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Holmes School Now Offers K-8

Oliver Wendell Homes School, 2463 N. Buffum St., has made several changes to its programming since the Neighborhood Schools Initiative began in 2000. Although the school was not one of the overcrowded area schools that benefited from facility additions, other parts of the plan have affected it. Moving bilingual programs to the areas where students in need of these services live was one goal of the plan. Holmes bilingual/English as a Second Language program was subsequently eliminated two years ago because of a decline in the Spanish speaking population. La Escuela Fratney and Franklin Pierce School both still offer these services to Riverwest and Harambee. Another change was the expansion of Holmes to provide classes for grades 6, 7 and 8. When the Neighborhood Schools Initiative was planned, community meetings indicated that parents wanted K–8 schools instead of middle schools. Holmes was one of 56 schools that added one classroom at each grade level, although parents still have the choice of sending their children to middle schools. Also among the changes was renovation of the building to include a science lab to accommodate the needs of these older students. Holmes serves approximately 450 students, with about half coming from the neighborhood. It offers sports and cheerleading, as well as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other activities. The school also works with the Urban Ecology Center, and COA Youth and Family Center provides after school Community Learning Center (CLC) activities. Volunteer spots are available, and interested parties can contact the literacy coach, Charla Reetz, who is looking for a few people to tutor children. Call 267-1443 if interested. Gaenslen Pool Programming The Governance Council at Gaenslen School, 1250 E. Burleigh St., is looking into options for having the pool open to the community one night a week. The pool has a low depth end and is warmer than most pools, making it great for younger kids. Ideas include having tiny tots swim, water aerobics, and open family swim. If you have ideas of what you would like to see happen at the pool, email The Council also discussed working with the Safe Walks program to educate about safe walking and driving practices around schools, set up walking routes, and deal with the traffic problem at the intersection of East Burleigh Street and Humboldt Boulevard. ~