Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

After school program at Cheney middle schools created through grant, city partnership


Becky Thomas

As Westwood students, families and district staff look on, Cheney School Board member James Whiteley officially dedicates the new Westwood Middle School at a ceremony Sept. 26. The students, members of the Wolverine Pride leadership team, gave tours of the school after the ceremony.

The Cheney School Board held its regular meeting at the new Westwood Middle School following a dedication ceremony for the building Sept. 26.

The board approved agreements with the cities of Cheney and Airway Heights to provide parks and recreation programming after school for both Westwood and Cheney middle schools. The district was awarded a five-year federal grant titled 21st Century Community Learning Centers to start after school programs for the middle schools.

The middle school program, called Summit, will be modeled after the Sunset Elementary Trailblazers after school program, which provides academic support, additional learning opportunities and recreation to students after school until 5 p.m. each weekday.

The city parks and recreation staff will provide the physical activities for the middle schools, with the district reimbursing the cities for their time and resources. Cheney would be paid $22,500 per year, while Airway Heights would receive $6,185 per year.

“If we’re going to keep kids from 3-5 in an after school program, we want them to move as well,” associate superintendent Sean Dotson said.

The meeting’s agenda was relatively light, with the board approving updates to policies governing medications in school. The types of medications that could be administered by someone other than a nurse were broadened to add drops and topical creams, and the policy on student immunization and life-threatening conditions was “cleaned up for language,” said Student Support Services director Kristi Thurston.

Other medical policies were edited to correspond with state guidelines.

The school board next meets Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., following the 6 p.m. dedication ceremony at Cheney Middle School.

Becky Thomas can be reached at

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