As we prepare to wrap up the school year on June 7
th, we wanted to share with all families there will be a change in the school day start and end times for next school year. This change is being made after careful consideration and in light of the opportunity to gain significant cost-savings of $400,000 each year for bus transportation. This is one way the school district can counter several years of reduced financial support from the state and help maintain class sizes and student programs.
We realize this new schedule will prompt some changes to family and employee schedules, but our hope in communicating this several months in advance, is that everyone will have adequate time to plan.
With these new start and end times, each bus can be used for three routes instead of for two routes, decreasing the need to lease as many buses or employ as many drivers.
We considered several time shifts, and planned to ask our staff and families about which option in schedules was preferred. However, our study and the estimates from our bus company, First Student, showed that this one specific schedule option would have the most significant positive impact on the school district budget, so it makes sense to implement that change for the 16-17 school year.
We appreciate your support and flexibility as we attempt to find cost-saving measures that will not interfere with the programs that help all children succeed. If you have any questions about this, please contact your child’s school. You are also welcome to call the school district’s office at 712-328-6446
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What will be the new start and end times for schools next school year for Tuesdays through Fridays?
A: Middle School: 7:30 am- 2:30 pm (25 minutes earlier than current schedule)
High School: 8:10 am-3:10 pm (20 minutes later than current schedule)
Elementary School: 8:55 am-3:45 pm (10 minutes later than current schedule)
Q: What will be the start and end times for Mondays?
A: Middle School: 7:30 am- 12:50 pm (25 minutes earlier than current schedule)
High School: 8:10 am-1:30 pm (20 minutes later than current schedule)
Elementary School: 8:55 am-2:05 pm (10 minutes later than current schedule)
Q: How much money will this save?
A: This change to the school start and end times will result in a savings of at least $400,000 annually due to the reduction of the number of busses and drivers needed for the daily morning and afternoon routes. In a time when funding from the state is inadequate to pay for increasing costs of operating a school district and paying fair wages to employees, this $400,000 is significant since that money can instead be used to maintain programs for students as well as to retain teachers and other staff members who serve students.
Q: Why not have high school start much later based on the research that shows sleeping in is good for teenagers?
A: The option considered with high school starting at 8:45 a.m. would save only about half of the amount of money of the chosen option. In addition, parents, students and staff members expressed concerns about after-school activities and work obligations for high school students.
Q: Why didn’t you seek input from parents and staff?
A: We considered several time shifts, and planned to ask our staff and families about their preferred change. However, our study and the estimates from our bus company, First Student, showed that this one specific option would have the most significant positive impact on finances, so it makes sense to implement that change for the 16-17 school year.
Q: Were there any other schedules that were considered?
A: It would be possible to save even more money by changing three elementary schools’ schedules to match the high school schedule. However, varied elementary schedules would be too disruptive for traveling teachers who serve multiple elementary buildings, so we didn’t seriously consider the option.
Q: What will be the work hours for employees at each school level?
A: The work schedules will shift accordingly with the earlier or later start times to provide the appropriate coverage during student hours. Elementary licensed staff work 7.5 hours per day and Middle/High licensed staff work 8 hours per day. Building administrators as well as the directors of the Nutrition and Custodial departments will determine schedules of the full and part-time staff in those departments.
Q: How will the change the schedules of traveling teachers for specials, etc?
A: The schedules of traveling teachers will be set as soon as possible to account for the changes in school start and end times. The master schedules may change based on teachers who serve both middle and high schools, for example, to account for the 40- minute difference in schedules rather than the current 5-minute difference.
As we prepare to wrap up the school year on June 7th, we wanted to share with all families there will be a change in the school day start and end times for next school year. This change is being made after careful consideration and in light of the opportunity to gain significant cost-savings of […]