Jenks students, parents and teachers will soon be hearing the morning bell at different times. Monday, the school board discussed a proposal that would stagger school start times.
Jenks is moving from a two-tier start and end system to a three-tier system; school leaders say the change will save money and improve safety.
Overcrowded buses are just one of the several reasons the Jenks school system will be revamping its start and end times next year. Instead of spending more than $1 million to hire more drivers and add more buses, district leaders are taking a different approach.
Director of Communications Rob Loeber said, "If we move to a three-tiered start time, or three school start times, we can accomplish everything we need to accomplish with the current number of buses and the current number of drivers."
Other factors include more sleep for students and a school district that’s growing - averaging about 300 to 400 new students each year.
Currently there are just two start times - kindergarten through fourth grade starts at 8:50 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. while fifth through 12 grade starts at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m.
"What we're proposing is to move to 7:45 a.m. 8:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Those are the three start time slots,” Loeber said.
Students would then get out at 2:25 p.m., 3:10 p.m. or 3:55 p.m.
While several parents we spoke with said they are still undecided, others said they are in favor of the decision.
“I think it would be a good thing for us, as far as at the high school level, as far as if we started later than our traditional 7:50 start time. I believe there are two other time choices and I think either one of them would work out well," said teacher and parent Greg Murrie.
Parent Dana Kuehn said, "I'm in favor of it only because I think it's a good balance, from what I can tell. They're having the older children maybe start a little bit later, which I think is good for my other children, and the younger children starting a little bit earlier."
The school system has not yet decided on what grades will be assigned to what time slot.
Parents are encouraged to visit the Jenks Public Schools website where they can find out more information and even take a survey.
The school board will vote on the new system on May 1st.