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Delta County school district adjusting school schedules for next semester

Starting Jan. 4, Delta County School District 50J will be adjusting the start times and end times for all five schools in the county.
Delta County School District to Adjust School Schedule
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 11:44 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 11:58 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Starting next semester on Jan. 4, Delta County School District 50J will be adjusting the start times and end times for all five schools in the City of Delta. The elementary schools will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m. The middle school and high school will start at 7:45 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.

“The reason for this is because we have a bus driver shortage,” said Delta County School District Assistant Superintendent Kurt Clay. “We’re running a double bus system in Delta, which means we’re gonna go pick up our secondary students middle and high school students first and then go out and pick up our elementary school students. By doing this shift, it allows us to go from 17 routes down to 10.”

One concern parents have is not being able to drop their kids off later if they start work at 8 a.m., but the school district has a plan. They will have morning breakfast and tutoring available for the younger students starting earlier at 7:30 a.m. so parents can still keep their same work schedule and drop off times. On the flip side, there will be after school tutoring for the older students who will be getting out of school earlier. For parents who cannot pick up their students earlier with the new end times.

“I think our goal is to make sure we’re creating the most seamless transition we possibly can,” said Principal of Garnet Mesa Elementary Dan Renfrow. “Every family has different situations and as a school district we want to continue to be great partners with our families. So it’s important for us that as families are reaching out with questions or concerns that we’re addressing those, that we’re working through those elements.”

One parent who did not want to be on camera said she’s concerned about her younger child’s safety with schools getting out at different times next semester. She said her older child who goes to Delta Middle School watches over her younger child in elementary school. As the two schools would get out at the same time and they would both be on the same bus. But starting next semester, that won’t be the case.

“The impact is really on our parents who have a student in middle school and elementary school because now the drop off time is about 45 minutes difference,” said Assistant Superintendent Clay.

The school district encourages parents to reach out with any concerns like this one so they can work together to come up with a solution.

“I just want to talk through it with families and make sure they know that what they’re expressing is valid and that we’re here to help,” said Renfrow. “And if there’s something we can do in those moments we can but I think sometimes just that conversation allows us both to talk through it and I think we come to answers. Thus far I haven’t hit any roadblocks that we haven’t come up with an answer for.”

The assistant superintendent says for now this will just be for next semester and will be reevaluated in the Fall.

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