Parents at five Scottsdale schools will not have to wait until January to send their children to after-school programs if health and safety violations are fixed immediately, the state said Friday.
The Scottsdale Unified School District hasn’t been able to open five Kids Club programs this year because it is still fixing violations the Arizona Department of Health Services found at four other sites in May.
The health department told the district this week vacations would create a scheduling problem for inspections. Based on that, the district predicted the new programs would open in January, said Karen Hearn, director of community schools and service learning.
But Lourdes Ochoa, state licensing manager of the Office of Child Care Licensing, said scheduling wasn’t an issue.
“If our surveyor goes on vacation, we assign it to another surveyor,” she said. “Within this week, it could have happened.”
The health department found violations with Kids Club programs at Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center and Copper Ridge, Cheyenne and Kiva elementary schools.
The district agreed in August not to submit applications for new programs until problems at old sites were fixed. So students signed up for new programs at Cochise, Anasazi, Aztec and Desert Canyon elementary schools. Kids in a program with an expired license at Pueblo Elementary School have been bused to other programs since school started.
Inspections of the old Kids Club programs in September found most issues had been corrected. The district submitted improvement plans to the health department Wednesday, listing when issues were fixed and who would be responsible for monitoring them.
According to the plan, the only problems remaining are child emergency and immunization cards that aren’t fully filled out, dispensers that need to be filled with soap instead of hand sanitizer, trash cans that need lids, low sand levels on some playgrounds and some pieces of broken equipment.
The district listed Nov. 15 and 30 as the dates those problems would be corrected.
If the health department gets word the violations are fixed earlier, it would make it a priority to get an inspector to those sites, said Lisa Wynn, deputy assistant director for the health department.
The repairs probably will happen earlier, Hearn said. But the district still needs to get every parent to completely fill out emergency and immunization cards. Realistically, that won’t be done until the end of the month, Hearn said.