Dear Editor:

I want to first show my appreciation for the Jefferson City School System and the Jackson County School System for their Spring Breaks being on the same week. My family was able to share great memories together for the first time in years.

However, the calendars do not match up for 2021-22 year. Why can the school systems not get on the same page? Whether it be family dynamics, or family members teaching at one and kids at another, I know I am not the only one with kids in two different school systems. If they both have the same start day and Spring Break, why is Fall Break a different week?

While those in charge are making needed changes, it would be very helpful if they would address the 'potential' time changes throughout the JCSS district for 2021-22.

Next year, I and many others will have a child in both elementary and middle schools. With the recent growth in the county and traffic congestion, I agree a change may be warranted. However, the times presented should be altered.

As a parent of students in West Jackson, 65 minutes between elementary and middle school start times and a full hour between end times will be a huge burden to all. Having middle school start at 8:45, an hour after most parents are required to be at work is not feasible, and the early drop-off program the school has proposed is not the answer, only another means to make money. With this proposal, I foresee the roads being even more congested because some parents would be making two trips on the roads taking kids to and from school. This would occur not only in the mornings but also in the afternoons, with an hour difference in release times.

Most high school students do not require parent supervision before or after school and some can drive or provide their own transportation. Also, some high schoolers may transport their younger siblings to school, but this would not work if high school starts before middle school. I believe middle school should start at 8:00, closer to the elementary start time, and high school should start at 8:30 or 8:45. This would prevent additional staff from becoming burned out working the before school program, thus saving parents $35 per week, not have younger novice drivers on the road at the same time as those commuting to work, and it would eliminate excess traffic of parents traveling twice. I know firsthand that previous enrollment in the after-school program was limited due to not enough staff willing to work. The before-school program will not be any different.

Please look at this more closely or explain to me why the proposed times are better than those I mentioned above. As always, thank you for what you do in teaching our kids.

Sincerely,

James Elrod

Locations

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