Schools

Schoolyard access: enough or not?

TEN ELEMENTARY schoolyards are available for community use on weekends in the Garden Grove Unified School District, but some critics say that’s not enough (Shutterstock).

In years past, it was commonplace after school or on weekends for kids and even their families to enjoy the use of the many elementary schoolyards in the Garden Grove Unified School District.

It’s still possible, but on a much more limited basis.

Because of security concerns and the widespread use of schools by the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove, the campuses available for community recreational access now number 10, which works out to two for each trustee area.

The policy was adopted by the district last October in response to concerns raised by Tony Flores and Joe Starbird.

“Mr. Starbird and Mr. Flores brought the issue of community access to our attention,” said Abby Broyles, public information officer for the GGUSD. “We conducted a survey, held a community meeting, and from the input we received, we worked with the city and the police department to develop a plan that addresses the needs of the community while serving the best interests of our students and schools.”

However, Flores isn’t satisfied with the policy.

“There still appears to be limited access to residents regarding the recreational use of these facilities for residents,” said Flores.

“This not only has a negative impact on those of us who live in West Garden Grove, but throughout the entire city. Also, the GGUSD’s plan does not appear to be in sync with the city’s parks, recreation and open space element.”

Here’s the district’s policy for elementary school community access.

  • Trustee Area 1: School sites Enders and Garden Park. Access is from 3 p.m. to dark weekdays and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dark.
  • Trustee Area 2: Brookhurst and Gilbert. No afterschool access. Weekend access Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dark.
  • Trustee Area 3: Clinton and Riverdale: No afterschool access. Weekend access Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dark.
  • Trustee Area 4: Monroe and Northcutt. No afterschool access. Weekend access Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dark.
  • Trustee Area 5: Excelsior and Marshall. No afterschool access. Weekend access Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dark.

Generally, the afterschool access policy is due to Boys and Girls’ Club students on campus daily.

The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove and portions of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.

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