The North Hills School District is considering changing its starting and dismissal times for all students next school year to save on transportation costs.
Superintendent Pat Mannarino presented a proposal to the school board Monday to start the day for senior high school, grades 9-12, at 7 a.m. -- 20 minutes earlier -- and dismiss at 2 p.m. -- 45 minutes earlier.
The junior high, grades 7 and 8, would start at 7:50 a.m. -- 10 minutes earlier -- and dismiss at 2:50 p.m. -- five minutes later.
Highcliff and West View elementary schools would start at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. -- 30 minutes earlier.
McIntyre and Ross elementary schools would start at 9:15 a.m. and finish at 3:45 p.m. -- 15 minutes later.
The new times would allow the district to reduce the number of buses transporting students because of less down time between runs.
Transportation costs account for more than $2.5 million, or roughly 4 percent, of the total general fund budget.
According to the district's evaluation, the transportation budget gradually could be reduced by $232,000 to $417,000 by altering the starting and dismissal times and cutting five to nine buses.
The school board would have to vote on the changed schedules. A decision is required by Feb. 18.
Parents can comment on the proposed time changes by contacting a task force representative who will hold weekly meetings with the district's education committee to discuss the issue.
Task force members are Cindy McCarthy for McIntyre and Northway; Janet Lukac for Ross; Chris Nolan for West View; and Nicolette Lawry for Highcliff, Perrysville and Seville.
Chris Checchio, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org