The 2012-13 school year will mark the second consecutive one in which the Pickerington Local School District will roll out new start times for daily classes.

The 2012-13 school year will mark the second consecutive one in which the Pickerington Local School District will roll out new start times for daily classes.

In response to complaints and concerns raised throughout this past school year regarding new start times at the elementary and middle school levels, Pickerington Interim Superintendent Jim Sotlar said the district has revised its schedule for the 2012-13 school year.

Sotlar made the announcement during the Board of Education's meeting Monday, June 11.

In doing so, he said classes at the high school and junior high levels will continue to be held from 7:20 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., respectively.

However, middle school start times will change to 8:40 a.m., with classes ending at 3:05 p.m., and elementary schools will open at 9:10 a.m. and end by 3:35 p.m.

The middle school and elementary schedules represent changes from this past school year, when middle school was in session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and elementary classes were held from 9:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

"We have made adjustments," Sotlar said.

"We took in all the changes we made this year and we listened to the concerns of the community and (building administrators)."

Sotlar also noted school days at the middle school and elementary levels are being extended by 25 minutes in 2012-13.

That move, he said, would help with scheduling and also provide additional time for classroom instruction.

Class start times were changed prior to the 2011-12 school year, with earlier middle school and elementary start times, as the district sought to cut costs by streamlining bus schedules.

However, those changes were met with resistance by some who noted the start times were later than the beginning of most parents' work days.

In other district news, Pickerington Community School Superintendent Bob Blackburn hailed the inaugural year of the district's newest school as a success.

The community school was established last August to bring area students who have been home-schooled back into the district, and to help those who've fallen behind academically so they can graduate.

It targeted students primarily ages 16 to 21 who were credit-deficient and three or more classes behind their peers.

The school also allowed the district to maximize its state funding by retaining or adding students to the district.

Each time a student leaves, the district loses that portion of per-pupil funding from the state.

"The community school did serve 88 students this school year and we were able to graduate 44 students," Blackburn said.

"Twenty-two of those students were from Pickerington (High School) North, and 22 were from Pickerington Central."

Blackburn said about 34 students who attended the community school in 2011-12 are expected to return next school year and continue to move toward graduation.

He added that the school intends to contact approximately 130 students who attended community schools in Ohio this past school year in an effort to recruit more students to the local school.

"We are trying to get our course work approved by the NCAA," he said.

"We've been exploring some future location areas for the school."

While much of the community school course work is completed online, the school operated out of PHS North this past year.

It was being funded with some start-up money from the district, but the district is expected to be reimbursed by two federal grants for approximately $450,000.

Blackburn said the 2012-13 community school calendar will be in line with the rest of the district's, and he hopes to serve up to 100 students.