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Capistrano’s School Plan

We have recently learned of the Capistrano Unified School District’s intent to recommend to its Board of Trustees that Carl Hankey Elementary School be considered as a model for year-round education. As co-presidents of the Carl Hankey Parent-Teacher Organization and elected representatives of our parents and teachers, we are strongly opposed to the adoption of year-round education at Carl Hankey.

As you are aware, the Capistrano school district is experiencing severe overcrowding in a number of its elementary schools. One of these schools, Carl Hankey, is situated in Mission Viejo. Current enrollment at the school is about 840 children, with a 1990 projected enrollment of 1,441.

In January, district trustees formed an Attendance Boundary Study Committee to recommend options for alleviating the overcrowded condition at schools such as ours. A subcommittee, of which we were members, was formed to study Mission Viejo schools.

We proposed several options to ease the problem at Carl Hankey, including adding portable classrooms, relocating a neighborhood, changing attendance for children at a new multifamily housing area to another school, assigning 1987 sixth-graders to a junior high school, beginning double sessions and starting a year-round, four-cycle school.

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Our children are enrolled in several free recreational programs, all geared to a traditional summer schedule. If our children are forced to attend year-round school, they would not be able to avail themselves of many of these programs, which are invaluable in providing them with a sense of self-esteem and personal accomplishment. Carl Hankey would be the only school in the Saddleback Valley that would be on a year-round schedule.

As for Carl Hankey’s teachers, a recent survey by the school district showed that 72% are not interested in teaching a year-round program. If year-round education is forced on us, we’ll lose these outstanding teachers to other schools.

Let’s hope that district trustees act responsibly by reviewing the other options available to them. Education is important, but it is not the only facet of a well-rounded, well-adjusted child.

PAM WRISLEY

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EILEEN REDDINGTON


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