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New Questions & Answers About Proposed Changes in North Hills School Start & Dismissal Times

The school district further explains the impact of a proposal by Superintendent Dr. Patrick Mannarino to save the district hundreds of thousands in transportation costs.

The North Hills School District has released new details on how a proposal by Superintendent Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino to change the start and dismissal times of all schools in the district will impact various, district-wide programs.

Mannarino said in December that the plan would allow the district to streamline the district's transportation costs.

"These small time changes would allow the district to reduce the number of buses required to serve our students, saving up to nearly $417,870 yearly while preserving our quality educational programs," said Mannarino. "Basically, district buses would be utilized to their maximum potential with less down time between runs."

Proposed Time Changes

School

Current Start

Current Dismissal

Proposed Start

Proposed Dismissal

Sr. High (grades 9-12)

7:40 a.m.

2:45 p.m.

7:20 a.m.

2 p.m.

Jr. High (grades 7-8)

7:40 a.m.

2:45 p.m.

7:50 a.m.

2:50 p.m.

Highcliff/West View Elementary

9 a.m.

3:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m.

3:00 p.m.

Ross/McIntyre Elementary

9 a.m.

3:30 p.m.

9:15 a.m.

3:45 p.m.


Since the release of the proposal, several new questions have arisen. 

How will the Morning Care program and YMCA after school sessions be affected?

All elementary buildings have sufficient room and staffing to handle any new students who wish to enroll in our Morning Care program. District administrators have spoken with YMCA staff, and all of the organization’s after school programs also will be able to handle any increased enrollment that could happen should the possible changes occur in 2013-14. 

How will the early dismissal time benefit athletes? 

In the 2012 fall sports season, secondary students in grades seven to 12 participating in athletics were excused early approximately 64 times resulting in many students missing their ninth-period classes. Under the proposed changes, the number of ninth-period interruptions for sporting events will be drastically diminished for secondary students due to the earlier dismissal time at the high school. We expect the earlier dismissal time to be an even larger change in ninth-period attendance for students participating in spring sports. 

How will A.W. Beattie students be affected? 

A.W. Beattie students’ educational experiences will be not be impacted. They will return and leave at same time as they currently do. All students will attend a.m. sessions. Also the new plan may benefit those A.W. Beattie students more who struggle academically. If a student fails a class at their home school, they are removed from A.W. Beattie. Under this plan, students will have more academic time at their home school and may take p.m. session at A.W. Beattie if they provide their own transportation. 

Will homeroom be eliminated at the high school? 

No. Due to concerns of parents and students, district administration has altered the original proposed plan. At the senior high school, students will report to their first period class for an 18-minute homeroom period. During that time, attendance will be taken quickly, and students will have the ability to seek help from any teacher. Currently, four teachers are available for educational help causing students to seek help in a subject area - not from their specific teacher. Under the proposed plan, students will be able to use the homeroom time to receive educational help from the specific teacher teaching the class in which they are enrolled. After 18 minutes have transpired, first period classes will begin.  

What if my child can’t make it to class in the allotted four-minute passing time between classes? 

Due to the concerns relayed by parents and students, administration has evaluated this issue. We realize that in some circumstances, some students may feel as if they cannot make it between their scheduled classes in the allotted time.  Teachers will be encouraged to be flexible and understand individual circumstances experienced by each student. As well only a few times during the school day will the entire student body be in the halls at the same time limiting congestion navigated by students.

What's Next

Parents will get their say before a final vote on the plan.

"We've established a task force of our PTA leadership that represents a cross section of North Hills school district parents," said Mannarino. "We're going to meet weekly through February so that if anything pops up we didn't think of, this group is going to try to iron through some of those problems." 

If your child attends or attended, contact:

In addition, the plan will be the subject of school board meetings in January and early February. Mannarino said a final decision would need to be made by Feb. 18 in order to give administrators time to implement it for the 2013-2014 school year.

For more information about the proposal, click here.

What do you think of the proposed changes? Tell us in the comments box below.

K J January 04, 2013 at 05:43 PM
The late start time for RossMcIntyre is unrealistic for working parents & to force sr. high students to begin their day at an even earlier time is similarly unreasonable. It may save money but at the expense of the students and their parents!
b moore January 04, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Please just don't raise our school taxes. Many senior citizens who are retired and trying to survive are working two part-time jobs just to pay these taxes. Pretty sad when us seniors have to pay for people who have very high incomes compare to us, just not right - wake up - your killing us.

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