ANAHEIM : District Prepares for Year-Round Classes
With final plans for the Anaheim City School District’s new year-around schedule just about in place, administrators and educators are taking steps to make sure that the students will keep up their end of the deal.
Parent-teacher meetings have come and gone, letters in English and Spanish have been mailed to every parent affected, and huge banners are draped in the entrance to a number of schools in the district.
But the final test of the plan’s success won’t come until July 3, when the first classes begin.
Elizabeth Schuck, who has coordinated the program for the 21-campus district, said that she is worried but that once the year-round schedule begins, the system should run itself.
“It’s a major change, and that’s difficult,” Schuck said. “It’s not only a school district changing, but it’s a community changing.”
Schuck cited the growing need for child care as the main concern facing the parents and the community.
Six of the district’s schools will begin yearlong schedules this summer--Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Melbourne A. Gauer, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Palm Lane. Three more are scheduled to begin sometime next year.
The six schools were chosen primarily because they are the most impacted. The new “12 weeks on, four weeks off” schedule will allow the district to enroll up to 33% more students.
Schuck added that those six schools also have the highest number of limited-English-speaking students, and the continuous schedule will help those students retain what they are learning.
Parents and teachers are a little shaken by the upcoming change, which leaves only one week between the end of this school year and the beginning of next, but they tend to agree that it will be a move for the better.
“It might pose a small problem this first year, but once they’re in the groove, I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” said Jackie Lampher, president of the Anaheim Elementary Education Assn.
Lampher said that the teachers are generally prepared for the change and that, like the students, they could have chosen a new school if they were uncomfortable with the new schedule.
Elizabeth Garcia, treasurer of the Parent Teachers Assn. at Thomas Jefferson School, said that because the school consists of primarily Latino students, the PTA held extra meetings for the Spanish-speaking parents.
“It was just kind of like a shock at first, but we’ve gotten used to it,” Garcia said.