Austin delays school start time decision, asks for community feedback
(ABC6 News) — The Austin school board deferred their decision on school start times until they can collect additional community input.
The school system has been considering solutions to the district’s busing shortage. Austin currently has 5,000 students and only 22 buses, which can result in trips taking up to two hours.
Previous coverage: Austin Public Schools discussing different start times
Austin superintendent Dr. Joey Page said the school board plans to set up an “engagement process” to collect feedback from parents and students over the next few weeks.
The school board will consider busing efficiency, as the Bell Time study was designed to do, Page said – but also ridership, the need to preserve the length of schooldays, and solutions for childcare in the mornings and evenings.
As detailed in the Bell Time Study, presented Feb. 14, the Austin school system will have three different busing times beginning in the fall.
The Austin Public Schools website states that elementary start times will be earlier, Ellis and IJ Holton Intermediate School will start later in the day, and the high school will not change much.
The board favors Scenario 5 presented by the Bell Time Study creators, Page said, which reads as follows:
All Elem & Woodson in Tier 1
Banfield – 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Neveln – 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Southgate – 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Sumner – 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Woodson – 7:25 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
HS in Tier 2
HS/ALC/Pacelli – 8:10 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
Ellis & IJ in Tier 3
Ellis – 9:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
IJ Holton – 9:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
The next regular school board meeting takes place on Monday, March 14. See https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-offices/school-board to view upcoming meetings and agendas.