Some after-school programs make adjustments to help Gulfport parents preparing for year-round school

Some after school programs adjust for Gulfport's year-round school plan

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - In July when many children will be out of school for summer break, class will be in session for students in the Gulfport School District. One preschool/after school is working to make this a smooth transition for parents as the year-round school year gets closer.

“We made the decision to adopt the same school calendar,” said Kid Academy Executive Director Matt Dickens. “So when the Gulfport school kids are starting in July now, our pre-school students are going to start in July. We’re going to follow that same schedule to stay on track with the Gulfport School District because roughly around 90% of our students are future Gulfport School District children.”

Kid Academy has added schools in its after-school pick-up route, three of which are Gulfport schools.

“We pick up Anniston Avenue Elementary, Bayou View Elementary, Pass Road Elementary, and also St. James Elementary, the Catholic school in Gulfport,” Dickens said.

To help make this year-round school year a smooth transition, more help is also being made available by the district. During intersessions, enrichment programs, camps and other activities will be offered.

“It ranges from high school where it’s career technical camps that will be offered, all the way down to the elementary schools where we would have summer camps for a couple of weeks in the summer,” said Justin Gros, 6th-grade administrator at Gulfport Central Middle School. “There’s athletic camps. At the lower levels, at the elementary levels, we have the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA. A lot of different organizations are still working with our school right now.”

Paige Heitzmann, a mother of two in the Gulfport School District, said preparing for this year-round school year has been easy since she has always used after-school programs.

“I think that’s the biggest thing, getting the after-school care if you haven’t, to make it easier on the parents,” Heitzmann said. “I know it’s going to be an adjustment for those that took off during the summer or depending on what their work schedules are. We’ve had a while to try and get used to the idea, but I know now, some people might be scrambling.”

The district said the plan with the year-long school year is to help students grow, from those who have fallen behind to those who are thriving in their academics.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.