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Delayed Start To School Year For Some City Students?

By Vanessa de la Torre

September 01, 2011

This morning, Marva Donald called the Courant, upset. Her grandson, Denzel Wilson, is a fifth-grader and was supposed to start school this Tuesday along with thousands of other Hartford children.

But there was a snag. Because Denzel moved from the North End to Sigourney Street this summer, his mother transferred him out of his old school, Simpson-Waverly, and sought to enroll him in a neighborhood school, possibly West Middle Elementary.

The week before classes began, Denzel's mother, Latoya Wilson, called the school system's Choice office and was told she would get a response this Monday, Donald said.

Then: "Monday, runaround. Tuesday, runaround." At one point, Donald visited the Main Street office with her daughter.

Today, Donald said, Wilson was told by the office that Denzel might not be enrolled in a city school for another two weeks. According to Donald, Wilson was told that her family wasn't the only one in this predicament.

"I don't care if it's one child, or a few hundred," Donald said. "They should not be kept out of school this long. It's still educational neglect, any way you slice it."

When we called schools spokesman David Medina for an explanation, he said: "I know there are a lot of parents who waited a long time to register. They should have registered a while ago." Then Medina said he would look into the case.

So far, we haven't heard back from Medina.

But five minutes ago, Donald called to report that her grandson had been placed at West Middle Elementary School and will begin there tomorrow. She sounded relieved.

Any others out there with a similar story?


UPDATE at 3:05 p.m.: Medina said there are 158 students who have not been placed in a school "because of late registration," but that all will be assigned to one by the end of today.

"We are working around the clock," said Medina, adding that "this is not unusual at the beginning of the year."

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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