KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hundreds of students in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District will be starting school earlier next year.
“This year’s current schedule was a real problem for our elementary kids,” said Peter Stuhlmiller, the president of the Kenton Teacher’s Association who is also a parent in the district.
He says seeing young students struggling to stay alert and active in class is what’s prompting this entire change.
“By three in the afternoon, they’re shutting down, exhausted,” said Stuhlmiller.
A committee comprised of teachers, parents, administrators, and transportation officials began looking at start and end times for the students, coming to the conclusion that the students should leave school earlier.
Right now, the elementary school students arrive at 9:15am, finish classes at 3:35pm and don’t leave on the bus until 3:52pm. The recommendation for next year looks like this: classes from 9:15am to 3:20pm with students leaving on the bus at 3:37pm.
The shift in the elementary school schedule is, in turn, impacting the high school and middle school schedules as they have to look at transportation for all students.
“I think our transportation issues, lack of drivers, how we can get kids back and forth to school – dictated some of this,” said Stephen Bovino, the KenTon Interim Superintendent.
Bovino says there are some concerns with this new schedule — the elementary school day is being cut down by fifteen minutes a day and the high school and middle schoolers are losing 10 minutes a day.
“Nobody likes to see a lessening of instructional time,” said Bovino.
Stuhlmiller says the plan is to curb the amount of transition time and lunch periods so it doesn’t decrease the quality of education.
“We’re not eating significantly into math instruction, or ELA, science instruction,” said Stuhlmiller. “It’s more important that we have quality instruction rather than quantity. You just have to adjust”
Next year will be a trial run for this new schedule. The committee with reconvene to evaluate how it’s going next year.
To look at the some other recommendations from the committee and see the full breakdown of the new start and end times, follow this link.