RPS considering changes to school start times

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Public Schools is looking to change school start times and transportation changes.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, the district said it has have identified a set of school start times that will meet the needs of students, families, and staff that can be funded and implemented without major increases in the cost of transportation in our school district.

However, the district must defer implementation of those new start times to the 2024-2025 school
year to allow time to make the major changes in the route structure of our transportation system that
are needed to make the new start times possible.

“Given the need to plan and implement these changes, I reluctantly recommend that we retain our current school start times for the 2023-2024 school year.

For the 2024-2025 school year and beyond, I recommend that Rochester Public Schools adopt the
following school start and end times, which may need to be slightly adjusted after the new route structure is fully developed:

Superintendent Pekel
  • • Elementary schools: 7:55 AM – 2:15 PM
  • • Middle schools: 8:35 AM – 3:15 PM
  • • High schools: 8:50 AM – 3:30 PM

If we adopt these start times for the school district as a whole, the start and ending times for several unique programs would be as follows:

  • Phoenix Academy, RAIL, and Right Fit would start school at 8:20 AM and end school at 2:20 PM
  • The morning program of RPS Preschool would start school at 8:15 and end school at 10:45 AM and the afternoon program of RPS Preschool would start school at 12:15 PM and end school at 2:45 PM

Implementation of these new start times would require a reduction in the length of the school day at the elementary level of five minutes and at the high school level of thirty minutes when compared to our current start times. No reduction in the length of the middle school day is required. Even with these reductions in the length of the school day at the elementary and senior high levels and allowing for snow days, RPS would still exceed statutory requirements for the minimum number of hours of instruction.

The board will revisit this topic at the June 6 meeting.