BA Parents Weigh In On Possible Change To School Start Times

Monday, March 2nd 2015, 10:55 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow school leaders are looking at a change that would affect all BA students and their parents every day.

The superintendent said changing school start times is necessary to help shuttle students to school on time, but nothing is changing until parents get a chance to give input.

Parents can fill out a survey to weigh their opinions on what time they want their kids to go to school.

Broken Arrow Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall said the number one complaint he gets is transportation.

2/25/2015 Related Story: Increased Enrollment Has BA School Leaders Discussing Later Start Time

"We're either too late picking students up, or too early," he said.

That's why he's considering changing school start times from 8:00 and 8:55, to 7:50, 8:30 and 9:10. He's not sure which times would be for elementary, middle and high.

He said it'd give bus drivers more time.

"To the West Coast and back, every single day, that's how many miles we drive every single day," Mendenhall said.

The change would allow bus drivers to take three trips in the mornings rather than two.

Mendenhall said the district has enough buses but not enough bus drivers.

"It's kind of like driving a bus with an entire classroom behind you, I mean, think about it. Not a whole lot of people want to do that," he said.

A task force is reviewing the proposed start times and how it affects student sleep patterns and brain activity.

Recent BA high school graduate Jacob Scanlon said high schoolers would love sleeping in.

"You'd be able to focus more. You wouldn't resent school as much. I know a lot of kids just hate being here early,"' he said.

Broken Arrow parent and former BA bus driver, Nick Snyder, said the change wouldn't make much difference in his household.

"I'm a stay at home dad so I don't have a job that I have to go to," said Snyder.

He knows the feeling might be different for parents who work.

The district now has an online survey up until March 13, so every parent can weigh in.

The school board will consider the survey results and is expected to make a decision next month.

The new start times would go into effect in the fall.