All Anaheim Elementary campuses moving to a single-track calendar

After more than 20 years, all students in the Anaheim Elementary School District are going to be on the same calendar.

The district’s Board of Education recently approved shifting Thomas Edison, Horace Mann and Ponderosa elementary schools to the traditional single-track calendar on which the other 20 AESD schools operate, ending multi-track scheduling in Anaheim by 2019-20.

Anaheim families gather to discuss the transition from a multi-track calendar to a single track.

“We have heard from our families and delivered on the promise for a single calendar for all of our schools,” Superintendent Christopher Downing said. “By having all AESD schools on a traditional calendar, we are not only providing families what they have requested, but we are continuing to strengthen our district’s emerging STEAM focus and dual language opportunities for all.”

The Anaheim Elementary School District first implemented multi-track calendars in the early 1990s, when Anaheim and many other districts were facing a surge in enrollment. While the move did alleviate some of the issues caused by its rapidly expanding student population, it was never considered ideal.

That’s because many families prefer to take vacations in the summer months. Moreover, some working parents have had to find child care when their children were “off track.” And some parents with children in one or more multi-track schools have had to juggle different schedules.

AESD officials said parents at their three multi-track sites have been voicing a desire to move to a single-track calendar for some time. Meanwhile, local bond measures have helped renovate or rebuild most AESD campuses, giving them larger enrollment capacities.

The school board voted unanimously to make the change at its Jan. 30 meeting, and the district has already begun holding meetings with stakeholders to identify challenges and potential solutions as the transition gets underway this summer.

“Our families have voiced excitement about going to a single-track calendar,” said Dr. Yadira Moreno, the principal at Ponderosa Elementary.

“Many of our families have other children in junior high or high school, and juggling multiple calendars has been daunting for many years,” Moreno said. “By having one calendar that is more traditional, families are able to better plan quality time together. This change allows our scholars to be motivated to attend school when their older siblings are at school.”