Yukon Proposes New School Hours Across District, Prompting Parental Concerns

Some Yukon parents are concerned with new school hours being proposed across the district. News 9's Storme Jones has the story.

Thursday, January 9th 2020, 7:17 pm

Some Yukon parents are concerned with proposed district-wide time changes. However, school officials say the change is needed in the growing district.

Sheridan Skelton took to social media with the proposed times announced at a Yukon Public Schools board meeting streamed on Facebook.

“I don’t know who said, 'Yes,' to this,” Skelton said. “But they need to involve the parents more than they did.”

Her post generated more than 300 comments.

“It’s the best thing,” Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said. “It’s the best thing for the district and for the kids. It’s safer. It’s faster.”

With the addition of a new elementary school and two other schools changing grade levels, Simeroth said bus schedules needed to be changed.

“We spent weeks, months deliberating why and where and how we can best accommodate all of our kids,” he said.

Here’s what the district came up with:

Current Times
High School 7:30 a.m. – 2:47 p.m.
Middle School 7:40 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.
Intermediate 8:10 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.
Elementary 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Proposed Times
High School 7:50 p.m. – 3:07 p.m.
Middle School 8:25 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Intermediate 7:40 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.
Elementary 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

“The research tells you that the earlier those kids at younger ages start, the better they learn because they get tired faster,” Simeroth said. “Then, when you look at the high school and middle school, the later we can get them the better it is for them, because traditionally, middle school students and high school students don’t necessarily go to bed when they should.”

Skelton has an elementary school student.

“If it gets pushed up to 7:30, that means we have to get up about 6 a.m., which is just hard,” she said. “When you’ve got little kids that like to sleep, it’s just hard.”

Others took to Facebook, concerned about the times younger students will be alone after school. Simeroth said the district is working with partners to expand after-school activity opportunities.

The school board will vote on the changes next month and, if approved, the new times will take effect next school year.

“If they have to, they’ll adapt,” Skelton said. “But, I think it could be better thought-out.”

“We understand there will be some people that are a little inconvenienced and will have to make some changes, but it’s the best thing for kids,” Simeroth said.

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