School district considering new elementary school start times

The St. Joseph School District is considering changing the times that kids go to school next year.

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 5:31 PM
Updated: Apr 10, 2019 1:14 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District is considering changing the times that kids go to school next year.

At Tuesday's Long Range Planning Committee meeting, school district officials met to discuss future plans for the schools. One change would include altering the start times for elementary schools.

Under the current plan, elementary schools start at varying times across the district. The new plan would consolidate those times and in some cases change them by five to fifteen minutes.

The potential change could end up saving the district money, Dr. Doug Van Zyl, SJSD's superintendent says. This is because bus routes could be changed from a mostly two-tier system to a three-tier system. In a two-tier system, a bus driver would pick up a middle school and high school group and then a elementary school. In a three-tier system, the driver would be able to pick up a middle school and high school group and then two elementary schools in a single shift.

"It is more cost effective for us to have our buses be utilized all the time rather than, well I'm going to run one route," Van Zyl said. "When you can utilize all your fleet, for the same number of routes, it is more cost efficient for us as well."

With the current bus routes, kids can sometimes be waiting after school for an extra 10-20 minutes, Van Zyl says.

The change would have to be approved by the school board before taking effect.

The school district would not change the start or end times for middle or high schools.

The change could take effect as early as next school year.

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