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Posted August 3, 2018
Decision to Change School Time Schedules

It is clear from our feedback that everyone understands the requirement to change our time schedules for the coming year. The questions the Lakeland community has to this change revolves around why we chose to start the high school earlier rather than adding time on the end of the day.

The reason we chose to start the day earlier was driven mainly by the Lakeland three-tiered transportation system. The same buses are used to first transport the high school students, followed by elementary students and finally the middle school students. If the district is required to change the start or end time at any school, then the start or end time must change accordingly at all the schools. Adding minutes to the start of the day to all our schools allows dismissal time to stay approximately the same as previous years. Therefore, if we instead add minutes to the end of the high school day, it would mean adding minutes to the end of the day to all schools. This would make final dismissal at the middle school around 4:00 pm with students possibly arriving home at 5:00 pm or later. We believe this would create a more unacceptable situation than starting ten minutes earlier.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this matter, and this arrangement will be monitored throughout the year. Should we feel there is a better way to schedule the school day, we would consider it for the 2019-2020 school year.

To further help you understand our decision to change the arrival time schedule, below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Exactly how many hours are we short at each level (elementary, middle and high school)?
We are not short at the elementary level (however we have to change their start time to accommodate the buses), we are 45 hours short at the middle and 49 hours short at the high school. But there are also daily hour requirements to be met.

Why can't we eliminate some vacation days, PLC hours and conference days?
We could eliminate 10-12 vacation days to make up the hours, but that won't help meet the daily hour requirements which accompany the total hour requirements. We are allowed to have 4 conference days which already count towards the 180 day and hour requirements.

What would the cost be to get more buses and not have these three separate runs?
To eliminate one run would require 35 additional buses and drivers. This would be at a cost of approximately 4.25 million dollars

How come elementary school kids aren't going to school in the earlier time slot instead?
We could absolutely change elementary hours to be 7:20 am -2:00 pm and high school to 8:20 am-3:30 pm. This would significantly interfere with and impact heavily with sports and other extracurricular events at the high school

Can anything be done to add hours to the end of the school year instead?
Students cannot attend school beyond the rating days.