Phillips Brooks School summer academic program gets OK | January 2, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - January 2, 2019

Phillips Brooks School summer academic program gets OK

by Kate Bradshaw

A summer academic program at Phillips Brooks School in Sharon Heights received clearance from the Menlo Park Planning Commission on Dec. 10 to launch for future summers following an initial pilot program this year.

The Planning Commission voted 6-1, with Commissioner John Onken opposed, to approve a change in the school's use permit that would allow the program to run and its number of staff to increase to 68 from 58.

The program is expected to run for eight weeks, from June through early August, and have an enrollment cap of 120 students, ages 5 to 11. The main program would run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and would have morning and afternoon care offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The commission agreed that the school should submit a plan for its lighting system to create less ambient light in the dark hours when activity occurs on the campus after 6 a.m. and before 10 p.m., and to make sure the school's lights are off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

That was a compromise in response to complaints from one of the school's Avy Avenue neighbors, Thomas Warden, who alleged in a letter that Phillips Brooks School has had incidents of noncompliance with noise and parking rules.

Several other people who live near the school also wrote in with concerns about the after-hours noise generated by custodial work and the increased summer traffic.

In favor of the summer program permit were several members of the public who described the benefits of a different summer program for children in the community.

Patrick and Lynda Galligan wrote: "As the parents of three children we are keenly aware of the need for great summer programs. Phillips Brooks provides a school-based environment with extended academic learning during the summer months that many parents in the school district would otherwise not have access to."

"As many households require dual incomes to sustain the high cost of local living, a safe and welcoming place for young children is imperative," Priti and Sanjay Morey said in an email. "Many summer programs and camps are so highly subscribed that many families cannot find adequate, stimulating environments for their children. We believe that this program will fill a vital need in the community."

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