Some Marysville students may get a little extra sleep next year if the Marysville Board of Education approves a proposal to change the school day start and end times at two buildings.
Assistant Superintendent Andy Culp presented a recommendation to the board at its March 21 meeting that would alter the school day start and end times for Bunsold Middle School and Marysville High School.
The proposal recommends starting class at 7:35 a.m. and dismissing at 2:35 p.m.
Currently, the middle school starts at 7:20 a.m. and ends at 2:20 p.m. High school classes start at 7:15 a.m. and end at 2:32 p.m.
Creekview Intermediate school starts at 8:35 a.m. and dismisses at 3:25 p.m. and classes at the elementary buildings start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m.
Culp said the committee explored the pros of the current start and stop times and found that the drop-off and pick-up times for students in kindergarten through sixth grade are within the teachers’ contract day, meaning there are no supervision issues.
The early start times also work well for students participating in extracurricular activities and allow for age-appropriate bus groups.
The cons for the current system mean the drop-off and pick-up times for MHS and middle school students fall outside teachers’ contractual day.
Culp said this poses a liability challenge in leaving students without supervision during those time gaps. Some parents have complained that the day simply starts too early for students.
Adjusting the start times at the two schools means no buses will drop off students before 7:15 a.m. which is the teachers’ start time. The student start time would be 7:35 a.m. Student departure time would also shift to 2:35 p.m. at both buildings with the teachers’ day ending at 2:50 p.m. and the last bus leaving at 2:50 p.m.
Board President Jeff Mabee asked how the busing would work if both buildings dismissed at the same time since some buses serve both buildings.
“The transportation department was instrumental in authoring this plan,” Culp said. “Here’s the honest answer: There is this notion of theory and application, but there is a strong belief we could do it. If we move forward, there could be some variances.”
Superintendent Diane Mankins further explained the departure plan.
“I don’t believe the intent was that 2:35 p.m. was the time all buses pick up students. There are some middle school buses that don’t go to the high school now,” she said. “My understanding was that the 2:35 p.m. time was when that route would start.”
Currently, kindergarten through sixth grade are transported at a different time because of those buildings’ later start times and to keep age groups closer together on the buses.
Shifting the times for Bunsold and MHS does not affect keeping the age-appropriate busing.
Culp said the recommendations were developed after district officials received the results of a survey of parents with children in grades seven through 12.
It found that 52 percent of respondents believe the school day starts too early; 72 percent said the school day end time is appropriate.
About 79 percent of parents who participated in the survey agreed that the school end time accommodates extracurricular activities.
Half the parents responding said they believe a later start time would help students learn; 28 percent disagreed.
Culp said he will take the plan back to the transportation department to confirm that the proposed schedule would not interfere with current bus routes and he also will ask how the change would affect high school students traveling to the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine.
The board may act on the proposal at its April 18 meeting.