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Overcrowding at Akron's Harris-Jackson CLC forces 130 kindergartners to new school

APS Relocate Kindergarten
Posted at 6:49 AM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 10:36:51-04

AKRON, Ohio — Akron Public Schools are a week away from the new school year, but the district is making changes for some of its youngest students as the district faces overcrowding concerns at Harris-Jackson CLC, which opened in 2017.

“We are thriving in North Hill, and our school is reflecting that, so we need to use other space to accommodate this growth,” said Harris-Jackson Principal Andrea Aller. “The availability of Essex as our Harris-Jackson is helping us solve this.”

The district announced it will bus 130 Harris-Jackson kindergartners about five miles away to attend Essex Elementary for this upcoming school year. Essex, which was originally a full elementary school, now houses 150 preschoolers.

“We are fortunate to have this space available to accommodate kindergarten students in an environment already tailored to our youngest learners,” said Mack.

Mack says this is temporary as the district works on a new longer-range plan for the coming years.

Classes will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. for kindergarten and conclude at 2:30 p.m.

Neighbors of Essex Elementary will also see changes with more traffic from school buses. The district’s recent press release states: “traffic will be coming to and from the building as follows: staff arrives between 7 and 7:45 a.m., student arrival is 8-8:30 a.m., morning session preschool lets out at 11:30 a.m., and afternoon preschoolers arrive from 11:45 a.m.-noon. There will be more activity when preschool lets out at 2:15 p.m. and the new kindergarten classes are dismissed at 2:30 p.m. Most of the heavy traffic should be away from Essex by 2:45 p.m.”

Harris-Jackson CLC is holding an open house for all grades Monday, August 23 from 3-5 p.m. for parents to ask questions. A special open house will also be held at Essex Elementary next Monday, August 30 from 5-8 p.m. Transportation available from Harris-Jackson to Essex will be available.