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Published April 23, 2012, 10:21 PM

Moorhead schools schedule shift causing shake-up

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A major switch in Moorhead school start times could force a lot of parents to adjust their morning schedules. The school added 15 minutes to next year's school day, and it's combining that shake-up with new bus negotiations, trying to find a way to save money.

A major switch in Moorhead school start times could force a lot of parents to adjust their morning schedules. The school added 15 minutes to next year's school day, and it's combining that shake-up with new bus negotiations, trying to find a way to save money.

The scenario that would save the district the most money would mostly affect elementary parents. If passed the schools would start at 9 AM - 40 minutes later than this year.

Right now elementary, middle and high school start times are within 40 minutes so a bus can essentially cover one route. Here's the more efficient plan: A bus can drop some students off at middle school by its 7:45 start time - no change there - and drop the remainders at the high school by 8:05. Then a 9 o'clock start for elementary gives drivers time to go back into neighborhoods and pick up those students. It would eliminate 5 buses before and after school and save the district $250,000.

Two board members expressed concern about the middle school starting before 8, but switching that time wouldn't help the budget. A chart shows what area schools pay for buses per student; Moorhead is paying is way above the rest.

Wayne Kazmierczak – Moorhead Superintendent: "This is going to happen; something is going to happen not everyone will like it."

I talked to 2 elementary teachers who say their concern is parents still dropping students off at 6:30 or 7 in the morning and then just leaving them to wait for the 2 hours before school starts.

Tonight's meeting was just to get information to the public, and they'll now be taking input from parents. Parents can give their feedback on this issue at P-TAC meetings. The next one is May 1st at 6:30 at Ellen Hopkins.

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