Bell Times for 2013-2014

Ohhhhh this is it folks. The last school day of 2012-2013! Time really flies when you are having fun. I know this summer will be short and sweet for most of us so I want to send you a word regarding a slight change for the coming school year. 
In order to create some additional efficiency within the district, SLLIS has decided to change and stagger the bell times (the instructional school day start and end) between campuses. While this change will shorten the school day, it is still within the required state guidelines. The Papin campus bell times will remain at an 8:40 am start time and an adjusted 3:10 pm dismissal time. The Pine campus bell times will be adjusted to a 9:00 am start time with a remaining 3:30 pm dismissal time.
The largest efficiency created by this is the allowance to share bus routes among all the schools. Instead of having two different buses stop at the same ten locations and each pick up twenty students, one bus is able to go to all ten stops and pick up the forty students.  As we all know, the bus allows many students to be a part of the SLLIS mission that otherwise would not be afforded the means to attend. This small change is one way for SLLIS to keep the cost of that transportation as reasonable as possible for the district, better providing for the continued service. 
The twenty minute variance to the start or end time of our campus instructional day will take some additional planning within our schools.
Now, it’s time to tuck this announcement away until August. Have a safe and happy summer!
Sylvia Evans
Director of Operations

3 responses to “Bell Times for 2013-2014

  1. I hope I am not the only parent who disagrees strongly with this decision. This is a terrible idea. Many parents need to be at work by 8:30, and this shifts the burden to us. Furthermore it was not specified in the email when drop off would be moved to: it now begins at 8:15, will that be shifted to past 8:30?

    I understand the administration views this as a cost-cutting measure, but it is ACTUALLY a cost SHIFTING measure, taking the burden off the school and putting it on us through an increase in cost for Mosaic. What bothers me more than the additional cost is the fact that Kyla is already in school for a long day between school and aftercare. By adding beforecare as well she will be in that building receiving the less instructional time in the same or more hours.

    A decision like this makes it apparent that the administration is struggling financially, thereby shaking the confidence of every current and future SLLIS parent who is paying attention. It is unfair to burden the parents financially and the students emotionally, just to serve the administration’s current financial shortfalls. I sincerely hope the administration will review and rescind this foolish decision since it is unfair and inappropriate to compensate for shortfalls on the backs of the parents.

    Best regards,

    Gary Gottlieb

    • I appreciate the important note here about the fact that this is “shifting costs” rather than saving costs. However, first, we need to know how much demand and worry actually exist across the entire SLLIS community. It is my understanding that perhaps this is a concern mostly for county families, who must drive their children to school each day (only about 10% of SLLIS’ population). City families can elect to take the bus and hopefully, for those families, the bus comes by early enough for them to get to work on time.

      For any families, as mine does, car-pooling and sharing the “waiting at the bus stop” are options as well.

      I know that school organizations across the country, and charter schools in particular, are struggling to provide strong educational opportunities with fewer funds every year. For instance, at the State of SLLIS, Rhonda reported that the state, without much (or any?) warning, provided fewer per pupil dollars this past year to SLLIS. This is something parents — ALL parents — need to understand, and then call their legislators for change!

      Finally, for those who still have concerns about before/after care, I think we parents could consider some creative alternatives (something all public school parents these days have to be — involved and creative). Let’s advocate at the board meetings. Perhaps teachers’ schedules are staying the same, and so students who have to be dropped off (at Pine) or picked up (at Papin) at last year’s times, could still do so. Enrichment/PYP activities could be planned for that 20 minutes. Perhaps teacher-education volunteers from St. Louis universities could obtain some experience and help run these activities.

      I’m sure there are other options. Let’s put our heads together and address this issue as best we can!

      Lisa Dorner

  2. Well I am hoping since now there is this “change” that we the parents are suppose to be okay with, the Director of Operations do a better job of handling all request. Especially with the routes combining both schools, I hope that this does not compromise my children’s bus stop (making the stop across a busy street when he was the only one there). I support the “cost-cutting strategy but really you people need to get it together.

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