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Parents sue over elementary school’s year-round schedule

Updated Friday, Aug. 7, 2009 | 12:42 p.m.

Glen Taylor Elementary School

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Parents of Glen Taylor Elementary School students in Henderson are suing the Clark County School District in hopes of returning the school to a nine-month schedule.

In a lawsuit filed this week in Clark County District Court, the parents said the district hasn't justified why Taylor will continue on a year-round schedule. They say enrollment is declining and the school's students and school programs can be accommodated with a nine-month schedule that the families prefer.

The district doesn't comment on pending litigation, a spokesman said Thursday.

The plaintiff in the suit is Kristin Cenname, who says she represents other concerned parents. The suit was filed by attorney Gregory Cortese.

Cortese said Friday that he's been in contact with 15 to 20 Taylor families about the year-round issue.

"It's a unified effort," he said.

The school is at 2655 Sienna Heights Drive, near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and St. Rose Parkway.

The suit says the school switched to a year-round schedule beginning with the 2007-2008 school year and that the year-round program is planned to continue through 2009-2010 even though the parents say it's not needed.

The parents say enrollment was projected at 922 students for the current year, but ended up totaling 852 students. Cortese said that as he understands the district's numbers, it can accommodate 867 students with a traditional nine-month program.

The year-round schedule "is not supported by the data" and Taylor currently has unused capacity, the attorney said.

"It doesn't make sense," Cortese said.

Cortese said he hopes the court will hold a hearing on a motion for a temporary restraining order against the district prior to the start of the nine-month school year on Aug. 24.

Parents at Glen Taylor say they're being treated unfairly because enrollment at 22 schools elsewhere in the district exceeds capacity, yet those 22 schools are allowed to remain on a nine-month schedule. The lawsuit says the constitutional rights of the parents and students have been violated because of this allegedly unfair treatment.

The suit says the parents have been stymied in efforts to meet with district officials to discuss the issue and see the district's data justifying the year-round program, which they contend is more expensive than a nine-month schedule.

School district zoning and demographics committees and district officials "made the decision to remain on the more expensive schedule behind closed doors and without the input of parents or the public without adequate information," the suit charges.

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