Oxford School District gets new hours for 2014-2015

Oxford School District students will start and end their days in the 2014-15 academic year at staggered times to accommodate a new bus schedule that separates younger children from older ones.

The new schedule was adopted by a 5-0 vote at this week’s School Board meeting.

“We believe this will result in increased elementary (student) ridership – maybe as much as 20 percent,” said Superintendent Bill Hamilton.

Many parents of younger students have driven their children to school out of concern for their well-being when sharing a ride with older, bigger kids. The practice has created daily bottlenecks at elementary schools in the district.

Younger children may board buses as early as 6 a.m. this fall, said Superintendent Brian Harvey, while the first older students will be picked up around 7:25 a.m.

Younger students will be in school from 7:40 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. Schools included in this schedule include Bramlett Elementary, Oxford Elementary, Della Davidson Elementary, the new Oxford Intermediate School and the Scott Center.

Oxford Middle School (at the old high school), Oxford High and Oxford Learning Center will run 8:20 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

School board member Whitney Byars voiced concern that the later times at OHS would clash with travel for athletic contests and other activities.

“I would like athletic directors to work with coaches to encourage them to leave at the last possible minute,” she said. “The less time they can miss out of the classroom, the better it is.”
“It really is dependent on how far we have to travel, and that’s not dictated by us as far as where the (competitive) districts are,” Superintendent Brian Harvey said.

Hamilton noted that parents can drop off younger students as early as 7 a.m. or older ones by 7:30, and breakfast will be available for all students.

“We had to make a move. We were adding another school to drop off and pick up at. Instead of six schools it’ll be seven,” he said. “We’ve had some routes as long as an hour and 25 minutes. Under this new plan, we don’t think any route will be over an hour.”

errol.castens@journalinc.com



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