Kindergarten Kids Joining Preschoolers

Adding More Young Learners at Essex
Posted on 08/20/2021
Image of APS LogoA rapidly growing demand for learning space in Akron Public Schools is creating new educational opportunities for kindergartners at a school that has been nurturing preschoolers.

Essex Elementary, just east of Firestone CLC in West Akron, will now add more than 130 kindergarten students to its current enrollment of 150 preschoolers.

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

The need for extra space comes due to Harris-Jackson CLC in North Akron being beyond capacity this year.

“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 Annex,” she added, “is helping us solve this.”

APS is in the process of creating a new learning space for the Harris-Jackson kindergarten classes by making adjustments to the space inside Essex, much of which has not been used since the building’s closure in 2014 (prior to its repurposed use for preschool).

The district is working on a new, longer-range plan for the coming years. But, for the 2021-22 school year, these kindergarten students will be transported on school buses to Harris-Jackson Annex.

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

Superintendent Fowler Mack added, “Our kindergarten students will have an exceptional learning environment for young students at Harris-Jackson Annex with plenty of room to learn, grow and explore.

With the addition of Harris-Jackson kindergarten students, children will be on both playgrounds at various times of the day for breaks and recess per their classroom schedule.

Neighbors of Essex will see a higher volume of traffic from school buses. 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.

Akron Public Schools advises neighbors and persons traveling through the Essex area to be mindful at all times to travel at the posted speed limits and honor school signal flashers when school is in session.

Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack concluded, “We are so happy to support our students and their families as we introduce them to this new experience. This expanded center for early learning presents us with an exciting, new opportunity to serve families who are part of remarkable growth in our community. We want them to know we are growing with them.”

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