Parkway Votes to Change School Start And End Times
The Parkway Board of Education is scheduled to vote Wednesday night on changing the start and end times for all schools. The changes could take effect in October.
The Parkway Board of Education is scheduled to vote Wednesday night on changing the start and end times for all schools. If approved, the time changes could take effect Oct. 17.
Last year, the school board voted to add 20 additional minutes to elementary school days and move back the start times for middle school students.
Parkway district spokesperson Cathy Kelly told Patch those changes have created some transportation issues, which is why Superintendent Keith Marty is now proposing adjusting school times by 5 to 10 minutes. Marty issued a statement Friday on the proposed changes.
Kelly said the bottom line is the bus schedules are too close together, and 30 percent of the students are arriving at school late on a regular basis.
"When we adjusted this last year we were really responding to comments from parents about starting a little earlier and a little later. And now we're finding we only have 35 minutes between tiers, but it's just not enough time. And we've tried to make it work," Kelly said. "When we have 30 to 35 percent of our kids getting to school late, we're like 'We cannot do this, we need to fix it now. So it's a midcourse correction."
Parkway has schools divided into three tiers, and the time change for each school will depend on the school's tier. (Check your school's tier here.)
"People don't realize one bus driver is driving elementary, middle and high school students. What it comes down to is we need 45 minutes between each of the three tiers," Kelly told Patch. "In a perfect world we'd have a lot more buses, and that costs a lot of money."
The proposed changes to school hours are as follows:
- The first tier, which generally includes the high schools, is currently 7:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. and would change to 7:35 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- The second tier is currently 8:15 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. and would change to 8:20 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
- The third tier is currently 8:55 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. and would change to 9:05 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"It's not a pure tier system. There are some elementary schools that are on different tiers than the others. Generally the high schools are in the first tier, middle schools are second and elementary are third tier," Kelly said.
Although some parents have expressed concerns to Patch that the change in school hours will have their children coming home too late in the day, Kelly said it's really the only option at this point and it's only a five to ten minute difference.
The changes are set to be voted on Wednesday, and if they pass, Kelly said Marty has recommended they take effect Oct. 17.
"We feel that will give everybody enough time to make time adjustments—the schools, the parents and the staff, " Kelly said. "I think when it's all done, I think it's going to be best for all kids, and that's what's matters."
Kelly said another issue at hand is making the change before winter weather hits, because winter may delay student arrival times even more.