School start times will change in fall
A decision by the Lawton Board of Education to start school earlier for secondary students and later for elementary students is directly linked to the district’s transportation problems.
Board members reluctantly voted Monday to move high school start times up 10 minutes and middle school start times up 5 minutes, while starting the elementary school day 10 minutes later. The proposal — which district administrators say is the most feasible of the options they analyzed in recent months — will provide additional time that Transportation Director Trae Koch said is crucial to address a chronic problem with late buses.
No one is happy with the idea, but Koch said the number of bus drops making students late for school continues to rise and the district must address that issue.
Koch said the change will give the district additional time each day, time he will use to adjust bus routes.
The district’s school schedule is staggered so that each age group has different start times, meaning drivers are able to run multiple routes to pick up students. High school students begin first, at 7:45 a.m. (that time falls back to 7:35 a.m. when school resumes in August). Under the new schedule, drivers will have 50 minutes until the middle school day begins at 8:25 a.m., then another 45 minutes until the elementary school day begins at 9:10 a.m.
In the last school year, there was 45 minutes between the start of high schools and middle schools, and 30 minutes between middle school and elementary school start times. The same problem existed after school, when bus drivers again ran multiple routes.