Greencastle-Antrim board says no to changing school day start time

MEGAN HERR, The Record Herald Contact Megan Herr at 717-762-2151, mherr@therecordherald.com or on Twitter: @mherr_RH

Start and dismissal times for school days in the Greencastle-Antrim School District will remain the same next year.

The G-ASD School Board voted Thursday night against the motion to move the start times, a possibility that has been heavily discussed in the district for well over a year.

Currently, secondary schools start at 7:30 a.m. and elementary students start at 8:30 a.m.

In February 2015, Chief Education Officer Bob Crider presented an article which talked about the benefits of a later start time for secondary students.

The board has since considered several time changes; however in the end, decided not to change the start times.

School board member Linda Farley said she could not justify moving the start times to benefit the secondary students when it could potentially hurt the primary and elementary students.

“I feel like if we accept this change, we are helping the high school and middle school but we are hurting the primary and elementary students,” said Farley. “I can’t approve something that would hurt the primary and elementary students just to give the high school or middle schools students an extra half hour.”

Her fellow board members also weighed in on the issue:

“I’ve heard a lot of information on this but I haven’t heard enough convincing evidence to make this change,” said Tracey Baer.

“I like the conversation. I like the ideas, but I’m not sure we’re ready to pull the trigger on something like this just yet,” said Mike Still.

“I have heard from a large amount of people who did have a lot of concerns,” said Jim Winslow, board president.

“I see a lot of inconvenience to the community coming from it,” added Paul Politis.

Greencastle-Antrim School District Superintendent Dr. C. Gregory Hoover said the main concern from the public was childcare.

“With the amount of people here, and emails and involvement as this has had, I would just like to encourage parents to continue to be involved with future issues,” added Shannon Yates.

“The administration and teachers put a lot of hard work into this and that needs to continue. All the topics that are hard to talk about need to continue to be talked about,” added Baer.