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Duluth changes school hours

Why oh why are they changing the elementary school start time to 7:45? I have a son in the autistic spectrum, and getting him to class by this years start time of 9:15 has a challenge!

They now dismiss at 2:15! Great news for us working parents out there. I just got my work schedule to work with the “old” hours and now I have to change everything once again.

I am rapidly losing confidence in the Duluth School Board. Red plans, selling buildings for $1, then raising taxes, and now this.

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14 Comment(s)

  1. The hour change really screws with our Latchkey plans at my job, too. It really is a pain. The average class sizes are supposedly getting outrageously high, too.

    EvilResident | Jun 11, 2012 | New Comment
  2. This is the first that I have heard of this. As far as I know, the link between later school start times and better school performance was settled by educational researchers over two decades ago. And also by my grandma 20 years before that, who said a good breakfast and good rest were key to learning in school. It sounds like the Duluth Schools might need a grandma.

    My kids go to Edison where the start time is a more practical (for kids) 8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., which is a long day, but they’re learning. By the way, for me 7:45 a.m. would be a great start time, but K-12 school start times shouldn’t really about what’s best for 40 yr olds at the expense of kids.

    wildgoose | Jun 11, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Thanks for posting. Because, ahem. I now have a childcare problem for after school. Fabulous.

    When did this happen? Why did it not go home with my kids last Thursday? The school supply list for fall did, the start/end times should too.

    We’re one of the schools that is switching from an 8am start time to 7:45. It actually makes it easier for me to *get* to work on time.

    kerc | Jun 11, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Forgot to add that I called the district office and spoke to someone directly who informed me that this is true.

    kerc | Jun 11, 2012 | New Comment
  5. The change was made just last week. From a DNT story published June 5:
    “… all of the district’s elementary schools will run from 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Middle schools will go from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and high schools will run from 9:05 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.
    “The district hadn’t planned to change start times, but the move was part of the agreement with the teacher’s union.”

    Read the whole story here. Might be archived soon.

    Beverly | Jun 12, 2012 | New Comment
  6. Duluth Schools ISD 709 will be offering a new bus-included latchkey program next year for elementary kids from 2:15–6:15PM: coal mining. Dinner isn’t included, but can be deducted from their pay… along with shovel, hard hat and canary rental. BYO candle and rope.

    adam | Jun 12, 2012 | New Comment
  7. I know this is hard to take, but speaking from a scientific point of view, they’re actually moving closer to what it should be.

    The older a child is, the more likely their circadian rhythms require a later start time. The middle schools used to start at about 8am (arrivals by 7:45). So this is better for them, since age 12 is about when sleep cycles get screwed up. The elementary schools were all over the place. Nettleton started late (after 9), but some, like Homecroft and Congdon, started way early (before 8). (Elementary kids don’t actually have--scientifically speaking--any issue waking up early.) So now, it’s actually become standardized by age.

    So, even though class sizes continue to rise (which is completely bullshit), the starting times are actually improving, if you’re going to look at it from a neutral point of view.

    (This point of view brought to you by someone opposed to all industrial-age-style and age-segregated schooling.)

    hbh1 | Jun 12, 2012 | New Comment
  8. P.S. All Duluth schools offer free after-school programming that involve lots of play on the playground and fun activities. While I don’t approve of kids having to spend their whole lives at school, most parents are covered between school times and work-ending times.

    hbh1 | Jun 12, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Also also: In poorer neighborhoods, one of the issues with the later start times for elementary was finding a way to make sure kids got to school, since many parents started work before the school start times. This actually solves that problem for working parents.

    hbh1 | Jun 12, 2012 | New Comment
  10. The before & after school kid connection isn’t free unless you have county child care assistance. It’s $125 a month for either before or after school care and $235 a month for both before and after school care.
    I had to quick get my child added to the afternoon session. He was already in the morning one. There was no way I could be home for work in time like I could when school got done at 3:15.

    Dlh | Jun 13, 2012 | New Comment
  11. I am a huge advocate of public education, of course, but as someone who has chosen not to have children thus far, I’ve never been sympathetic to claims that seem to confuse public education with government funded child care/babysitting. ( I still wish we had four- day weeks and no buses, cafeterias, custodial or electric lighting costs for 20% of the school year, at lEast for middle and high school kids). | Jun 13, 2012 | New Comment
  12. I did not know about the costs of kid connection. Thank you for correcting me, Dlh.

    hbh1 | Jun 14, 2012 | New Comment
  13. My beef is with the buses. When my kid was at Grant, the bus stop was down our block, on the corner. THen, when she was in 6th grade or 7th grade, they moved the bus stop three (long) blocks away. When the bus was late — or once, never showed up — she was screwed. So I took to waiting with her and the car. If the bus was late, we’d hop in the car and get her to school. This turned out to be more trouble than it was worth, so I drove her to school every morning and she’d take the bus home in the p.m. Then, when they closed Central, the school told us she’d have to take the bus to East, then transfer to another bus to get her home in Chester Park. It’d take her almost an hour on the bus to get home. It’s less than a 10 minute drive. So I started picking her up from school. She is entering high school this fall and the school says they don’t bus kids who live 2 or less than 2 miles away. We think we are exactly 2 miles and so she may not be eligible for busing. Since Mr. Claire works in the opposite direction from the high school, that means I am going to have to drive her to/from school, though we are going to look into carpooling and the city bus. Drives me nuts.

    Claire | Jun 14, 2012 | New Comment
  14. I walked two miles through urban Milwaukee to get home from middle school and I walked or biked (we could not afford the city-subsidized bus tickets for high school students) more than 4 miles from high school. On the days when the snow fell and I could not bike or walk, a fellow kid would give me a lift three of the four miles.

    I did get a ride to school in the AM from my mom, bless her, with my bike on a rack on the trunk. Thankfully, the Art Homeroom teacher would open the art room early and let us pretend to be working on projects. | Jun 14, 2012 | New Comment

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