D51 looks at later school start times, impacts to bus routes

By  | 

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- District 51 is considering pushing back school start times, and that would have to change school bus route times.

Many middle schools and high schools start around 7:30 in the morning, but most elementary don’t start until 8:50 a.m. The District staggers the times because their buses do double routes—meaning after they drop off the older kids, they pick up the elementary students.

“If we all started school at exactly the same time, we would need quite a few more buses in order to make that work,” said Emily Shockley, D51.

Pushing back start times might be bad for the district’s bottom dollar, but studies show it’s great for student’s learning, and it’s something D51 has been looking into for about three years.

“It would help me academically,” said Kinsley Brooks, a GJHS Student. “I wouldn’t be falling asleep in class.”

Brooks said she has to get up at 3 a.m. to do morning chores, get ready and be at the bus stop by 6 a.m.

Other students, like Riley Fuller, feel a later start would also benefit them.

“It would definitely make me feel more energized to participate in class instead of sleeping in class,” said Fuller.

Right now, the district has 130 routes and about the same amount of drivers.