Skip to Content

More Options for School Changes

***UPDATE TUESDAY 6:20 P.M.***District leaders tell ABC 17 News it doesn’t look like the original plan of classes starting at 7:20 A. M. is going to happen. They say that’s too early for any school to start. But after meetings throughout the day, they believe they have somewhat of a better plan.District leaders met throughout the day and tried to work out all of the problems with changing the three tier start times. The board asked to look at the original scenarios of when high school, elementary, and middle schools will start. Both scenarios had high school starting second in the day and differed on who starts first. But district leaders say it’s a complicated decision because so many factors that plays into it.”It’s easy to say we’ll just follow the research and be done with it, but that’s really not what we’re about. But the committee made the recommendation not so much on the start times, but the order,” Columbia Public Schools Board of Education Vice President Christine King says.Right now district leaders have some things figured out. They believe everything is pointing to high school starting second between 8:10-8:20 A.M. But they say whoever starts first; 7:20 is too early. They say the first group should start around 7:40.Some parents have said this could all be avoided if the district would just buy more school buses. Leaders say they have the money to do it, but it might cause more problems because they have to deal with more employees. “We have substitute drivers, they don’t do the routes well, we never fill the complete list of drivers this year, we’re just not finding the employees to do that,” Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher explains.School officials believe they’re close to finding the right answer. They still have a lot to talk about, but their decision is still expected to happen sometime next month. “Anytime you tweak something another problem occurs, or another opposition, or another challenge presents itself, and at some point you kind of just have to rip the band-aide off,” King says.The superintendent tells us he will try to find at least 10 districts nation wide that have elementary schools starting first. That’s because there are none in Missouri. He says if he is able to find any, he will be able to see if it can work in Columbia Public Schools.Board leaders tell us they want at least one more public hearing before making a decision. That could happen at next month’s meeting.***ORIGINAL STORY***The Columbia School Board discussed the proposal for changing school start times and bus transportation times on Monday.Many members of the public spoke against the current proposal. The plan has high school going from 7:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., middle schools and some elementary schools going from 8:10 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., and the remaining elementary schools going from 9:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.People were worried that elementary schools would start too late and students would not learn very well late in the day. Parents also thought starting high school too early would significantly hurt any before-school activities like music and arts.The board reacted by requesting more options. They are looking to put high school in the middle slot and work to see if elementary or middle schools would be better in the first and third tiers.The board sill plans on making a final decision on February 11.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content