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Share your thoughts! 8 a.m. start time at BCHS

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on April 20, 2020

Despite the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Bethlehem Central School District continues to implement necessary planning to move the high school start time from 7:35 a.m. to 8 a.m. beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The change in start time had been recommended by the district’s School Start Time Committee last February.

The Board of Education will resume its discussion of the proposed change at its May 6 meeting. At that meeting, the transportation consultant hired by the district to redesign bus routing to accommodate the schedule change will make a presentation to the Board.

A proposed bell schedule that would accompany a new later start time can be found in the chart below. Public comments or questions on the proposed new schedule should be emailed to the Board at bcsdk12@gmail.com prior to the May 6 meeting.

BCHS BELL SCHEDULE –
CURRENT

BCHS BELL SCHEDULE -PROPOSED

43-min. periods, 5-min. pass
42-min. periods, 5-min. pass
Homeroom: 7:35-7:43

 

Period 1: 8:00 -8:42

 

Period 1: 7:48-8:31

 

Period 2: 8:47-9:29

 

Period 2: 8:36-9:19

 

Announcements: 9:29-9:34

 

Period 3: 9:24-10:07

 

Period 3: 9:39-10:21

 

Period 4: 10:12-10:55

 

Period 4: 10:26-11:08

 

Period 5: 11:00-11:43

 

Period 5: 11:13-11:55

 

Period 6: 11:48-12:31

 

Period 6: 12:00-12:42

 

Period 7: 12:36-1:19

 

Period 7: 12:47 -1:29

 

Period 8: 1:24-2:07 Period 8: 1:34-2:16

 

Extra Help/Period 9: 2:15-3:00

 

ExtraHelp/Period 9: 2:16-3:00

 

The district has been examining the feasibility of a later start time at the high school since 2018

The Board’s decision to fast-track the 8 a.m. start time at the high school was made at the Feb. 26 Board of Education meeting following a unanimous agreement by the district’s School Start Time Committee to shift the high school bell schedule. The work of School Bus Consultants (SBC) was integral in the committee’s decision making. A representative from SBC will be presenting their final routing, utilization and bus schedule recommendations to the Board as part of the May 6 meeting.

The proposal would impact the bell schedule at the high school only. There would be no change to the start times at the district’s five elementary schools or at the middle school.

“We understand there are a lot of unknowns right now as to when schools will reopen and what that will look like,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “However, much of the hard work on shifting the high school start time has already been done. Every member of the committee, each of whom spent more than a year and a half researching and debating this initiative, was focused on the long term and each one believes the later start time will serve the well-being of our students well into the future.

“First though, the district wants to be sure students, staff and families have a chance to look at the revised bell times at the high school and share their feedback prior to any final decision-making,” said Monroe.

Superintendent Monroe said the May 6 meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Due to the extended school closure the meeting will take place remotely and be streamed live via YouTube. Login details for the meeting will be released on May 1. Those wishing to submit comments or questions regarding the proposed change to the high school start time should submit those comments no later than Wednesday, May 6 at 5 p.m. All comments and questions can be emailed to bcsdk12@gmail.com.