Olathe Public Schools proposing new start times for 2024-25 school year

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 7:32 PM CST
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OLATHE, Kan. (KCTV) - Changes could be coming to Olathe Schools that would impact all 30,000 students in the district. A proposal has moved forward to change the times kids had to get to school and end the day next school year.

These changes would implement a three tier bus schedule. This means drivers would serve up to three school levels which will cut back on fuel costs and increase availability for field trips.

With the help of findings from parent and staff surveys, here are the board’s recommendations:

  • High school would start at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:40 p.m.
  • Middle School would start at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m.
  • Elementary school would start at 8:55 a.m. and end at 3:55 p.m.

This means an earlier start for middle and elementary school students. The board says the reason for the change is needed because of a nationwide school bus driver shortage.

During the 2022 to 2023 school year, there were 27 bus driver vacancies. One driver was serving multiple routes for the same school. Middle and high school students shared buses. This created delays with middle and elementary school buses arriving late for school dismissal.

The district is hopeful these new changes would address the issue.

“You know in a large system, we’re doing what we believe is best for all students in providing equity and access for all kids to all programming and certainly it will provide some challenges for some families, " said Deputy Superintendent of Organizational Operations Dr. Jim McMullen, “it will provide benefits for others in terms of just their individual family schedule and what level their child attends but some of the larger concerns we’re gonna do everything we can to address those.”

A decision will be made by the school board in a meeting on December 7. It takes place at 5:45 p.m. in the Education Center at 14160 S. Black Bob Road in Olathe. More information about the board’s proposed plans can be found on the school district’s website.