"The change primarily would affect families with students at K-8s. Like most of the district's traditional elementary schools, the K-8s begin their day around 9:05 a.m. -- but next fall, would start more than an hour earlier.
In interviews and on local education blogs, parents appeared cool to the proposal. Some are concerned that the district's estimated savings may be rosier than reality; others worry that the shift would significantly boost their after-school child care costs."
Those statements clearly lay it out as to why parents are concerned:
- Are the money savings truly there?
- Significant changes to family schedules
- Costs to families
"School Board President Michael DeBell said Friday that coordinated bell times could work, but he's advocating for them to be later -- 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.
Like many parents, he balks at the idea of a kindergartener waiting at a bus stop at 7 a.m., in the middle of a dark winter morning."
If Michael is saying this outloud, then it means that the staff will have its work cut out for them to convince him. His voice carried a lot of weight on the Board. Looking at the numbers, though, I can see Cheryl, Peter and Steve going for this with Michael, Harium and Mary on the other side. Sherry Carr could be the wild card unless Steve hears from a lot of people.
So how would parents feel with a 9:30 start for elementary? That's about 15-25 minutes later than most schools start. What about K-8 at 8:30? Is that a compromise you could live with?
The voice of parent, Lucy Sloman, rang true:
"I know they need to find efficiencies," Sloman said. "But these are the kinds of things that make parents think about not being in public schools. ... Every time they do this, it's another moment of feeling like you're not being heard."