Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be able to realize $624,000 in savings for the 2012-2013 school year with bell-schedule changes at 10 schools, district officials said.
By using a tiered method of scheduling and routing buses, the district will be able to provide the same level of transportation services with 15 fewer buses, said Carol Stamper, CMS executive director of transportation. The greatest savings will come from needing fewer bus drivers, she said, with the next largest savings in fuel costs.
CMS has made significant reductions in its transportation costs in recent years by rearranging bus schedules and school start times. In all, CMS has been able to save more than $15 million in transportation costs over four years. The district has also earned an efficiency rating of 95.52 percent from the state.
The bell-schedule adjustments followed a district decision to add 45 minutes to the elementary instructional day last year. Although that decision was made for academic reasons – district officials believe students will benefit from additional instructional time – it has allowed for greater efficiency in transportation schedules, too.
“These savings have allowed us to use that money to help cover the costs of teachers, instructional programs and other academic resources,” said Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh. “We recognize that there are non-financial costs that affect our families, who have had to be flexible in family scheduling – and we appreciate our families’ willingness to work with us to strengthen our academic achievement and our budget.”
Bell schedules will change at 10 schools district-wide, Stamper said. Three schools will have earlier start times: Lake Wylie Elementary will start at 8 a.m., 45 minutes earlier than this year’s time of 8:45 (ending at 3 p.m.); Devonshire Elementary, which will start at 7:45 instead of 8:45 (ending time 2:45) and Mint Hill Middle, which will start at 8:15 instead of 9:15 (ending time 3:15). Seven schools will have later start times: Coulwood Middle will start at 8:15 instead of 8 a.m. (ending at 3:15); Crestdale Middle will start at 9 a.m. instead of 8:30 (ending at 4 p.m.); Kennedy Middle will start at 8:45 instead of 8 a.m. (ending at 3:45); Martin Luther King Jr. Middle will start at 8:15 instead of 8 a.m. (ending at 3:15); Nations Ford will start at 8:15 instead of 8 a.m. (ending at 3:15); Providence Spring will start at 8 a.m. instead of 7:45 (ending at 3), and South Charlotte Middle will start at 8:30 instead of 8:15 (ending at 3:30).
For a complete list of bell schedules for all schools, click here.