: Dodger Academy provides a safe after school program supporting working families, emphasizing improvement of math and reading skills and encouraging student success.

Dodger Academy Goals:

  • Students demonstrate reasonable progress in math by being grade level proficient
  • Students demonstrate reasonable progress in reading by reading at or above grade level
  • Students complete their work to the satisfaction of staff members

These goals directly align to the FDCSD goals and objectives. Annual outcome data is collected from numerous sources including Iowa Assessment results, district developed norms for reading, attendance and behavior, and parent and teacher surveys to measure the impact and success of the program. 

Program Strategies and Activities

  • Academic Assistance
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Parent/Family Involvement
  • Community Involvement

Registration: when registering a child for Dodger Academy, the parent/guardian will be asked to pay the first month's program fees, a supply fee of $25 and will be required to complete:

  1. Dodger Academy Registration Form - 1 per family
  2. Dodger Academy Emergency Treatment Release - 1 per child
  3. Dodger Academy Enrollment Agreement and Fee Procedures - 1 per family
  4. Dodger Academy Discipline Policy and Behavior Contract - 1 per child
  5. Dodger Academy Handbook Acknowledgement - 1 per family
  6. Bus Transportation Form (optional) - 1 per family
  7. Child Care Assistance Online Application (optional)

Program Fees: a one-time, non-refundable supply fee of $25 is required by each family. The cost of Dodger Academy is $150 per month for the first child and $120 per month for each sibling. All payments must be made by the 25th of the month prior to the child attending (example payment is required by September 25 for the month of October). If payments are not received by the first of that month, a written notice will be provided and the amount due will be added to your account in Infinite Campus. Payments may be made by logging into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal or by sending payment to the school in an address marked Dodger Academy. If you child attends a school other than Butler please allow an extra day for payment to reach Butler. A late fee of $5 will be added to your bill after 30 days of no payment. Failure to pay outstanding fees by the end of the month could result in the child being dismissed from the program. The child may re-enroll if the parent/guardian pays all outstanding fees and a $25 reinstatement fee. 

Parents/guardians of a child who is suspended or dismissed from the program for inappropriate behavior are responsible for tuition for the day(s) of suspension and/or through the end of the month if the child is dismissed from the program. Parents/guardians who wish to withdraw their child from Dodger Academy are responsible for notifying the program coordinator in writing prior to the date they intend to withdraw the student. 

Transportation: Butler Elementary students are walked to the cafeteria by a Butler staff member at the end of the school day. FDCSD will provide transportation from each school to Butler Elementary.  All students arrive by 3:45. Transportation home from the program will not be provided and is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. 

Pick Up Procedures: children may only be picked up by the parent/guardian or authorized adults who are listed on the registration forms. The parent/guardian must give advance permission for any other type of arrangement such as if the child is to be picked up by someone else or if the child is to walk, bike, etc. home. Everyone listed on the Dodger Academy Registration Form as authorized to pick the child up must show a current picture ID before the child will be released. 

If a parent/guardian needs to have their child picked up by someone who has not been authorized, the parent/guardian must:

  1. Call Dodger Academy to provide the name and current ID information for the individual who will be picking up the child
  2. When the individual arrives to pick up the child he/she will be required to provide his/her name and a picture ID

If a person not previously authorized or called in by the parent comes to pick up the child, Dodger Academy staff will not release the child until the parent/guardian or other authorized adult has been contacted to confirm the identity of the pick up adult and approve the child's release. If is the parent/guardian's responsibility to notify the program coordinator of any injunctions barring any person (including those formerly authorized) from picking up the child. 

Sign Out: If able to enter the building, the parent/guardian/authorized adult must sign out the child on the sign out sheet and note the time of departure. If the adult is not able to come inside the building, then Dodger Academy staff will sign the child out. This procedure is essential for security purposes so staff have record of which children left when. 

Late Pick Ups: If for any reason a child can not be picked up by the time the program closes (6 p.m.), the parent/guardian should contact an authorized adult to pick up the child for them. Children will only be released to authorized adults.

Absences: If a child is to be absent from Dodger Academy, the parent/guardian must call, text or email the program coordinator to notify staff of the absence prior to the end of the regular school day. 

Illness: Sick/ill children should be kept home from Dodger Academy so they can rest and be less likely to infect other children. Children kept home during the regular school day should not be sent to Dodger Academy. The child should stay home if he/she

  • has had a fever of 100 or higher and should remain home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal without the use of medication
  • has vomited or had diarrhea and should remain home for 24 hours after it has stopped
  • has a persistent cough
  • has any rash with fever
  • has open or draining skin sores
  • has inflamed and/or draining eyes or ears

If a child becomes ill during Dodger Academy, staff will contact the parent/guardian or other responsible adult named on the child's registration form to come pick him/her up. Dodger Academy staff will not be responsible for storing, holding, dispensing or administering medication to children.

Emergency Care/First Aid: All Dodger Academy staff are trained in CPR and first aid. In the case of serious injury, the parent/guardian or authorized adult will be contacted. The program can not transport children to out of area physicians, so if staff are unable to contact the parent/guardian/emergency contact, they will secure appropriate treatment at the nearest medical facility. 

If the injury or illness requires an ambulance, the child will be transported to a designated site or physician. In all cases of injury or illness, attempts will be made to contact the parent/guardian immediately to involve them in the decision making regarding treatment. An adult staff member will accompany the child to the source of emergency care. The staff member will stay with the child until the parent/guardian or his/her designee assumes responsibility for the child's care. The parent/guardian is financially responsible for any medical care or special transportation incurred on the child's behalf. 

Emergency Plan/Procedures: Dodger Academy will follow school procedures for closing incase of emergencies occurring after the school day is complete. If school was closed for any reason during the school day, Dodger Academy will also be closed. Dodger Academy will use the District automated notification system if the program is closing due to weather or emergency. In the event of a site evacuation, the students will be taken to a secure location and parents/guardians will be notified via the automated system. Dodger Academy staff will remain with the children until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or authorized adult. 

Discipline Policy/Procedures: The school policy regarding student behavior also applies to the after school program. All behavior issues are documented and place in the child's Dodger Academy file. If a child's behavior becomes a concern, the parent/guardian will be contacted by staff to discuss a proactive behavior plan. Students may be placed on a suspension from the program if the behavior can not be managed. We recognize that Dodger Academy may not be an appropriate environment for all children. If a child has ongoing behavior issues, we reserve the right to remove him/her from the program. 

Dodger Academy is a means of providing additional educational support and opportunities to students beyond the regular school day. Therefore, it must be recognized that inappropriate behavior by the students does not promote a favorable learning environment and will not be tolerated. The following behaviors will not be permitted:

  • hitting, kicking, spitting, biting or any kind of fighting or assualt
  • vandalism or willful damage of school, staff or student property
  • theft
  • failure to do what is requested by staff
  • profanity/abusive language, disrespectful, demeaning or threatening words or actions toward another person
  • possession of a weapon
  • smoking, possession of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
  • throwing objects not meant to be thrown
  • general misconduct, including loud or boisterous behavior that disturbs other students - this includes running the halls/classrooms, defacement of property and pushing/shoving

The discipline procedure is as follows:

  1. The first referral will result in a conference among the staff, program coordinator and the child. Staff will write an incident report explaining the disruptive behavior and the action that was taken to try and stop it. A verbal contract will be reached with the child and the parent/guardian will be informed about the incident and agreement. Anytime an incident report is written, a copy will be provided to the parent/guardian, the child's teacher and the school principal.
  2. Upon the second referral, the program coordinator will call the parent/guardian. The behavior of the child will be discussed and the parent/guardian will be asked to participate in resolving the problem. 
  3. If a third referral is necessary, the parent/guardian will be called by the program coordinator and a conference will be scheduled. Depending on the severity of the situation the child may or may not be allowed to remain in the program until the conference is held and a decision is reached. 
  4. After the conference, the program coordinator and school principal will determine whether or not the child's behavior will result in exclusion from Dodger Academy.
  5. If a child is excluded from Dodger Academy, he/she may be considered for re-enrollment. 

Biting Policy: biting is a common behavior among children birth to 3 years old. In young children biting may be a result of the developmental stage of the child, the environment, the inability to communicate effectively or unmet emotional needs. Biting in school age children is much less common. In the event that a biting incident does occur, Dodger Academy staff will handle the incident in accordance with its standard discipline policy, with the following additions:

  • ensure all children are safe
  • immediately respond to the child who was bitten by offering appropriate first aid treatment, concern and support
  • contact the parent of the bitten child and give a written report of the incident
  • assess the program environment to determine if changes are needed to group sizes, structure, etc.
  • repeat biting incidents may lead to termination from Dodger Academy

Family Involvement: current research provides evidence that family involvement in after school programs increases students' achievement and success. The following are findings that link family involvement to a child's success

  • children achieve more then their parents are involved (regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic background, or the parents' education levels)
  • children exhibit more positive attitudes and behavior when their parents are involved
  • children have higher graduation rates and greater enrollment in post-secondary education
  • youth risk behaviors, such as alcohol use, violence and anti-social behaviors, decrease as family involvement increases

Family engagement in after school time is also associated with improved parent-child relationships and better after school programs. At Dodger Academy, we ask that parents/guardians ask students specific, open ended questions about their day that do not require a yes or no answer. As Dodger Academy continues to be family focused, we want our families to think of the after school program as a place that supports their needs and interests as parents, and as a place that connects them to the school, helping them to be involved in their child's education.

Handbook Acknowledgement

I verify I have received, read and understand the policies and procedures in the Dodger Academy handbook.

Child(ren)'s Name(s) (please print) and School Each Attends:

Parent/Guardian Name (please print) and Date:

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