Changes to next year's school schedules will be subtle, Licking Heights Superintendent Philip Wagner said.

Changes to next year's school schedules will be subtle, Licking Heights Superintendent Philip Wagner said.

Wagner told school board members March 27 that a community inquiry on the district's website, which asked residents to recommend changes to school schedules, garnered only 37 responses. He said the results "were not really conclusive."

"I was surprised by the number of people who didn't want any change," board member Nicole Roth said.

Wagner said for the most part, parents of West Elementary School students favored earlier start times, and respondents showed some support for pushing back the middle and high school daily schedules. He said not much could be done to change any of the times without adversely affecting the bus schedules because the district helps five nonpublic schools transport students.

Board member Matt Satterwhite said he recommended "tweaking" the schedules for next year, but taking a more in-depth look at the schedules the following year.

Wagner presented the following schedule for the 2012-2013 school year:

• The high school day will begin at 7:25 a.m. and end at 2:33 p.m., 10 minutes later than this year.

• The middle school day will begin at 7:25 a.m. and end at 2:33 p.m. Currently, the middle school day is 7:18 a.m. to 2:18 p.m.

• North Elementary School's schedule will remain the same, at 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

• South Elementary School's day will begin 10 minutes earlier at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Currently, South Elementary's day is 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

• West Elementary School will begin 10 minutes earlier at 9:15 a.m. and end at 3:50 p.m. Currently, its day is 9:25 a.m. to 4 p.m. Morning kindergarten at West Elementary will be 9:15 a.m. to noon, and afternoon kindergarten will be 1:05 to 3:50 p.m.

"Even with these small tweaks, it'll make it a little better," Wagner said.

The board members agreed the administration did not need the board's approval to change any of the schedules within 10 minutes.

"Once you get outside of that 10-minute window, you look at substantial changes," board president Richard Wand said.

Licking Heights students also will spend more time eating and less time trying to make it through the lunch line, Wagner said.

He said the district will acquire new food-service technology that will allow students to identify themselves at the lunch line with a fingerprint scanner, as opposed to the current system whereby students punch an identification number into a keypad.

"Getting 800 kids through the line isn't easy," food service director Ginger Parsons said.

She said the new system is a biometric scanner produced by Identimetrics. The system costs $15,696; however, a $5,000 grant from the American Dairy Society will make the total cost to the district $10,696.

Parsons said the fingerprint cannot be reproduced through the system and the quality isn't nearly that of a scanner that would record fingerprints for official uses, like criminal background checks.

She estimated the fingerprint system would decrease the time that students spend in the lunch line by roughly 30 percent.

Wagner said the system will be a particular help to West Elementary students - the youngest in the district - who could find the keypad system challenging.

"I think it's going to be much more efficient," he said.

Parsons said students at West Elementary School have more problems getting through the line quickly, and the new system would provide them with more time to eat and socialize.

Wagner said the district likely would sell the keypads once the new system is in place.