Proposal changes school start, end times
District wants to hear from parents
EVERETT - The Everett School District is proposing to change the start times for elementary and middle schools to save money.
Under the proposal released last week, elementary schools would start 10 to 20 minutes later and most middle schools would start 10 minutes later. The school day would end later in the afternoon, so the length of the school day will not be shortened.
The proposal doesn’t affect Everett’s four high schools.
District officials say the move would save the district $163,000 in transportation costs because right now the district has to dispatch extra buses to cover for regularly scheduled buses running late due to traffic.
“The traffic has gotten thick enough and congested enough that the buses aren’t making their second routes in time,” district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said last week.
The delay also results in the district having to pay for additional adult supervision of students stuck at school waiting for the bus.
Starting classes a few minutes later will eliminate the need to dispatch extra buses, the district says.
The district wants to hear from more parents before officially changing the school times. The district would not have to make the change if the Legislature gives it more money for transportation, Waggoner said.
Some working parents say starting school later will make it more difficult to get their kids to school in the morning. Other parents don’t want their kids walking home in the dark after school. The latest scheduled elementary schools would end classes at 3:45 p.m.
Waggoner acknowledged changing school start times will affect parents, but she said child care programs such as the YMCA are available to bus kids to school on time. The programs are not free.
Before and after school child care is not the district’s responsibility, Waggoner said.
Parents dropping their kids off would have to shift their schedule forward if they expect adult supervisors at school, Waggoner said. When class schedules shift, so do the hours of the school’s adult supervisors, she said.
Cedarwood Elementary in Mill Creek, for example, is proposed to start 20 minutes later at 9:35 a.m., which means supervisors won’t be around until 9:20 a.m. Right now the school has supervisors at the bus drop-off site beginning at 8:50 a.m.
If the state gives the district more money for transportation, then it would send out the extra buses “in a heartbeat,” Waggoner said.
The district pays 60 cents for every mile of transportation costs, and transportation costs come out of the same fund for teachers and textbooks.
Usually the district announces school times in the summer, but the district wanted to get this information out early in conjunction with kindergarten registration, Waggoner said.
The district has heard from 20 parents so far on the proposed changes, Waggoner said.
District administration decides school schedule changes, but the Everett School Board can give its input, she said.
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