Galveston ISD Makes Some Students Come Earlier, Others Stay Later, for 2010-2011 School Year

The Galveston Independent School District is changing its schedule for the upcoming school year. As David Pitman reports, it's part of a new plan to make the bus system run more efficiently.
Elementary schools in Galveston will begin 15 minutes earlier, with the same off-time as before. While high schools will start at the same time, but stay in session 30 minutes later. GISD Assistant Superintendent Annette Scott says one the reasons for the schedule change is a state law that forbids younger students from riding three-to-a-seat in busses equipped with seatbelts.

"We can only have two students to a seat, so that will necessitate adding some additional routes. And we wanna make sure we're in compliance and they arrive safely to school, as well as meet their academic needs."

The district did not hold public hearings before changing the schedule. But Scott says administrators put a great deal of thought into the changes.

"We were very sensitive to what would probably work for parents in terms of which group it would be better to start earlier, or could probably handle being there a little later. We did take all of those things into consideration."

The extra 30 minutes on the back end of the day for high schools will allow campuses to operate on an eight-period schedule. Students would not be required to take all eight periods. Scott says the schedule tweaks will save the GISD money on transportation and other expenses. Though an exact amount won't be known until the distrct finishes working out the new bus routes.
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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...