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FAQs

Will the City close any parks due to the drought?
Where can I find results from the Parks & Recreation survey completed spring 2014?
What does the YAC offer during the summer?
What programs are offered at the YAC?
What is a Resident Youth Card/YAC Card? How do I get one?
What is a resident youth?
Can anyone participate in the YAC After School Program?
How much is the YAC After School Program?
What do kids do during the YAC After School Program?
What are the YAC program hours?
How can I use the Santa Clara Skate Park?
What youth classes are offered at the YAC?
Does the YAC offer any basketball programs?
Are there any special events for kids at the YAC?
Are there any volunteer opportunities at the YAC?
Is the YAC available for rent?
How long is a Commissioner's term?
What is the purpose of Boards and Commissions?
What are Boards and Commissions?
How many Commissions are there?
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Q: Will the City close any parks due to the drought?
A:
No, the City is not closing any parks due to drought.

The Parks & Recreation Department receives its water from  the City of Santa Clara Water Utility, both potable and recycled. The City Water System’s sources include local underground aquifer from 27 City wells (62%), imported supply from two wholesale water suppliers (25%), and recycled water from the San Jose/ Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant for irrigation purposes. This third source makes up about 13% of the water used citywide and a significant portion of the water used by the City Parks system  (about 60% city wide). Recycled water offsets the use of potable water and helps conserve our potable water for drinking and household uses.

In addition, the Parks & Recreation Department has instituted best practices for water conservation regardless of source (potable or recycled) by irrigating at night, reducing water consumption by reducing time of flow on our clocks, and/or turning off unnecessary valves to established vegetation, using mulch to conserve soil moisture, and planting native drought tolerant plants when/where appropriate. The department also rebuilds valves in showers and restrooms to reduce the likelihood of water waste, and has installed low flow devices for sinks and toilets. The City will periodically review it's practices to be sure we are adjusting to any recommended changes, best practices, or new policy mandates.
Q: Where can I find results from the Parks & Recreation survey completed spring 2014?
A:

The recent public opinion research telephone survey was conducted by Strategic Research Associates on behalf of Parks & Recreation Department to provide statistical feedback from residents related to questions about the International Swim Center-International Swimming Hall of Fame, the New Housing Development Impact Fee Ordinance, and the Youth Sports Complex feasibility study, as well as other demographic and park system questions.

Click here for more information.

Additional synopsis of results and graphic summary available here.

Q: What does the YAC offer during the summer?
A:

Your summer will be packed from beginning to end with outrageous fun, sports, weekly field trips, excursions to Warburton Pool, and sports-related arts & crafts projects!

Sports Camps– Co-ed, ages 5-13 years

  • Sport Adventure Camp is for participants 5 – 7 years
  • Sports Jam Camp is for participants 8 – 10 years
  • Sport Escape Camp is for participants 11- 13 years
  • Registration is by the week. You can register for all weeks of camp or just the weeks that fit your needs. Pre-registration is encouraged, as camps fill up quickly.
  • Sports Camp hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm 
  • Morning care: 7:30 am – 9 am (pre-registration required)
  • Free After Camp Care*: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Friday
  • Unless otherwise specified, campers bring their lunch each day.
  • Campers are given a newsletter at the end of the first day. The newsletter lists what the camp will be doing each day that week.
  • Weekly activities include a swim day and a field trip.
  • Registration fees include supervision, field trip admission, bus transportation, and a camp t-shirt.

*After camp program is also open for drop in for participants with Resident Youth Cards.

For more information on classes, check out the current Recreation Activities Guide.

Q: What programs are offered at the YAC?
A:
The Walter E. Schmidt Youth Activity Center (YAC) offers various recreation programs for Santa Clara youth: classes, After School Program , Open Gym, Sports Campsskate park , and special events.  A Resident Youth Card is required to participate in the after school program  and skate park.
Q: What is a Resident Youth Card/YAC Card? How do I get one?
A:

A Resident Youth Card (YAC Card) is a photo ID that participants use to check in and out of programs at the YAC, Teen Center, and Skate Park.

  1. Obtain a Resident Youth Card Registration packet from the YAC, Teen Center, or online .
  2. Parent reviews the Behavior Standard and Discipline Plan with their child. Parent signs the liability release and behavioral agreement. All participants sign the behavioral agreement, and those older than 13 also sign the liability release.
  3. Application is submitted in person to the YAC with proof of Santa Clara residency.
  4. Once fee is paid, the participant’s photo is taken and a Resident Youth Card is issued.
  5. Resident Youth Cards are valid for one year, August through the following July. Cards must be renewed at the beginning of each school year. The first Resident Youth Card costs $5.00. Replacement cards cost $2.00 for the second, $3.00 for the third, $4.00 for the fourth, etc.
Q: What is a resident youth?
A:

A Santa Clara resident youth is defined as:

  • Youth who attend an elementary, middle, or high school in the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD); or,
  • Youth who attend an elementary, middle, or high school NOT in the SCUSD, but reside in the City of Santa Clara or within the SCUSD boundaries; or,
  • Youth who attend an elementary, middle, or high school and whose parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent reside in the City of Santa Clara or SCUSD boundaries, or own property in the City of Santa Clara.
Q: Can anyone participate in the YAC After School Program?
A:
The YAC’s After School Program  is open to City of Santa Clara resident youth in grades K through 8th. Eighth graders are also allowed to participate in the Teen Center’s After School Program.  A Resident Youth Card is required to participate in programs at the YAC, Teen Center, and Skate Park.  Open Gym is available to participants in all grades and their parents.
Q: How much is the YAC After School Program?
A:
The YAC After School Program is a free program. There is a cost for the Resident Youth Card and subsequent replacement cards: $5.00 for the first card, $2.00 for the second card, $3.00 for the third card, etc.
Q: What do kids do during the YAC After School Program?
A:

The YAC's daily after school program offers a wide variety of FREE sports related activities, homework area, and computer lab for elementary and middle school age students.

Homework Room & Computer Lab - Open during the after-school program, the homework room is a quiet area where kids can get a head start on their homework. Participants can get help with their homework in the Homework Room. Textbooks from elementary and middle schools are available for kids to use, and can be checked out with their YAC card. The computer lab features 10 workstations with Microsoft Office program and internet access.

Organized Sports & Games - Organized Sports & Games are planned each week, Monday through Friday. A variety of recreation from high energy games to more passive activities is offered.

Open Gym - Open Gym is available to resident youth, in grades K through 12th, and their parents. Parents must sign a release of liability form to participate in Open Gym.

Q: What are the YAC program hours?
A:

Please see the YAC Monthly Calendar for detailed program  hours.

After School Program
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Wednesday 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Open Gym
Monday through Thursday, 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Skate Park
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 3:00 pm – ½ hour prior to dusk
Wednesday 2:00 pm – ½ hour prior to dusk
Saturday and Sunday – 1:00 pm – ½ hour prior to dusk

No drop in programs are offered during SCUSD breaks.

Q: How can I use the Santa Clara Skate Park?
A:

The Skate Park is open to Santa Clara residents. Santa Clara Resident Youth Card or CA driver’s license required for access. Non-residents are allowed to use the park as guests. All skaters must submit a signed liability form and provide emergency contacts. There is no cost to use the Skate Park. Maximum capacity of the Skate Park is 75 people.

To skate you must:

• Be a City of Santa Clara resident of all ages. A valid photo ID, such as a resident youth card or drivers license, is required.
• Complete a Participant Information Form.
• Be supervised by an adult if you are under 5 years of age.
• Be a skateboarder or inline skater.
• Wear protective equipment: helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads. Inline skaters must also wear wrist guards.
• Wear a shirt and shoes.

Not allowed:

• Bicycles, scooters
• Food, gum, or drinks
• Smoking
• Graffiti or littering (SCMC 18-10)
• Possession of aerosol paint; misdemeanor (COC 5941 (d))
• Amplified music (SCMS 18-10)
• Alcoholic beverages (SCMC 18-9)
• Pets (SCMC 415)

The park is staffed by City employees. Failure to obey rules and regulations may result in ejection from Skate Park (SCMC 1394, 18-10).

For Skate Park hours, see the YAC Calendar.

Q: What youth classes are offered at the YAC?
A:
Classes are offered through the Parks and Recreation Department year round and for all age groups. Below are some classes that are offered at the YAC. For complete information on class times and locations, please refer to the current Recreation Activities Guide.

Infants - 1-24 months - Parent participation
Movement Exploration 10-18 months, 14-24 months; Teacher Sean’s Music Factory (1 month-24 months)

Toddlers - 2-3 years - Parent participation
Partners In Play; Teacher Sean’s Music Factory; Parent & Tot Sports

Pre-School - 3-4 years - No parent participation*
Little Dunkers Basketball; Kidz Love Soccer; Teacher Sean’s Music Factory (*parent Participation required)

Pre-School - 4-5 years - No parent participation*
Little Dunkers Basketball; Kidz Love Soccer; Skateboarding (5 years); Teacher Sean’s Music Factory (*parent participation required); Teacher Sean’s Kid Sing

School Age - 6 years and up - No parent participation
Kidz Love Soccer; Gametime Basketball; Skateboarding; Futsal Indoor Soccer, Sol Jumpers
Q: Does the YAC offer any basketball programs?
A:

The following youth basketball programs are  offered at the YAC.

Saturday Basketball Program - Co-ed, grades K - 5th
This program is designed to introduce the fundamentals of basketball. Held in January, February and March, these 3-week programs emphasize skill acquisition, teamwork, sportsmanship, and FUN! Each week consists of fundamental drills and a game. Registration begins in the fall.

Gametime Basketball – Co-ed, ages 7-18 years
Gametime Basketball is dedicated to redefining the standards; to build self-confidence, perseverance, enthusiasm, teamwork, and fun. Experienced coaches are committed to the growth and development of these characteristics through the game of basketball.

For more information on classes, please check out the latest Recreation Activities Guide.

Q: Are there any special events for kids at the YAC?
A:

The following special events are held at the YAC.  Please check the City Calendar for more special events.

Kids Rock, K - 5th grades - Santa Clara kids in grammar school are rocking all night long! Held on select Friday nights from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, each Kids Rock has a different theme and is packed full of games and fun activities. A light snack is included each night. Entrance into Kids Rock is $10.00 for residents and $13.00 for non-residents. Pre-registration is required.  Kids Rock events are held during the school year.

Teen Zone, 6th – 8th grades - Come join the action at the YAC! TEEN ZONE Dances are for students who attend a middle school in SCUSD or who live in Santa Clara, and want something fun to do on select Friday nights from  6:30 pm—9 pm. Teen Zone’s main event will vary with both active and passive activities. Food is always a part of the night. Photo ID (Resident Youth Card or current SCUSD student body card) required @ the door; admission $5.00.  Teen Zone events are held during the school year.

Halloween Party, preschool – 5th grade - Start your Halloween celebration with this annual event. Come and have a SPOOKTACULAR time at the YAC’s Halloween Party. Admission is FREE! The party includes entertainment, treats, pumpkin walk, carnival games, tiny tots play area, and arts & crafts. Pre-school age children through 5th grade are welcome and are encouraged to come in costume.

Q: Are there any volunteer opportunities at the YAC?
A:

There are volunteer opportunities to help during the After School Program (school year only, interview required), the Children's Halloween Party (October 31st), and Sports Camps (summer, LITE program).

For more information about volunteer opportunities at the YAC or to make an appointment for an interview, please call (408) 615-3760.

Q: Is the YAC available for rent?
A:
The City of Santa Clara Walter E. Schmidt Youth Activity Center (YAC) is available for use by the City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara Unified School District, other public/government agencies, and youth organizations.  The City of Santa Clara provides the Community Recreation Center and park buildings for your use and enjoyment.
Q: How long is a Commissioner's term?
A:
Commissioners generally are appointed for a four-year term. A Commissioner’s term expires on June 30th and usually overlaps so the term of at least one member of each Commission may expire every year. New terms start on July 1st. The City Council may reappoint an existing member or fill the vacancy with a new applicant. The maximum time a Commissioner may serve is two consecutive terms for all Commissions except the Youth Commission who serve for a one-year term with a maximum of 4 years (4 terms). If an individual is appointed to fill a partial term (if someone resigns mid-term), he or she may still serve two additional terms of office. After a lapse of at least two years, an individual is eligible to reapply to serve on the same Commission and the same application process would apply as for individuals who have never served. Individuals may apply to serve on a different Commission once their term of office expires for their current commitment.
Q: What is the purpose of Boards and Commissions?
A:
The purpose of City Commissions is to hold public meetings about issues related to their respective fields. They also recommend policies and procedures related to their respective fields to the City Council. Commissioners serve as an intermediary between the public, City staff, and the City Council by providing information, explanation, and support for different points of view. Commissioners exemplify the City of Santa Clara’s mission statement, which is “to promote a living and working environment that allows for the best quality of life by serving the community with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.”
Q: What are Boards and Commissions?
A:
Boards and Commissions (referred to collectively as “City Commissions”) play a critical role in the City of Santa Clara. They serve as a conduit for citizen input – a way of gathering, analyzing, and recommending options to the City Council, which has the final responsibility for making policy decisions. City staff can provide professional and technical expertise and, of course, any citizen can come before the City Council to offer an opinion or make a suggestion. Santa Clara’s City Commissions provide another important avenue for determining the community’s feeling about an issue. The individuals who serve on the City’s Commissions are among the most well respected and appreciated volunteers in the community.
Q: How many Commissions are there?
A:
There are 9 different boards and commissions:
Board of Library Trustees: Advises the City Council on issues related to the operation of the Santa Clara Public Library. (5 members)
Civil Service Commission: Advises the City Council on matters pertaining to Civil Service rules and regulations and serves as a Board of Review to hear petitions by Civil Service employees and applicants.
(5 members)
Cultural Advisory Commission: Advises the City Council on cultural enrichment and beautification.
(7 members)
Historical and Landmarks Commission: Advises the City Council on historical landmarks, names and renaming of streets, and the marking and preservation of historical landmarks. (7 members)
Housing Rehabilitation Loan Committee: Reviews projects and issues related to the Community Services Division Neighborhood Conservation and Improvement Program (NCIP) which utilizes federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Act Program monies to rehabilitate homes of low to moderate income homeowners who reside within the City limits. (4 members)
Parks and Recreation Commission: Advises the City Council on parks, recreation, playgrounds and entertainment. (7 members)
Planning Commission: Makes recommendations to the City Council on land subdivisions, zoning as prescribed by ordinance, and other land use matters related to the physical development of the City.
(7 members)
Senior Advisory Commission: Advises the City Council on issues affecting people age 50 and older in Santa Clara. (7 members)
Youth Commission: Advises the City Council on community programs for youth and teens and encourages youth involvement in local government. (15 members)
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