Moore County Schools Change Start Times for 13 Schools
Moore County Schools officials used the final day of the school year Friday to roll out new start times for some schools come August.
The changes are due to what officials term a “cost savings measure,” specifically involving what the school system pays to run its buses.
While many schools will retain the same schedule as in the 2011-2012 school year, 13 of the 23 schools will have alterations in their starting and ending times.
“Moving the start time for high schools to 9 a.m. during the present school year allowed elementary and high schools to share buses,” said Chief Finance Officer Mike Griffin. “This enabled the transportation department to park 18 to 20 buses, which has resulted in a cost savings of nearly $400,000 for the school district this year.”
Moore County Schools’ Superintendent Aaron Spence said he was made aware of some of what he called the “challenges” presented by the schedule change. Soon after his arrival, Spence said high school principals asked that the administration look into the possibility of an earlier start time as a result of some of the challenges they faced regarding athletics and other after-school activities.
“I informed the principals and the board that we would take a close look at what start and dismissal times would best serve our schools. However, no changes would be made that would negatively impact our budget,” Spence said.
District administrators met with a variety of officials, including principals from all grade levels, transportation department members, and school teams comprised of teachers, parents and students to discuss possible changes.
“State law requires a minimum number of hours of instruction, as well as a minimum number of days, so that must be our first consideration when determining the length of the school day,” said Spence. “While providing the best schedule possible for maximum learning and practicing fiscal responsibility, we also want to be sensitive to our families’ schedules.”
Come the new school year in August, Pinecrest, Union Pines and North Moore high schools will change from their current schedule of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Union Pines and North Moore will begin classes at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. for the 2012-2013 school year, while Pinecrest will hold classes from 8:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.
Area II elementary schools will see an alteration in their schedules. Highfalls, Robbins and Westmoore elementary schools will all change to a 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. schedule, beginning and ending 15 minutes earlier than in the current year.
In the Pinecrest High attendance Area III, Spence said there were “greater challenges” which required more variety in schedules.
“Aberdeen Elementary and Southern Pines Elementary will see a change of 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than in 2011-2012. Because they share buses with Aberdeen Primary and Southern Pines Primary, the two primary schools will run a daily schedule of 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., also 15 minutes earlier than this year.”
Southern Middle School will run a daily schedule of 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than the school’s present schedule, in order to share buses with Pinecrest.
West Pine Elementary’s schedule will remain the same at 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Pinehurst Elementary will begin 15 minutes earlier at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:30 p.m.
“This schedule best supports the dual track, year-round and traditional schedules, at those schools,” Spence said. “With West Pine Elementary and West Pine Middle sharing adjacent campuses, West Pine Middle will, therefore, operate from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 a.m. at no change from the current year. This will help to manage traffic flow.”
West End Elementary will also be sharing buses with the high school, with the school’s schedule moving 15 minutes earlier to 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for 2012-2013.
The Pinckney Academy Alternative School schedule will remain unchanged from the present school year at 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@thepilot. com.
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