Madison County schools will have shorter days in 2015-16.
The high school will get out at 3:05 p.m. this year, compared to 3:35 p.m. last year, with classes starting this year at Madison County High School at 8:03 a.m. Meanwhile, at the middle school, classes will start at 8 a.m. The school day at Madison County Middle School will end at 2:40 p.m., compared to 3 p.m. last year.
At the county’s five elementary schools, the start time won’t change from last year, but the release time will move up from 2:55 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. this year.
Superintendent Allen McCannon said the changes were result of feedback from parents and students. He noted that high school students who participated in after-school activities often had to leave class early to attend functions or get home later due to the late dismissal time.
“One thing really kids were saying was that they were missing class, those who were involved in extracurricular activities, and they were getting home late and having a hard time getting homework done,” said McCannon. “So I was concerned about that and we looked around and we did have one of the longer school days. So Mr. (George) Bullock (MCHS principal) and his staff worked together to try and maximize instructional time.”
Altering the MCHS release time also means the middle school has to let out earlier, since buses have to leave the middle school first to get to the high school. McCannon said staffs at both schools seem comfortable with the schedule changes.
“The elementary schools adjusting too to give the elementary parents more time,” said McCannon. “…The parents have spoken, so we’re trying to accommodate them.”
Also this year, the school system will run more double bus routes, with some buses leaving on short routes and taking kids home, then coming back to get more students. He said the system aims to be efficient in getting students home quickly and safely.
“We’re continuing to do some double routes at the elementary level,” said McCannon. “We piloted some routes last year at Colbert and Hull and I think every school now will have at least one double route. A few kids might get home a little later, but a few might get home a little earlier too.”