Parents frustrated over first day delay

DENVER – When Sterling Wind found out on Friday that school will not start on Monday for his 10-year-old daughter, he was not only surprised: He was mad.

"I don't know where this kind of communication, this kind of leadership, a failure like this is acceptable," Wind said. "It's frustrating."

Wind is a parent from Bromwell Elementary. Bromwell is scheduled for major renovations, so for one year, all Bromwell students will attend classes at the Byers Middle School campus - which had already begun its own renovation process.

But, construction crews fell behind, causing a ripple effect, according to Diane Smith, instructional superintendent for Denver Public Schools.

"They were still finishing," Smith said. "They're still working on the cosmetic touches."

As a result, Smith says, Bromwell teachers could not get into the Byers building to set up their classrooms until Wednesday, Aug. 20 with school set to start on Monday, Aug. 25. Smith says typically teachers get weeks to set up their classrooms, not days. So, the district decided to postpone the first day of school for Bromwell students to Wednesday, Aug. 27 to give teachers more time. Smith points out they are setting their rooms up from scratch since this is a temporary location.

"If we had to push to Monday (Aug. 25), that really wouldn't have been the case, the rooms would not have been prepared," Smith said. "The teachers would not have felt prepared."

Smith admits it was a mistake to wait until Friday to tell parents about the first day delay.

"We were waiting because we thought maybe we could get this done and we thought, no, this is really not fair to put on the teachers or the students," Smith said.

Wind says it's not fair to families who are now in a bind to find daycare.

"Health and safety, a delay, absolutely understandable," Wind said. "We don't have all the posters up, not okay."

Construction issues are causing delays on the West High Campus as well. West Generation Academy and West Leadership Academy which share space in the building will also delay the first day of school by two days.

"If this happening at Bromwell, what's happening in those other communities?" Wind said.

Smith says the district needs repair more than just the buildings.

"We're going to do anything in our power once school does start to rebuild that confidence," Smith said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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