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Start Times Shift for 2019-20 School Year


Ajuste de horario de comienzo de clases para el año escolar 2019-2020

​School start times and dismissal will change by 10-to-15 minutes at most schools in the 2019-20 school year. The Rockford School Board tonight approved school start times for the upcoming school year. Classes at RPS 205 traditional high schools will start at 8:15 a.m., which is 15 minutes earlier than the current 8:30 a.m. start. Middle schools will start at 9 a.m., which is 15 minutes later than the current 8:45 a.m. start. Most elementary schools will start at 7:35 a.m. – 10 minutes earlier than the current 7:45 a.m. start.

Important Information:

  • Start and end times are not changing by more than 15 minutes at any school, with the exception of Maria Montessori at Marsh.
  • The new schedule will shorten the length of time students ride the bus. The average ride time will be 19 minutes compared to the current average of 21 minutes, a 10 percent reduction. The shift will make a big difference to students who have longer rides to and from school.
  • The new start times will not mean earlier pick up or drop off times at bus stops. This year, the earliest time an elementary student boards the bus is 6 a.m., and that 6 a.m. time will continue in the upcoming school year. The latest time a middle school student gets off the bus is currently 5:15 p.m., and that time will also continue in the upcoming school year. 
  • Because of the more staggered start times, the district will have additional drivers and buses to use. The Transportation Department will run three routes twice each day instead of two routes twice each day. 
  • Students at Maria Montessori at Marsh will start at 9 a.m. next school year, compared to the current start time of 7:45 a.m. This is a change Montessori staff have pushed for in recent years. The later start time will better support the academic needs of Montessori middle school students. This schedule will better align with Eisenhower Middle School; Montessori and Eisenhower students partner for athletics. Montessori staff plan to survey parents on their needs for before-school care in the upcoming school year.
  • The new schedule does not affect Early Childhood start/end times.

    The new schedule is a collaboration with administrators, transportation leaders, principals and the athletic department. The change will amount to a $600,000-per-year savings in bus purchases. The shift will:
  • Reduce the district's bus fleet by 40 buses (from 260 buses to 220). That reduces the average age of the district's bus fleet from 6 ½ years to 5 years, reducing replacement and repair costs.
  • Strengthen the district's position in the labor market. Reconfiguring bus routes will provide more opportunities for full-time jobs vs. part-time. This will help with driver retention. The shift will not require any layoffs or reduction for transportation staff.

The district's transportation team runs 200 routes each day to transport more than 18,000 students to more than 45 district sites. Learn more about the Transportation Department.