Forming the selection committee: Each town forms its own selection committee. This committee shall consist of at least one member of SWOP staff, as well as community members with knowledge of the applicants (such as teachers, school counselors, librarians, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, etc.) Any SWOP Board member who is related to an applicant cannot be on that selection committee. We will use a point system for selecting applicants and then consider input from the selection committee.
When selecting the youth for the summer program we are looking for group balance of:
We do not want all the same age, gender or grade. We want to try to balance the participation if possible. Youth grow by forming new relationships and by building a diverse team. Youth also benefit when SWOP is not a program that creates stereotypes.
Balance of needs and strengths: SWOP strives to provide this beneficial summer program to any youth regardless of past experiences, behavior, achievements, or struggles.
Eligibility to participate in the program: The youth must live in the town, OR attend school in the School District in which town the program is held. They have to be able to handle the physical work. We are not equipped to handle major behavioral or physical challenges.
Other considerations: Most youth are accepted for the program for one summer. Each year, one or two youth may apply and be selected for a second year. No youth are eligible for a third summer.
If a youth applied last year and was not hired, they are given first consideration the next year, unless there was a compelling reason for them not being hired.
Once hired, parents must guarantee transportation.
Look at the number of days they know they will miss. If someone is going to be gone for several of the days during the program, you may want to consider another applicant. Our program is for six weeks, 3 days a week, totaling 18 days.
Up to half of the spots can be filled by members of host organizations.
Consideration can be given to selecting a youth applicant for their second site choice.
Notification: All youth who applied should be notified as soon as possible, whether they were accepted, not accepted, or placed on the waiting list. If possible, this is to be a direct phone call. Three phone calls if needed should be made. Direct contact needs to be made with both the youth and the parent/guardian. A follow up letter to those hired is recommended with information about the parent-youth orientation night.