Throughout the week we've had parents call us here at KGNS about their kids getting out of school as late as 4:30 in the afternoon. We wanted to find out what was going on. James Johnson visited one of schools where this is happening.
Today I visited Bruni Elementary School to talk to the principal about why the kids are getting out so late and I even had a parent share her views on the schedule change.
Parents are waiting anywhere from two to three hours later to pick up their kids from school. This was the scene in front of Bruni Elementary earlier today as the first wave of parents would arrive at 3:30 in the afternoon and then an hour later the second wave of parents at 4:30. So why are these kids being let out so late? According to Bruni Elementary School principal, Miguel Castillo they've extended the school hours for the STAAR exam. This exam is an annual assessment for grades 3 through 5 and wants his students to be prepared.
[cg:newsuper\miguel castillo\bruni elementary principal] 02:54:32:00 "it is to benefit them and get them ready at early time then to wait till the spring semester 02:54:42:14 "most schools start in the spring. We're starting a little bit early we just want to get the kids ready.
According to Castillo, he's has positive feed back from some parents but not everyone is happy with these changes. Sandy Saavedra has two kids attending Bruni Elementary School, one of her kids gets out at 3:30 and the other gets out an hour later.
[cg:newsuper\sandy saavedra\doesn't like new schedule] 03:09:56:08 "it's an inconvenience for me I don't have transportation 03:12:46:00 "they should let us make our own decision.
The STAAR test has four categories. Category one deals with student achievement. Category two deals with student growth. Category three deals with closing the gap for students who are economically disadvantaged and category four, college readiness. Category two is the area where Bruni needs help. According to Castillo, he’s seen preparing early for the exam work for other schools.
[cg:newsuper\miguel castillo\bruni elementary principal] 02:56:49:07 "we're providing a free service to our students where as tutoring centers will charge a fee our school does it for free. It's a great service to out community and our parents
[cg:newsuper\miguel castillo\bruni elementary principal] 03:00:38:12 "it's our responsibility, we want to make sure students are well prepared
Now the school says they will make exceptions for parents and understand how this could be an inconvenience for them. Ultimately they want parents to understand the STAAR exam is a high stakes test and they just want the best for their students. For KGNS, I’m James Johnson.