Keep Middle Creek Elementary Bell Schedule as it is in 2011-2012
The Wake County School Board has decided to change the start and end time for Middle Creek Elementary School for the 2012-2013 school year. Our current bell schedule allows students to enter the school at 8:00 a.m. and school begins at 8:30 a.m. During this half hour students are able to purchase breakfast in the cafeteria, visit the school store, library, schedule appointments with the school counselors, and turn in PTA items. If students chose none of these options, they spend the time in their classrooms doing morning work and checking with the teacher for missed work and help. Our school day currently ends at 3:00 p.m. The students are released to the carpool waiting area or the gym and cafeteria to wait for their bus to arrive and be called. Many students arrive to their bus stop by 3:30 p.m. The initial proposal from the School Board changed our start time to 9:25 a.m. and students would be released at 3:55 p.m. At this point in the process, parents and teachers were allowed to voice their opinions on the changes that had been proposed. There was a resounding negative reaction to the changes. Issues included before and after school care, work conflicts, and after school activities. Middle Creek had 367 number of responses to the survey. The School Board in response to the concerns presented from the survey moved the time 10 minutes. The newly proposed start time is 9:15 a.m. Students would enter the building around 8:45 a.m. If the routes are similar to this year's, most buses would probably begin their routes around 8:20 a.m. The students would be released at 3:45 p.m. This would put most of our students home around 4:15 p.m. • If parents work, they would require before school care even if their child takes the bus to school due to a pick up time around 8:20 a.m. A parent can not guarantee they can make it to a 9 a.m. meeting on time. • A teacher who has older children will not be home until around 4:30 p.m., at the earliest, leaving their child alone when he returns home from school for potentially 2 hours. This is a very long time for a sixth grader to be left alone. The other option would be for a teacher to pay for after school care until they arrive. • A parent who has older children involved in after school activities will struggle with picking up older children from their activities while trying to also meet the elementary bus at the bus stop. • A teacher who has a younger child will require additional after school child care until they can return home. • If a parent has a preschool child they will struggle to get both children to their respective schools on time in the morning. • Students who are involved in after school sports programs, religious activities, scouts, etc.; will now need to go directly from school to these activities. This will alter the time allowed for homework and family dinner schedules. • Our school is a year round school with our new school year beginning July 9th. Another elementary school located in close proximity is beginning their school day at 7:45 a.m. This time difference alone is causing parents to chose the other school not based on their academic differences but purely based on the school times. The first round selection results will not be known until March. The second round selection process follows the announcement of the results. Parents will probably not know the results of the second round until May. This only allows parents two months to come up with a solution to the bell schedule changes and the conflicts that it causes for their family. • The schools will not know the number of students attending their school until the second round has occurred. For Middle Creek this means we will not know the number of students until May with a new school year beginning in July. The number of teachers allocated for a school is based on the number of students divided by a number created by the county. If our students chose to attend another school due to the earlier bell schedule, then we will lose teachers from Middle Creek. These non-terminating contract teachers will not know that their jobs are in jeopardy due to student numbers until May. We request that the School Board to leave the start and end time of Middle Creek Elementary School as it currently is 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you agree with this position, please add your name to this petition. We will be sending this petition along to the School Board before their final decision on March 6th. If you know other individuals who would be willing to sign this petition please pass the information along.