On July 10, 2019, a letter to all parents went out via email. Here is a copy of that letter.

FAQs

Q: How does the elementary start times compare with start times in other districts?

A: Our 2019-20 start times are similar to those in adjacent school districts:

  • West Ada School District begins at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and 9:15 a.m. Wednesdays
  • Boise School District begins at 8:45 a.m. at four schools and 9:15 a.m. for nine schools
  • Nampa School District begins at six schools at 8:20 a.m., one school at 8:45 a.m. and seven schools at 8:50 a.m.

Q: Why doesn’t the district use levy for learning funds to buy more buses?

A: Last year, we asked parents and the community to prioritize uses of our levy for learning. Of the 15 priorities, bus schedule ranked 14th. Levy funds were dedicated to the top priorities identified by the parent and community, they are:

  • Hire 20 teachers to address areas of classroom overcrowding and add auto body repair, diesel mechanics, and agricultural classes
  • Continue free full-time kindergarten
  • Provide new English and science instructional materials, replace Chromebooks and musical instruments
  • Continue focus on safety and prevention by:
    • maintaining school resource officers
    • increasing prevention staffing and training
    • making critical building improvements

Q: Why doesn’t the district switch the start times and allow secondary students to start later and get more sleep?

A: This option could work if students did not also participate in extracurricular activities such as sports and music. About 60% of our students participate in extracurricular activities. These activities require students to travel in after school to compete. A later start time would result in a later end time. Students in extracurriculars would lose too many hours of classroom instruction with their teachers and could be at greater risk of failing.

Q: Why can’t elementary and secondary students ride the same buses?

A: This scenario was explored as an option, but dismissed because of concerns about safety and supervision on buses with younger and older students.

Q: How many buses does the district have?

A: The district owns 47 buses, 39 are used every day to transport children to and from school. The eight remaining buses are older and used if a bus breaks down or if a bus is needed for a field trip or extracurricular activity. These buses log about 52,219 miles per month or about 419,359 miles a year.

Q: Why was the release time for Wednesday changed to only one hour early this year?

A: This change was made last school year to accommodate our busing schedule. Prior to last school year, Wednesday collaboration has always been a one hour early release.

Q: Wouldn’t contracting for bus services help solve this problem?

A: No. Other area school districts that contract for bus services have similar schedules for elementary schools. Those contractors also are experiencing challenges hiring drivers in a tight job market.