Parkway District looks at adjusting starting, ending times
It looks like the Parkway School District is going to make some changes to the school day, for middle school and kindergarten students.
The board is expected to approve delaying the opening of middle schools from the current 7:25 am until 8:30 am, and delaying dismissal by 20 minutes, until about 3:30 pm.
District spokesman Paul Tandy says studies show that starting middle school at 7:25 in the morning, is just too early, “The kids are not ready, they’re sluggish, they end up being tardy, they don’t perform as well in school. We just think it’s the right thing to do.”
Tandy says the district’s middle schools’ class day is now 20 minutes shorter than the elementary and high schools, and most other middle schools in the area.
He says extending the day by 20 minutes will also allow efficiencies with transportation, “By adjusting the tiers and by the schools now having the same lengths, we’ll be able to be much more efficient in our three tiers so every bus will make three runs a day, so it’ll take students to three different schools in the morning and afternoon.”
Tandy says that will allow the district to use eight to 10 fewer busses and reduce costs by $200,000 to $400,000 a year.
The district is also considering offering optional, tuition-free, full-day kindergarten. Full-day kindergarten is now available for an annual tuition fee of $3,520. The annual cost of offering the full-day kindergarten is expected to be $2.65 million, but officials say funding is available within the current budget.
The middle school proposal is scheduled to be voted on at the school board’s February 9 meeting. The kindergarten proposal is scheduled to be voted on at the January 12 meeting.
Copyright KMOX Radio