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December 19, 2014

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schools:

Six Henderson elementaries could switch to 12-month calendar

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To keep an eye on the watch list, check ParentLink or visit ccsd.net/schools/calendarwatch.

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To read School District rules on converting to a year-round schedule, download this .pdf.

Six Henderson elementary schools are on a list of 74 in Clark County that are being considered to switch from a nine-month to a year-round schedule next year.

Only three of those are likely to be converted because of crowding: Ulis Newton Elementary, which is 23 percent over capacity; Edna Hinman Elementary, which is 13 percent over; and Selma Bartlett Elementary, which is 23 percent over.

The other three — Sue Morrow, C.T. Sewell and Robert Taylor elementary schools — are on the list as a technicality, because their attendance zones are being considered for change.

The list is part of a new process the Clark County School District began this year after changes of other schools from nine-month to year-round drew strong parent objections. All schools with any possibility to be converted — either because of rezoning or being over capacity — must be listed on the Clark County School District’s Web site.

Realistically, most of the schools on the list probably won’t convert, Sharon Dattoli, director of the demographics and zoning department, said.

In 2007, parents at Neil Twitchell and John C. Vanderburg elementary schools held a protest in front of the school and asked to be given time to see if the crowding would work itself out.

District officials granted the two schools an extra year, because parents hadn’t been given appropriate notice. A year later, parents were informed both schools would start the 2008-2009 school year on a year-round schedule. They did not fight it the second time around.

“We learned from that,” Southeast Region Superintendent Denson said.

The process of informing parents when schools could be converted now will begin in January. The information will be on the School District’s Web site, individual school Web sites, or ParentLink, a Web site parents can use to stay informed on issues affecting their children.

One factor district officials will begin to consider is how classrooms are being used, Denson said. Often, because of the variety of programs a school has, it will be shown as over capacity but it will have empty classrooms. If that were the case, schools will likely be taken off the list.

Newton is finishing its second year on a nine-month calendar. Schools must remain on a calendar for two years once converted, to see how attendance levels off. In cases such as Newton’s, the region superintendents will keep an eye on the school to see if it is continuing to grow. If so, it may need to return to a year-round calendar.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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