We've got some bell schedule changes on the table for this fall.
Staff will lay out this morning various options that would move some third-tier elementary schools to second tier. But it would require swapping out schools, moving some off the highly coveted second tier into the later one.
These changes, along with one that could result in East Wake High starting later, would be meant to help some higher poverty schools. It's part of the idea of using bell schedules to give some schools extra help.
The belief is that high school students would benefit from later starts that allow them get more sleep. But it's felt that elementary students would benefit from an earlier start with 8:30 a.m. being a better time.
Since Wake uses the same buses to run as many as three routes in the morning and again in the afternoon, changes affecting one school usually impact others.
Under one option, East Wake High would move to the second tier to start at 8:05 a.m., later than the current 7:25 a.m opening. This would require pushing Wendell and Zebulon elementaries from their 8:30 a.m. openings to 7:45 a.m.
One big issue with the above option is that the estimated first pickup time for elementary students at those two schools would be 6:30 a.m.
Another scenario would move Wendell and Zebulon elementaries in the other direction to the third tier, causing them to open at 9:15 a.m. This would let Wakelon and Carver elementaries to move into the second tier, opening at 8:30 a.m. instead of 9:15 a.m.
In a different scenario, any combo of two of these three elementary schools (Barwell, Creech Road or East Garner) would be able to move into the second tier to start at 8:30 a.m. instead of the current 9:15 a.m. opening. But it would require Rand Road and Aversboro elementaries to move into the third tier, starting at 9:15 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m.
A separate option would swap the tiers for Conn and Joyner elmentary schools. Conn would move to the second tier with an 8:30 a.m. opening and Joyner would begin at 9:15 a.m.
Another swap involves Fox Road and Wildwood Forest elementary schools. Fox Road, which has more low-income students, would move to second tier to begin at 8:30 a.m. with Wildwood starting later at 9:15 a.m.
Harris Creek Elementary would start earlier at 8:30 a.m., forcing Lockhart Elementary to start later at 9:15 a.m.
Lead Mine Elementary would start later at 9:15 a.m. so Lynn Road Elementary could begin earlier at 8:30 a.m.
Poe and Bugg elementary schools could start earlier, beginning at 8:20 a.m. instead of the current 9:05 a.m. opening. But it would require starting Olds and Partnership elementaries later at 9:15 a.m.
Hodge Road Elementary could start later at 9:15 a.m. so that Wilburn Elementary can begin earlier at 8:30 a.m.
A simiiar thing could happen with Sycamore Creek Elementary starting later at 9:15 a.m. so that York Elementary could begin earlier at 8:30 a.m.
A change to start Timber Drive Elementary at 8:30 a.m. wouldn't be doable due to lack of schools that can be swapped to replace it.
Whether the board will agree to all these changes, scheduled to be voted on March 31, remains to be seen.
Also later today, the board will discuss staring schools earlier to create more planning time for teachers. How that would interact with the above bell sked changes remains to be seen.
The board gave the informal thumbs up for starting East Wake High later, meaning Wendell and Zebulon elementaries will begin earlier.
The board asked for more info on the Conn/Joyner, Fox Road/Wildwood Forest, Barwell/Rand Road and York/Sycamore Creek changes.
The other changes are off the table for various reasons.