|Updated: 1/12/2012 8:00 pm
||Published: 1/11/2012 7:58 pm
The Pulaski County Special School District is proposing changing school start times again next fall, meaning elementary schools would start earlier and secondary schools would begin later, the same bell schedule the district had in place 2 years ago.
The district says changing the bell schedule and staggering student release times allows for the use of fewer buses which saves the district money. Superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess says going back to the old schedule is more student and parent friendly. "It will be easier for us to meet the needs of transporting our students, and it will be more efficient for us in meeting the student’s needs in transportation."
Under the proposal, elementary schools would start between 7:45am and 8:15am with secondary schools beginning between 8:10am and 8:35am. Dismissal times for elementary would range from 2:30pm to 3pm in the afternoon, and dismissal for secondary would range from 3:30pm to 3:55pm.
The last time the district adjusted the bell schedule it created chaos and conflict for students and parents, but going back to the way the schedule used to be is something parents say they're on board with.
Lori McCallum has kids in both elementary and middle school. "I wouldn't mind the change because it worked for me. I wouldn't have a problem going back."
Danny Price says a bell schedule change would take some getting used to. "I think it will be good because it gives my son an extra 20-30 minutes of sleep, so he'll be more rested for the day of school."
The district is making the announcement now to allow parents to give feedback and make arrangements for the fall.
Because the district is under fiscal distress and under the oversight of the Arkansas Department of Education the bell schedule proposal is being reviewed by Dr. Tom Kimbrell. A final decision on the change could come next month.