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JCPS approves district-wide schedule changes

The Jefferson City Board of Education agreed on a district-wide schedule change at its meeting Monday night.

The board voted to approve the following changes:

Elementary schools: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. High schools: 8:40 a.m. – 3:40 p.m. Middle schools: 8:50 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Last month, the board gave preliminary approval to starting all elementary schools first, followed by middle and high schools about one hour later.

Click here to access the JCPS board of education schedule and agenda.

One consistent concern that parents and others have raised to administrators is a potential rise in demand for child care. Administrators addressed the concern at a town hall in January.

Several youth organizations voiced interest in expanding their current child care services at last month’s board meeting, including the Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA and the Council on Drug Free Youth.

Stephanie Johnson, executive director of the Jefferson City Boys & Girls Club, said she expects an increase in the demands for day care.

“A lot of people have asked, ‘Do you think it’s 50 kids? Do you think it’s 100? Do you think it’s 200?’ The reality is that we don’t know,” Johnson said.

The potential conflict for parents, Johnson said, would be for those with children in elementary as well as secondary schools. Youth group organizations want to prevent a scenario where younger students arrive home without an older sibling or parent present.

“We know that when kids are unsupervised after school while parents are at work, that is prime time for making decisions that are poor,” said Joy Sweeney, of the Council for Drug Free Youth.

Johnson said the Boys & Girls Club is interested in operating a facility in Jefferson City’s west side.

The group plans to apply to renew a five year federal grant in the spring. The result of their application will impact how quickly they are able to expand, and they expect to hear back in the fall.

Johnson said it’s likely they will need to wait until the Fall before they open another facility.

“The onus on (the Boys & Girls Club) will be working with the school district and the community,” Johnson said. “How will we sustain this expansion beyond the five-year grant?”

Sweeney said the CDFY is also applying to grants to help with an increase in day care demand. Currently, the council does not operate any day care operation.

The goal of the CDFY is not to lead the charge to solve this problem, Sweeney said, but instead to be part of the discussion.

“We want to be part of the solution, if there’s a way for us to be a part of the solution,” Sweeney said.

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