Oldham County Schools has cut bus routes and rearranged school times this year in an effort to save $500,000, which officials say will keep some 10 teachers in classrooms.
The school day won’t be longer, but elementary schools will start and end 5 minutes earlier and middle and high schools will start and get out 15 minutes later, which should allow fewer buses to pick up additional students.
“The transportation department has scrutinized this down to every bus stop, every bus ride, every route, to make sure we are maximizing our efficiencies and getting the most out of every mile,” says Superintendent Will Wells.
Last spring, the school board voted for the change as part of $3 million cuts made to the budget to rein in spending. That, plus a proposal to the board for a tax increase, should give the district the extra $5 million it needs to balance the budget.
The new times also mean at least 25 fewer bus routes, says Wells, adding that allows the district to spend less on driver pay and bus costs.
Wells says some students—likely those who live further from school—will see the greatest change in their commutes. This could mean an additional 10-15 more minutes, he says.
“It will mean that students will quite possibly have to walk a little greater distances to bus stops. We’re not going to be able to make as many stops as we have in the past.”
Wells says student safety is the number one priority and district officials studied each bus stop to make the most effective cuts.
Here are the changes to the school start, dismissal times:
- Preschool: 7:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Elementary schools: 7:45 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.
- Middle schools: 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (OCMS dismissal at 3:40 p.m.)
- High schools: 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (BAHS 8:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.)