By Issac Garcia  and Hector Gorrosquieta

The Umatilla School District’s after school program is facing changes at the start of next year. The STEM Academy, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is a program that provides after-school support for school work and other extra curricular activities provided for all students from kindergarten to the 12th grade.  

The STEM academy has been helping students in the Umatilla School District from the high school to Clara Brownell for 4 years and the elementary school for 8 years. The STEM’s funding plan was a federal grant that was managed by the state. Each of the plans is five years in length.

During the first three years each program is awarded 100% funding from the grant. In year four grantees lose 25% funding and in year five the award amount is reduced to 50%.  The funding plan will be done after the end of this year, possibly causing changes to the program of the Umatilla School District.

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Changes will unfortunately be brought at the start of next year but will be necessary due to the shortened budget.  However, it is not certain as to what areas of the STEM academy will be affected most.  

“What changes it will bring depend on decisions made when we turn our budget into the ODE in June.” said Mr. Josh Ego, the After-School program coordinator.  

Although the STEM Academy may or may not face problems next year, they are still determined to help as many students as they can to complete their assignments and encourage them to engage in after school programs that STEM offers.

Mrs. Jennifer Franks, the site coordinator at CBMS and UHS, said she feels that the students that are there to help the after-school program are more in it for helping the students struggling to get work done, rather than being in it for the money.  

“I feel like the staff and students really want to make a difference with helping out whether they were being paid or not.” said Mrs. Franks.