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Published May 01, 2012, 10:14 PM

Moorhead parents share concerns with new school start time

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - A new option is on the table for Moorhead school bell schedules, keeping elementary start times early but pushing back the closing bell at Horizon Middle School to 4:15. It's an issue certain to divide parents at the three school levels.

A new option is on the table for Moorhead school bell schedules, keeping elementary start times early but pushing back the closing bell at Horizon Middle School to 4:15. It's an issue certain to divide parents at the three school levels.

Fifteen minutes have been added to the school day effective this fall. Now, as the school district is re-negotiating its bus contract, it's trying to save as much money as possible. In its presentation, school administrators told parents that it would be fiscally irresponsible not to make a change as the district could be facing a deficit next year.

The newest and most popular scenario would save the district at least $400,000 annually. It would have high school from 8:30-to-3:35, middle school from 9:30-to-4:15 and elementary school from 8:00-to-2:45. Parents we spoke understand everyone is going to need to adapt.

Sarah Kjos - Parent: “My initial reaction is that the earlier start time is better for our earliest learners, the kindergartners, the first and second graders.”

Dana Haag - Parent: “Cost is important and whether they're home alone is important, but we really have to think about when are they going to be the most able to learn.”

School officials emphasized that education is most important, but extracurricular activities need to be factored in. The School Board will make its final recommendation on May 29th.

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