School District to End Year-Round Classes in Fall

The city's schools will return to a traditional September-through-July schedule this fall, seven years after student overcrowding forced the district to begin year-round classes, district officials announced this week.

The district's school board made the announcement as it gave tentative support Monday to a proposed budget that will fund completion of a new elementary school and permit work to begin on a football stadium, but could force the district to scale back on jobs.

Officials said Wednesday that any necessary job cuts would be made by keeping positions unfilled as employees leave rather than through layoffs. The board is due to approve a final budget for the next fiscal year on June 23.

Nearly 100 angry district employees and parents attended Monday's budget hearing, which was scheduled at the last minute when three of the board's five members failed to attend a public hearing on Friday, officials and parents said.

Parents said they feared that board members would fail to keep their promise to return schools to a traditional schedule. But after 2 1/2 hours of discussion among members, the board announced the end of year-round classes in September.

The decision caps ambitious plans drawn up nearly a decade ago to build a new state-of-the-art high school.

The district is converting the old high school into a new middle school and adding a new elementary school to the site.

The new $55-million high school--built with state grants--is scheduled to open in September.

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