Lack of half-day information irks parents - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Lack of half-day information irks parents

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:36 pm | Updated: 9:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Higley Unified School District still offers half-day kindergarten classes - although interested parents said they had problems finding out that information.

Higley mom Jennifer Lambrigger went to the district office to ask questions about half-day kindergarten and was told by a staff member handling kindergarten registration they didn't know the answers to her questions.

Half-day information was also not included in kindergarten registration packets.

"There is a communication breakdown," said Lambrigger, who asked the district board for help last week.

District Superintendent Joyce Lutrey apologized and said the confusion comes from changes in the offerings of half-day kindergarten classes.

"It's just been an area that we'll improve, and we certainly want to be responsive to parents' needs," Lutrey said.

"Some of the confusion came because the district Web site may not have been updated timely enough for those parents who had downloaded their (kindergarten registration) application," she said.

Higley school board president Ed Moore said the way questions were handled was just "not good customer service."

"All employees have to remember that we're here to serve the public," Moore said. "Perhaps training on customer service is needed."

He added that "sometimes information is not given out to everyone as it should."

Higley schools now offer more full-day kindergarten classes because of an overwhelming response, although half-day classes are still available if enough parents want them, Lutrey said.

Two years ago, the district had one full-day class per school. Last year, a lottery was held because more parents wanted full-day kindergarten than the district could accommodate in its classroom space, she said.

"We told everyone they don't have to go through a lottery anymore, but neglected to say we're still offering that half-day," Lutrey said.

Even though half-day kindergarten classes are still available in the district, the number of classes depends on how many parents are interested in enrolling their kids in the half-day program.

A school has to have enough families interested in the half-day program to fill two classrooms. "We can't use the room for just a half a day," Lutrey said.

The district expects to be able to tell parents by the end of April which schools will offer half-day kindergarten classes, she said.

Parents who have already registered their children in kindergarten will receive letters advising them about half-day availability and locations, just in case they didn't have that information.

"I anticipate those will be going out next week," Lutrey said.

For information on kindergarten registration, parents can call the Higley district registrar at (480) 279-7064.

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