A major challenge for many working parents or those endeavoring to work or pursue better opportunities is that of parental/guardian employment hours versus school hours. Schedule-based optional enrollment would be the ultimate solution here.
Optional assignments could be automatically generated for parents who pre-register students and indicate their work hours where prompted in student registration portals. “Parent/Guardian Employment Hours” and a query as to whether or not the parent/guardian is an employee of their child’s school district would also be incorporated into manual registration applications for said purpose. Lists of nearest optional schools with opening hours that better jibe with parents’ work hours would also be available to parents manually registering students and indicate interest in schedule-based enrollment.
Notwithstanding, it would be most ideal for public schools to uniformly open earlier, i.e. 6:00 a.m. or before. This would present more time for students to eat breakfast and acquire needed tutoring. It would open the school doors to students who must wait outside of school buildings until schools open as an only resort for those with working parents who must report to work before their child(ren)’s school opens. This would decrease episodes of child endangerment and further strengthen school security in that masses of students would not be rushing into school buildings at once, which would make it easier for campus officers to check students and others for weapons and other contraband.
Students who report to school significantly earlier than classes would ordinarily begin could assemble in school auditoriums, libraries, or gymnasiums, etc. after breakfast. All students in need of tutoring would report to extended resource labs and/or other designated areas for tutoring, which should really commence as soon as the school doors would open and end at the beginning of first period classes or homeroom; this would improve students’ academic performance, and subsequently save schools the money/resources that they’d utilize for students who’d otherwise repeat grades.
Universally opening schools earlier would also benefit instructors and other school employees* with children who are attending schools other than those for which they are employed; it would therewithal help to improve retention of substitute educators who might at a whim be needed for assignments that commence before their own children are due at school. (*Educators and other school staff with children who do not attend the schools for which they are employed should be granted extended pick-up grace periods, i.e. up to 4:30 p.m. before being charged afterschool or other fees).
Schedule-based optional enrollment, nonetheless, could benefit all other students and parents who wouldn’t benefit from uniformly opening schools earlier in the morning, i.e. parents who work overnight shifts that do not end before their children must report to school. Optional schools with dormitories, as I’ve previously proposed, would also be the solution here. Parents would sign their children (already bathed and with their school clothes in labeled bags) into the dormitories, or designated sleeping areas for non-residential students, before reporting to work. Residential Monitors would awaken the students and assure that they are dressed and escorted together to breakfast and their respective classes. Parents would pick up their children after school and daily repeat this cycle.
Schedule-based optional schools could also service children of parents who are employed after traditional school hours and/or after 6:00 p.m., when most after school or aftercare programs end, or between 6:00 p.m. and hours preceding third shift. Students attending such schools would be privileged to homework assistance and, perhaps, certain classes between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (a reasonable bed time) and napping in areas designated for this particular group until they are retrieved by parents after work. Possibly, such students might be required to attend regular classes for shorter lengths of time or minus hours attended in classes during evenings.
Schedule-based optional schools would also facilitate participation of working parents in educational ventures of their own, as such schools would be designed to cater to parents in the workforce and/or those who are seeking professional advancement.
Students would be capable of transferring their school vouchers to Schedule-based optional schools, which would offer academic services that are equitable with or superior to those offered by traditional public schools, and parents would cover any residual costs on an income-contingent basis. To address those who would oppose Schedule-Based Enrollment for fear that it would reduce funding for traditional public schools, as do most who oppose privatization of public education, I’ll remind, as I have previously demonstrated, that education should and can be a money no object venture.
The ultimate benefit of such an initiative is the POWERFUL boost that it would yield to the economy, and all on a token of rendering supplemental educational services to students and better empowering parents to work and attend school themselves.