Local News

Students Shun Proposal to Start School Later

Posted April 18, 2007 6:50 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2007 8:58 p.m. EDT

— Cumberland County Schools officials are taking some heat for a proposal that would start some high schools nearly two hours later than usual.

If passed, the proposal would affect Seventy First High School and Westover High School. The idea is to give students more rest, cut down on tardiness and free up buses for the younger kids.

“I don’t think it makes any sense. It’s ridiculous," said Jacob Connell, a junior at Seventy First High. "A lot of kids have rides from their parents, and a lot of their parents go to work from 6 to 7:30."

These comments might sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to Associate Superintendent Tim Kinlaw. He is the one who suggested a 9:15 a.m. start time, with students getting out at 4:15 p.m.

“The public likes our schedule the way it is now, and that’s a good thing to know,” Kinlaw said.

However, the later schedule would allow school officials to get more kids on the bus.

“We would eliminate having to have any student crossing multilane highways to get to school,” he said.

The school system could carry all students with eight fewer buses, saving $1 million, according to Kinlaw.

Even with the savings though, the proposal doesn’t sit well with student Hope Culbertson.

“I’m in every play here. I’m in the choir. I don’t get home until 10:30 or 11 at night, every night,” she said.

The later start time would also make it difficult for students who go to jobs at 4 p.m., said Marcus Sinclair.

Nearly a thousand people turned out for a public meeting Tuesday night to oppose the plan. The county Board of Education will ultimately decide whether to put the schedule in place.