New schedule change divides MCSD parents, organizations

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The new schedule for Muscogee County schools is causing a ripple effect for children, their families and after school programs.

Maryann Aide is concerned this summer with dropping off and picking up her fifth grade daughter from camp.

But in two short months, her attention will turn to the changing Muscogee County School District schedule and the ripple effect it will have.

"It's hard to get them up in the morning, whether they are five or 15, so, she's going to have to wake up earlier, she's going to be dragging more, she'll probably be more tired at the end of the day. She plays soccer, so she has practice two days a week, which I'm sure will affect that because she practices for an hour and a half," Aide said.

The proposed schedule change will alter elementary school schedules by 45 minutes, beginning at 8:00 rather than 8:45 and ending at 2:30, rather than 3:15.

Middle school students would go to school at 9:00, rather than 8:25 and leave at 4:05, which brings about further concern.

"Going into middle school, a lot of us have to be at work by 8:00 or 8;30, how are we going to drop our children off and make arrangements because they're too old for daycare at that point," Aide said.

High school start time will be 8:25, rather than 7:45 and end at 3:25, rather than 2:45.

The change will also impact bottom lines for after-school programs, like the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley, according to CEO Jim Wink.

"It looks like there would be an adjustment, maybe an hour on the front end and an hour on the back end. So, we're just going to have to sit down, put a pencil to it and make sure our budget," Wink said.

With elementary students leaving by 2:30, the five clubs in Columbus would be forced to open earlier, and the 40 part time employees would work more, meaning a substantial increase in money spent.

"If you have an additional 40 extra hours a month and multiply that times nine or eight weeks in the school year, it can add up," Wink said.

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