Private School Survey Wants Reset For School Start Times - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Private School Survey Wants Reset For School Start Times

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New developments in the ongoing debate over start times for Davenport schools.

Roughly two weeks after Davenport school leaders approved changing the district's start times, private school parents have weighed in on the issue.

Davenport provides bus services for the private schools and a new direction could mean a $1 million loss for the district of Davenport.

Right now Assumption High School will have its start time pushed a little later in the day, from 7:45 to 8:10.

The other private schools would start even later, 8:45.

That's a big change for the elementary schools and it was reflected in the survey that came back from the private schools.

"Earlier would be better, you know, we don't have to stay exactly where we are, but close to that would be best for us," says parent Stephanie Miller.

She is one of 849 families surveyed by their school principals. She has six kids, five of which attend elementary school. Miller says she told her school principal to eliminate the change.

"It's going to make it harder for our kids in the afternoon, with no air conditioning in our schools, it's going to be a warmer afternoon, when it's cooler in the morning hours," says Miller.

Assumption High School President Andy Craig released a statement saying many parents agree with Miller.

"Survey results indicate a strong desire to maintain typical start and end times, as established by previous years..."

He says the next step administrators will take is determining bussing.

"At this time, we are waiting for specific bus routing information from Davenport Community Schools in order to determine how to best meet the needs of the families served through our educational mission," says Craig.

About 500 private school students take the bus to their schools. Assumption owns four busses. If the private schools chose to create their own bus service, Craig says four more busses would be needed. Thomas Bus of Des Moines says a new bus costs on average $85,000. Administrators will have to weigh that cost with their parents concerns.

"Many people that I know, this will affect their schedules," says Miller.

Any change in bussing will also affect Davenport. The district was paid $941,000 last year to bus the non-public school students. The district's chief financial officer is calculating the impact of various options for TV-6.

The private school administrators plan to meet again on Tuesday once they get bus route information from Davenport Schools.


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