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WSD considers changing start times at some schools

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Kids at up to nine elementary schools in Winnipeg School Division could start classes at 8:15 a.m. in September to save money on busing.

Trustees passed a $374 million budget last month that saw a 3.6 per cent increase in school property taxes, which included plans to trim busing costs by $500,000 over the next two years.

"We have to find out from parents how doable this is," finance chair Cathy Collins said in an interview Thursday afternoon.

The nine schools being considered are:

  • J.B. Mitchell,
  • Brock-Corydon,
  • Lord Roberts,
  • George V, Greenway,
  • Clifton,
  • Victoria Albert,
  • Shaughnessy Park, and
  • Prairie Rose.

"It would be for September, but it’s very preliminary at this point," she said.

The division saved $200,000 through earlier starts at several schools last year, she said. The division is not speculating how much it could save this year, until trustees decide how many of the nine schools get earlier starts.

Secretary-treasurer Rene Appelmans said some schools — particularly French immersion schools which have a lot of students bused because they live further than 1.6 kilometers from their school — already start at 8:15, 8:20, or 8:30 a.m.

The plan would allow the division to run some school buses on multiple routes; kids starting at 8:15 a.m. would be dismissed at 2:45 p.m.

Day care arrangements are a major factor in consultations with parents, said Collins. Many schools hav ebefore-and-after care programs as well.

"There isn’t a blueprint" that fits every school, Appelmans said.

The division buses kids who live beyond 1.6 kilometres from their school, special needs children, or elementary school kids who have to cross a major roadway to get to school.

Collins said the division will let parents know by June.

History

Updated on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM CDT: Adds more detail on schools affected.

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