Survey: parents favor time changes that don’t affect them
EVERETT - Many of Everett’s parents don’t want school schedules to change for their children but don’t mind if they do for others.
In a recent survey, 45 percent of middle school and high school parents surveyed don’t want school start times to change. Among elementary school parents, 37 percent preferred changing the middle school and high school times while leaving elementary school times alone.
The online survey, which closed last month, received 5,632 responses and more than 1,200 written comments.
More than 6,000 students of the 18,000 students in the Everett School District get to school on buses, district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.
The school district is considering changing start and end times for its elementary, middle and high schools because of rising transportation costs. The changes could mean some schools start up to 20 minutes earlier or later.
District officials say changing school start times will save the district $163,000 in transportation costs. Currently, the district has to dispatch extra buses to cover the regularly scheduled buses when they run late due to afternoon traffic.
So far, the district has added eight bus routes to make up for the congestion and to get students home on time.
Starting classes a few minutes later will eliminate the need to dispatch extra buses, the district said.
Nothing will be decided, though, until the district knows how much the state Legislature will fund transportation. The district currently pays 60 cents for every dollar spent on transportation, and the money for gas and bus drivers come out of the same fund for textbooks.
The district will use the survey results to assist with its decision while trying to find ways to save transportation costs.
The district promises it will make a decision as soon as possible, potentially before the school year ends, it said.
The survey asked respondents to rank four options. Option 1 proposed some middle and high schools start and dismiss 20 minutes later. Option 2 proposed some elementary schools start and dismiss 20 minutes later. Option 3 proposed some middle and high schools start and dismiss 10 minutes earlier, while some elementary schools start and dismiss 10 minutes later. Option 4 proposed no change to the 2013-2014 school start and stop time schedule.
The district hasn’t changed school start times since 2001, Waggoner said previously.
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