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SF School Board Approves Shift In School Day

April 13, 2009, 9:22 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF School Board Approves Shift In School Day
Thousands of middle school students in Sioux Falls will be going to school a little later next year. Monday night the Sioux Falls School Board adopted a preliminary budget that would shift the school day by 15 minutes and save thousands of dollars.

Starting next fall the school day will start at nine and end at three forty-five for middle-schoolers. It will save the district more than a quarter million dollars because buses can run more routes. And district officials say they are ready for students who have to show up early to school or stay late because of the change.

Its a change that will mean a new schedule for students and big time savings for the Sioux Falls School District. 

"We're asking the community to step up by changing the middle school start time," Sioux Falls School Board member Doug Morrison said.

More than 45-hundred middle school students will be affected by the later start time next year. But middle school principals say the cost-cutting move should not cut into the schedules of parents.

"At Axtell Park we're already supervising kids starting at seven forty-five, and I think we're going to be able to be creative and acknowledge that parents still need that supervision, we need to have kids supervised at that time," Axtell Park Assistant Principal JoJean Callison said.

District officials are already working on programs for students that will need to show up to school early. School Board members say the schedule shift is a move that will spare other programs in the district. 

"It's really a lot of pieces in there and we're asking for a lot of cooperation, but that allows us to keep good programs in the school district," Morrison said.

Programs that will now be offered to middle school students a little later in the day.

The other cost saving measures that were approved Monday night were scaling back supply budgets for the elementary and high schools by almost 200 thousand dollars, and having teacher's aides, instead of teachers supervise things like lunch hours.

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