School times change for 20,264 Fayette students next week

The Fayette County School System Welcome Center on LaFayette Avenue in Fayetteville. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It’s that time again. Fayette County public schools will begin the first day of class on Aug. 12. The 2013-2014 school year will see new start and end times for the school day and the return of a 180-day school year for students.

School starts Aug. 12 and ends May 23. The entire school year calendar is posted on the school system’s website at www.fcboe.org.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said the school year will include new start and end times for elementary, middle and high school students. Elementary school starts at 7:40 a.m. and ends at 2:25 p.m., middle school starts at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. and high school starts at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m. The time adjustments will help the school system’s transportation department operate its bus fleet more efficiently, Berry-Dreisbach said.

The school calendar has been restored to the traditional 180 instructional days for the 2013-2014 school year. The addition of instructional days comes with a reduced winter break in February, said Berry-Dreisbach.

“Traditionally, students have had a week-long winter break starting the week of President’s Day. This year students will have a shortened break that will start on Friday, Feb. 14 and end on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with students returning to school on Wednesday, Feb. 19,” said Berry-Dreisbach.

Berry-Dreisbach noted that parents can obtain information on all of the changes that will impact their students this year by attending open houses that have been scheduled for all schools the week before the start of school on Aug. 12. For specific dates and times, parents can check their school’s website or call the school for details.

Another change for the new school year are meal prices. School lunch prices have increased:

• Elementary schools — $1.45 breakfast, $2.35 lunch, 30 cents reduced price breakfast, 40 cents reduced price lunch;

• Middle schools — $1.50 breakfast, $2.45 lunch, 30 cents reduced price breakfast, 40 cents reduced price lunch;

• High schools — $2.45 lunch, 40 cents reduced price lunch; and

• All schools — $1.50 adult breakfast, $3.35 adult lunch.

Also this year, the final phase of Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) will be rolled out at all elementary schools. Berry-Dreisbach said the BYOT program allows students in elementary, middle and high schools to bring their electronic devices to school for use in classroom learning.

The school system will begin the year with four fewer schools with the closure of Tyrone Elementary School and Brooks Elementary School, Fayette Middle School and the consolidation of Fayetteville Intermediate School and Hood Avenue Primary School to become Fayetteville Elementary School on the old Hood Avenue campus.

The number of students to attend class when school opens next week is currently in flux. Last school year ended with an enrollment of approximately 20,300 students. The school system on Tuesday reported that 20,264 students had registered for the upcoming school year. Those numbers are likely to change, said Berry-Dreisbach.

For more information on the new school year visit www.fcboe.org.

Steve Brown
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Another reason to look at the golf cart ordinances

My daughter has "zero" period at McIntosh HS starting at 7:45 a.m. She loves McIntosh and is looking forward to having the opportunity to get in the extra class.

The only issue with zero period is that the parents have to drive the students because the bus comes later. Having the kids with learner's permits riding themselves to school on multi-use paths using golf carts would be a big help to the high schools in the unincorporated county too.

G35 Dude
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School schedule comments

I'd like to make a couple of comments.

First, the purpose of the school system is to educate your child not provide a free babysitting service.

Second, I've been told that the reason that elementary kids go first and end first is because it give parents a better chance to see that their kids get to school before they have to go to work. It's easier to get daycare after school than before.

Third, I've also been told that the reason for adjusting the school schedule is to allow transportation to make bus routes longer so that some routes could be eliminated. The FC school system is under budget constraints for those of you that are not aware.

g8trgrl
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School hours

Wonder what the parents in Florida, Tennessee and many other states do that have their elementary kids go to school at 9 and their high schoolers go at 7:30am? The parents working should play no role in school hours.

The school hours in this county have never made sense to me and never will.

Some of the bus routes this year will be longer, therefore some of the kids will be getting on the bus at 6:30 am that is ridiculous! What happens when parents have to put their kids on the bus that early - they drive! Then the car pool lines get crazy. I don't blame those parents - I would do the same thing.

I can't wait to see if the hours get tweaked this week - like in past years when traffic becomes a nightmare at some of these poorly designed entrances/exits to schools.

heatjam
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saving $ not a priority
G35 Dude wrote:

I'd like to make a couple of comments.

First, the purpose of the school system is to educate your child not provide a free babysitting service.

Second, I've been told that the reason that elementary kids go first and end first is because it give parents a better chance to see that their kids get to school before they have to go to work. It's easier to get daycare after school than before.

Third, I've also been told that the reason for adjusting the school schedule is to allow transportation to make bus routes longer so that some routes could be eliminated. The FC school system is under budget constraints for those of you that are not aware.

If the transportation dept wanted to save money, why did they assign my child a bus? We live less than half a mile from the middle school and have no major roads to cross. Heck, according to the information on the BOE website, the furthest house from the school in our subdivision is .49 miles to the school. What a waste!

renault314
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heatjam - kids walking half a mile

Im not sure where you live of course but county (maybe state) policy says that if you live inside of a mile from the school you will not get bus service, unless there are no sidewalks between your address and the school. It doesnt matter how far you walk or what roads you cross, no sidewalks, you get a bus. Perhaps this applies to your kids.

g8trgrl
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renault314

The Chimneys has no bus for high school or middle or sidewalks.......

G35 Dude
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heatjam-you could be right

Even a half mile walk on a cold rainy morning could be uncomfortable but I agree that this is a waste if not needed. So if none of the kids in this neighborhood will ever ride the bus maybe you could call transportation and tell them so that they can make the proper adjustments.

amomof3
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More money

High school kids trying to get to an after school job by 4 is now impossible, or trying to get homework accomplished prior to getting to an after school job, never going to happen.

It would just make too much since having high school kids get dismissed first, to help with after school care for siblings, or make a little money as a part time job…..fcboe wants to pocket that!

Didn’t we try this before and it did not work???????

WLVROCKS
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After School Jobs?

I am, as they say, "rolling on the floor laughing". While I cannot speak for your community, I can tell you that the high school kids in my neighborhood cannot even bring in a trash can or fetch the newspaper or mail. Job? Work? These terms are unheard of around here.

renault314
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WLVROCKS - dont know what community you live in

but I teach high school in the southern part of the county and I can hardly go anywhere in Fayetteville without running into one of my students at their job. Fast food, waiting tables, grocery stores, TONS of kids work around here. I'll be generous and just presume that since you dont see a concentration of high school kids every day, you dont recognize them when you DO see them at their jobs.

WLVROCKS
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Working Kids

I have no grounds to challenge your observations, but I still remain sceptical that the kids in Newhaven, Whitewater Creek, Highgrove or Woodcreek comprise a significant percentage of the workforce.

Larry.Sussberg
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School schedule

As I read the article, these times were established to maximize transportation. We have just gone through major budget cuts.

Jobs!?! If we had the budget, in order to remain competitive, our high schools should be operating 8 hour days and 12 months a year with optional Saturday classes. We continue to ask our schools to do more and more yet we operate schools under an antiquated farming schedule!

Some countries have extended hours and days and teachers are highly regarded within the society. We ask ours to do more with less.

Liferfrom65
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H&F of three

Let me take a crack at it.

Winter break.

Presidents rodeo week (whatever that is).

Middle schoolers helping elementary schoolers.

High school kids watching both after school.

Writing a check for private Christian school. Thousands.
Christmas break. Priceless.

Husband and Fat...
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Bingo

Bingo

Snow Bunny
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What moron came up with these

What moron came up with these changes?

Reducing Winter Break to a Friday and Tuesday is about the most idiotic idea I have ever seen and this is coming from a state which took 2 days off at the end of Presidents Week for Rodeo (kids would get off Monday, come to school on Tuesday and Wednesday and then off again on Thursday and Friday) . The reduction in winter break limits parents abilty to schedule time off and create possible headaches with child care.

We are now going to start Elementary School earlier but Middle and High School later? What this means is elemenatry school children could be left alone for longer periods after school while waiting for older siblings to come home. High school should start at 7:40, Elementary School at 8:15 and Middle at 8:45. This would allow middle schoolers to help elementary school students in the morning and would allow High Schoolers to be home in the afternoon when the younger kids get home.

Spyglass
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Moron, really?

Stay classy.

Husband and Fat...
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Its blogs like this that chap my butt

There are so many issues here, I don't know where to start. Start and finish times are the least important.

Snow Bunny
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I'm sorry you find concern

I'm sorry you find concern for the possible safety of younger children to be so unimportant. The idea of young children forced to fend for themselves because uncocnerned parents such as yourself don't think it's important chaps my butt!

Husband and Fat...
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You just don't get it

Enough said.

g8trgrl
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New school hours

I do not like the new high school hours! Too late in the afternoon. Teens can get up earlier.

aliquando
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Studies show

Actual studies show that teens body clocks do not work like the rest of ours. They need to wake up no earlier than 8 because unless they do physical labor or exercise they will stay up well past midnight. Ideally for strictly educational purposes, they should hold school from 10 to 6. That is when their brains are at their best. I know this is impractical.

g8trgrl
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aliquando

How in the world did I graduate going to high school at 7:30am? I made up for it in college - sleeping till noon!

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