Nearly all Dayton Public Schools will have different starting and ending times for the school day in the fall, as the district attempts to improve its struggling busing operation.
Of the district’s 28 schools, 25 will change schedules, with only Belmont, Ponitz and Meadowdale high schools keeping their 2016-17 times.
“No matter what you do, you’re not going to please everybody,” DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr said. “At certain times of year, you may be at the bus stop when it’s dark in the morning, or you may be getting home when it’s dark in the evening.”
Corr said that by spacing out starting and ending times, bus drivers will be better able to cover multiple routes, solving some of the problems created by a nationwide bus driver shortage. Associate Superintendent Sheila Burton said the goals are to get students to school on time, and offer families reliability in when children are picked up and dropped off.
DPS’ earliest start time will now be 7:10 a.m., with six schools starting then (largely middle school students). Those schools will dismiss for the day at 1:55 p.m. Seven more schools will start at 7:25 or 7:30 a.m. Last year, the earliest any DPS school started was 7:30, and that was only the three middle schools.
On the other end, six Dayton schools (all elementaries) will now have the latest start time of 9:25 a.m., nearly a half-hour later than any DPS school started last year. That means those schools will dismiss at 3:55 p.m.
Almost all middle school students will start at 7:10 a.m. The elementary schools are largely divided into 7:25, 8:25 and 9:25 starts. All high schools except Belmont will start at 8 a.m. or 8:15, with all Belmont students starting at 9 a.m. Meadowdale and Stivers will have their seventh- and eighth-graders start at 7:10, while their high schoolers will start at 8 a.m.
Four schools will see dramatic schedule shifts – Westwood, World of Wonder and Meadowdale elementaries will start at 9:25 a.m. after beginning their days at 7:45 last year. Dayton Boys Prep will have to wake up early, switching from an 8:45 a.m. start time, to 7:10 a.m. this fall.