By Shawn Chitnis

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Two months into a schedule change in 27J Schools, families are still adjusting to the new routine. At the same time, businesses and community organizations are working together to provide opportunities for students when they’re out of class on Mondays.

schools Monday Opportunities Arise As Students Adjust To Shortened School Week

(credit: CBS)

“We don’t have school and some hang out here and others stay home,” said Kaylie Bersano, 10, a 5th grade student at Brantner Elementary School in Thornton. “Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t because I want to hang out with my friends longer and then other times I would just like a day off.”

Dozens of students who attend Brantner Tuesdays through Fridays — the new school week — come back on Mondays for child care. Parents can sign up and pay for the service and scholarships are available for families in need. The shortened school week adds an additional 40 minutes to each of the remaining four days.

“I don’t feel strongly about it but I still like it,” said Owen Knoblauch, 10, another 5th grade student at the school. “It’s not that great, it’s not all that bad.”

Mondays were chosen because some district holidays already fall on that day. There are also a lot of activities students participate in during the week that have events falling on Fridays. Administrators also thought it would be better to extend the weekend into Monday and keep the pattern of ending the week on a Friday.

Child care at schools in the district is just one of many options available to families looking to keep their students engaged on Mondays. Some of the programming suggested by 27J Schools include an art school, recreation centers and a coding center for children.

“We see that nights and weekends,” said Kristin Meaux, Fitness Supervisor at the Brighton Rec Center. The attendance by students was already there she explained. “It would be helpful to our community to be able to help them provide that.”

An open gym and pool are obvious attractions for students but there are also camps for sports, LEGO, and space. Classes for babysitting and lifeguards are also available along with cooking classes. Students tend to be at the end of elementary school or the beginning of high school at the rec center.

school Monday Opportunities Arise As Students Adjust To Shortened School Week

(credit: CBS)

“As a rec center, it’s a good to be a head of something so being proactive for providing programming,” said Meaux. “We try to offer the rec center, the typical stuff that we offer as well as some kind of educational things like the LEGO and the Space camps.”

For young students still learning the new schedule, the remaining school days are an adjustment they admit can be difficult.

“It feels a lot longer than usual,” said Bersano. “Sometimes it’s hard, other times it’s easy.”

“They feel kind of rushed,” said Knoblauch. “Kind of like I’m stressed out, because I have a lot of work.”

But these students in the child care program enjoy seeing their classmates and others they would not meet at school, even if they are not studying together.

“I look forward to them to hang out with my friends and stuff because some of them aren’t in my class,” said Bersano.

“It’s different because, we aren’t ‘learning learning,’ but we’re just playing around and doing crafts,” Knoblauch. “I don’t look forward to them and I don’t feel bad about them.”

Monday program information is available at sd27j.org/Page/8426.

Shawn Chitnis reports weeknights for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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