Changing the School Times should be welcomed with positive feedback, but the Superintendent Jeff Eakins has gotten a lot of backlash from parents who drive their kids to school before heading to work. The planned bell times don’t seem to be agreeable to parents, but the Students don’t appear to mind the changes. These proposed bell changes will take effect in the next school year.

Ready to vote

Votes for the bell times will be available April 25, but before people can vote Eakins has to make some minor changes to the bell times to see if people would agree on the new timing. The bell schedule he originally proposed was to allow one hour between the buses to that they can attend to the elementary, middle, and high schools and get all the students in class on time.

Parents have voiced their opinion about the bell times as a concern about family schedules that could be compromised by these changes in school times. More than 400 parents have emailed the Superintendent about their concerns, which comes in a range of work and family questions. Despite remarks about moving bell times forward or back to accommodate all those buses and help the district save a little money, early focus groups that included students from local schools have opted in favor of the changes because it is often difficult for them to get to school on time.

Some recent changes to the school year include cutting back on buses and teachers. Students who live 2 miles from a local school will not be allowed a bus stop.

Parents were not happy about that change, so more and more parents now have to drive their kids to school than let them walk to the school after getting up at 5 a.m. every morning to get out of the house by 6:20 a.m. for them to be on time at school.

Need to change

Jeff Eakins has stressed that changing the bell times is to allow all students to get to school on time so that they do not miss any instructional time that could compromise their learning.

The benefit of early and later releases for some schools means that teachers have more time to plan their courses, but will have less time to teach them. There will be a longer period for after school activities like sports, work schedules for high school students who have a part-time job outside of school, and many areas of the arts.

Many of the emailed concerns about depriving teens of more sleep that is required for their growing brains and changing family routines to meet the necessary bus and start times for schools. Other parents said that the later dismissals could mean that they are unable to make doctor’s appointments that could be easily done with the current schedule.

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