SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Some Sioux Falls parents will have to get their kids out the door a little earlier for school this Fall.

The School District has announced new start times for seven of the city’s elementary schools. The goal is to alleviate the stress of School Bus Inc. and its ongoing driver shortage.

Every school year brings new challenges, and in 2021-22 one of the biggest obstacles was bussing. School Bus Inc had a driver shortage.

“Last fall we had some situations where busing wasn’t super consistent and sometimes, because of a variety of factors, maybe the bus would show up 10 minutes later or 20 minutes late,” DeeAnn Konrad, SFSD community relations coordinator, said. “And we’d kind of have to make decisions on the fly.”

In hopes of eliminating issues this coming school year, the Sioux Falls District is changing the start and end times for seven elementary schools. Some of the schools will start 20 minutes earlier than in the past.

2022-23 New school start times

  • Cleveland Elementary: 8:05 am – 2:50 pm
  • Hawthorne Elementary: 7:40 am – 2:25 pm
  • JFK Elementary: 7:40 am – 2:25 pm
  • John Harris Elementary: 8:05 am – 2:50 pm
  • Lowell Elementary: 8:15 am – 3:00 pm
  • Oscar Howe Elementary: 7:40 am – 2:25 pm
  • Rosa Parks Elementary: 7:45 am – 2:30 pm

“What this allows us to do is have some of our drivers do three runs in the morning and three in the afternoon instead of two in the morning and two in the afternoon,” Konrad said. “So really what we’re doing is being more efficient with the number of drivers and buses that are available.”

The School District decided to announce the changes now to allow parents two months to update their morning routines.

“We get that anytime there’s a change people go, ‘oh my gosh that’s going to be a challenge for me,'” Konrad said. “But we’ve also heard some parents say, ‘hey that’s actually better for me because I can get to work on time or a little sooner than I previously was able to.”

Konrad says if you have kids who go to any of the schools with new start times, you should have already gotten an email about the changes.