Henderson schools have, in the past few years, reverted from year-round to 9-months schedules. Now, some schools are once again being changed back to being year-round schools to ease crowding, with more possibly changing in the next few years. Will somebody make up their minds?
ZOOM Schools are going to have 17 additional days of learning, stretching their end of school year to June 27, 2014, with more days to be added in 2015. These schools have been created for accelerated English learning opportunities for children.
It's not easy for children or families to change school schedules. Fluctuating semesters, breaks and schedules can create havoc for families with working parents, especially when they have children attending different schools. Anyone with sense knew that schools would be facing a shortage of classrooms with more and more families moving into the area, and with schools straining at the seams. Some schools have closed, some have been built, some children are housed in schools not designed for their age-groups and others are bused to and from school every day. Still other children (not within cachement zones) have to find their own way to school each day. Some schools have added portable classrooms and staggered lunch and recess times to accommodate the growth in enrollment. No solution is ideal, but perhaps going back to a 12 month schedule won't be a bad thing.
Many children are impoverished, and school is a place where they can, at the very least, feed mind and body on a day-to-day basis. Subsidized or free meals are available at most CCSD schools. Concern was raised about children falling "between the cracks" if schools changed to a 9-month schedule. Some schools have resorted to sending food home each weekend for the children, but is there any assurance that the children will be the ones eating the food if families can't afford groceries? This is especially true for families who have no permanent housing and who have to resort to being transient.
Children face upheaval, stress and days lost from school when families desperately search for places to live. Some children simply don't go to school anymore, because there is no way to get there and it's one more burden for families on the edge. Others are latch-key kids, caring for younger siblings while parents work one, two or even three jobs.
Children need the chance to play, to learn and to be children. Safe Key offers the opportunity for children to have a safe haven before and after school, but it doesn't operate during the school breaks and holidays. Programs have been created to supply meals to children when they are at school, while others provide nourishment for entire families. Food banks and programs are bursting at the seams. Day care centers are usually too expensive, even when subsidies are available, and they also only have so much room for children. Where does this all end?
No announcement has been made yet to identify the 10 schools that are changing to year-round sessions, but parents and children will be watching closely to see if their schools are on the list.