Why were these changes made?
School time changes were made to benefit kids and families. Research shows that high school students perform better when schools start later (American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We’ve also heard from many working families with elementary age children that starting schools earlier would make it easier for them to get their kids to school before going to work. This has been a common issue we’ve heard from families over the past two years at our coffee chats, town halls, community events, and parent councils.
In addition to the benefit to kids and families, the school time changes were included in the 2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency plan to help us close a $16 million budget gap. The new school times will allow for more efficient use of our buses and routes. Due to the change we will save an estimated $475,000. Due to these type of efficiencies, we were able to balance our budget while maintaining educator jobs. This is especially important now that COVID-19 has stalled our economy and created significant revenue declines.