At its regular board meeting on Dec. 13, the SSRSB passed a motion to change the start and stop times at South Queens Middle School and Liverpool Regional High School and to move to a one-run bus system starting in September 2018.
The motion was passed unanimously after extensive discussion about what the change would look like for students and the community, the benefits to students, challenges, and the consultations that have occurred with school advisory councils, families, staff and the community. The start time of South Queens Middle School will change from 7:41 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and the end time will change from 1:41 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The start time of Liverpool Regional High School will change from 8:00 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. and the end time will change from 1:55 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.
“Our Operations department has done a lot of research into how students could be impacted, by how much time commute times may change, and what this change would mean to the schools and the board,” said Scott Milner, SSRSB Superintendent of Schools. “Concerns some families have are being taken seriously and we will ensure that we keep them well informed about what we are doing to mitigate their concerns. Overall, most families are excited for this and have provided a wealth of examples as to how this will help them. I am confident that this change will greatly benefit students in these two schools.”
The decision to change school start and stop times is based on research that shows adolescents need to sleep longer in the morning to optimize learning and minimize serious health issues. It will also allow for a smoother transition from elementary where start times are already later.
The original request to change school start and stop times in Liverpool schools was received by Dr. J.C. Wickwire Academy in the 2012-2013 school year. SSRSB staff committed to review the factors each year. In the 2016-2017 school year, it was determined that a one-run bus system that would allow for an alignment of school start and stop times was now possible. Following that, discussions were held with the elected board, the school advisory councils and the public, in accordance with SSRSB Policy 265.
For more information and to view public feedback, visit http://www.ssrce.ca/liverpool-family-of-schools-proposed-startend-times/.