KLSD Considers School Start Time Changes
In light of recurring questions from staff and community about the early start time of our middle school and the late end time of our elementary schools, the District has studied an alternative that would allow us to adjust those times. The alternative, if approved, would also increase opportunities for professional staff from all school levels to collaborate after school.
As a result, for the 2017-18 school year, KLSD is considering modifications to each of its five schools’ start and end times. These changes have ramifications on school bus transportation and require an increase to the Transportation Department’s budget.
Because these changes have impact across the District, we have prepared this information sheet and will also have a presentation at our March 9 Board of Education meeting to further explore this alternative. That meeting will take place in John Jay High School’s cafeteria at 7:30 pm.
KLSD is considering shifting the elementary schools’ day fifteen minutes earlier, the middle school’s day twenty-five minutes later, and the high school’s day twenty minutes earlier.
To achieve these changes, the District would consolidate school bus runs from three trips each morning and afternoon to two. Although this results in an efficiency in fuel use, the change does require four additional bus drivers.
Advantages and disadvantages of these changes are outlined below.
- School would begin fifteen minutes earlier
- Earlier access to private after-school activities and programs. The current later end time necessitates up to sixty individual car pick-ups daily, per school. This situation requires significant supervision to maintain safety.
- School would begin twenty-five minutes later
- Earlier access to after-school activities involving high school students (i.e. Reach Out John Jay), but also the possibility of conflict on some days with other activities, such as after-school extra help
- Potential future opportunities for shared extracurricular activities
- Potential future access to high school classes
- Access to after-school help from teachers who teach in both the middle and high schools
- Middle school athletes who play on varsity or junior varsity teams —approximately thirty-five students—would be on the same schedule as the rest of high school team
- There would no longer be a 3:00 high school dismissal bus which is currently used by some middle school students as a late bus.
- School would begin twenty minutes earlier
- Access to after-school help from teachers who teach in both the middle and high schools
- Fewer conflicts between clubs, extra help, and athletics, with an earlier end time for all
- Potential impact to current zero period presently used for physical education with possible addition of health during 2017-18
- Enhanced opportunities for staff to collaborate after school
- Streamlined start times—from three different start times to two—which impacts families with children in multiple schools
- More staff available from all school levels to provide coaches and chaperones
- Increased middle school and high school traffic congestion before and after school
- Wider age range of students riding buses together
- Increased need to transport some teams off high school / middle school campus for practices or games
- Adds $230,000 to budget to cover need of four additional bus drivers
- Potential fuel cost saving of approximately $45,000, partially off-set by need to transport teams to other sites (see question 4 and 5)
- Less efficient use of bus drivers’ time
- What are the start and end times for our schools currently, and how do District school buses accommodate these times?
- Elementary Schools: 9:15 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.
- John Jay Middle School: 7:30 a.m. – 2:07 p.m.
- John Jay High School: 8:15 a.m. – 2:53 p.m.
The District currently sends three “waves” of buses out at three different times each morning and afternoon. This is called triple tripping.
- What are the start and end times that the District is considering for next year, and how would school buses accommodate these times?
- Elementary Schools: 9:00 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.
- John Jay Middle School: 7:55 a.m. – 2:33 p.m.
- John Jay High School: 7:55 a.m. – 2:33 p.m.
If these changes were implemented, the District would send two “waves” of buses out each morning and afternoon. This is called double tripping. KLSD last used double tripping in 2010.
- How do KLSD start times compare to those in other Westchester/Putnam districts?
This information will be available at the presentation on March 9 and may also be seen on the Power Point slides posted on line in the Board Docs section of klschools.org.
- How would school sports and other after-school activities be impacted?
The District does not anticipate any program changes related to the potential changes in start and end times. We would still offer late buses. We would continue to use fields on the John Jay campus. For the past few years, most of our JV programs practice and compete off-campus within the district. We might need to use these off-campus fields on a more regular basis to accommodate all of our programs.
- What would be the cost of transporting additional athletic teams off the John Jay campus for games and practices?
The District would transport additional athletic teams off the high school / middle school campus to other schools or fields throughout the District which would take fifteen to twenty minutes each way. There would be no added personnel costs as the trips would fit into existing drivers’ schedules. The cost of fuel would be more than offset by the elimination of the third “wave” of daily busing.
- How would this change impact daily bus rides of public school students?
The average ride time is projected to be roughly the same. However, where necessary, some routes may be reversed or adjusted. For high school and middle school students, expect that 1/3 of the rides would be shorter, 1/3 of the rides would be longer and 1/3 of the rides would be the same. The middle school / high school buses would also be loaded to a higher capacity. There would be no change to the elementary school buses other than typical changes related to changes in population. Also:
- Middle school and high school students would ride buses together. The District would need four additional routes to accommodate high school and middle school students being on the same schedule.
- The high school / middle school late buses are currently 4:15 and 5:30. This would shift to 4:00 and 5:15. The middle school’s current ability to use the high school’s 3:00 bus as a late bus would no longer be an option. The length of the late bus trip would depend on the ridership on the late bus on any given day. Late buses only stop at locations when necessary: If we do not have a student on a late bus for a specific stop the bus continues to the next location without stopping. Late buses generally stop at locations within walking limits established by Board of Education policy.
- How would this change impact daily bus rides of private school students?
KLSD currently transports students to forty-one private schools and BOCES. The current transport time is an average of thirty-seven minutes. With the proposed changes, we estimate the average time would be forty minutes.
- The District transports students in grades K - 12 who attend thirty-six private schools from home by van/bus to either transfer at a commuter lot or travel directly to school.
- Students in grades 5 to 12 who attend four private schools and BOCES travel from home to middle school on middle school buses. There, they transfer to vans which take them to their schools.
- In the afternoon, the District provides transportation from each school to bus stops near homes.
- The District would transport students in grades K - 12 who attend twenty-one private schools from home by van/bus to either transfer at a commuter lot or travel directly to school.
- Students in grades K - 12 who attend seven private schools would travel from home to the middle school on middle school / high school buses. There, they would transfer to vans which take them to their schools.
- Students in grades K - 12 who attend thirteen other schools including BOCES would travel from home to the high school on vans. There, they would transfer to vans which take them to their schools.
- In the afternoon, the District would provide transportation from each school to bus stops near homes.
- How would the bus routes be determined?
KLSD utilizes routing software, Transfinder, to help determine the most convenient, safe, and efficient stop for each child. The District uses group bus stops, or neighborhood stops, which allow the buses to stop less frequently and achieve the shortest routes and most reasonable pick-up times. The locations of group stops are determined by the number of students that can get to that location in keeping with the walking distance criteria established by the Board of Education. Final transportation routing is finalized each summer and made public at the end of August.
- What is the history of double vs. triple tripping transportation in KLSD?