Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Coaches' Camp after-school program may leave San Antonio Elementary

Aiden Kinney, 7, eyes his target during a recent activity at the Coaches’ Camp after-school program at San Antonio Elementary.


Aiden Kinney, 7, eyes his target during a recent activity at the Coaches’ Camp after-school program at San Antonio Elementary.

SAN ANTONIO — For more than a month, parents who send their children a popular teacher-run after-school camp at San Antonio Elementary School have tried to keep the school district from kicking it off the campus.

They have one last chance ahead.

As expected, superintendent Heather Fiorentino has recommended expanding the district's own before- and after-school program, called Place, into San Antonio Elementary next fall.

Such a move would bump the Coaches' Camp out.

The School Board is scheduled to consider her proposal Tuesday.

"We have 48 parents who have expressed an interest in Place at San Antonio, so we have significant numbers to justify opening it," assistant superintendent Ruth Reilly said Wednesday. "In the past, we have not had sufficient numbers."

The district currently buses 29 San Antonio children to Place at Pasco Elementary.

Low interest in Place at San Antonio provided an opportunity for physical education teachers J.J. Scaglione and Bobby Wade to introduce their own program for before- and after-school care. They quickly developed a passionate following.

Parents said they like that the coaches — both certified teachers — provide homework help and organized physical activity for their children. Place, they said, doesn't offer the same level of service.

The Coaches Camp charges $50 a week, while Place now costs parents $37 a week — a fee that could increase by $3.

When the issue first arose publicly in March, School Board members responded to the parents' concerns by saying they wanted to find out whether the district could make its after-school programs more like Coaches' Camp rather than forcing the popular camp to find an alternate location.

Since then, Fiorentino's staff has met several times to discuss improving Place. They have come up with proposals to increase the attention given to homework, Reilly said.

Scaglione said he already has received word from the district that the chances of getting Coaches' Camp a renewed contract to use the school are low. But he also recognized that the School Board has at least three members who have gone on record in support of the program.

"The decision isn't written in stone right now," Scaglione said. "Our parents are still advocating for us to have it at our school. The School Board members seem to be advocating the same."

Perhaps, he said, the teachers and the district can work out an arrangement that satisfies everyone. Otherwise, he said, the camp — and most likely all its families — will move to nearby Sacred Heart Church.

Tami Bentley hopes the camp will stay at the school. Because she works in Dade City, getting her daughter Molly to and from the church would prove too difficult.

And she does not want to send Molly to Place.

So Bentley plans to organize families for one more pass at the School Board before the fix is in.

"I'm not giving up yet," she said. "My mission over the next few days is to collect the parents to come on Tuesday. I need child care. And I'm not willing to settle for just anything."

Board member Kathryn Starkey said what happens on Tuesday will make a difference, at least for her vote. She has yet to be convinced that expanding Place is the best option.

"I want to hear what's going on," Starkey said. "I'm not going to make any decision until I see all the research and hear all the facts."

The board is set to have a workshop on Place beginning at 2 p.m. Tuesday. It is scheduled to act on the superintendent's recommendations during the meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at

Coaches' Camp after-school program may leave San Antonio Elementary 04/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease


    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term


    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges


    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?


    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination


    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.