New school day times for Twinsburg students announced

Starting, ending times determined by grade, many grades starting earlier

April Helms
Kent Weeklies

TWINSBURG — There are several changes to the school starting and ending times for students and their families with the Twinsburg City Schools.

The new hours were announced at the school board’s Aug. 5 meeting and released to families the next day. The schedule also can be fond on the school district website at twinsburg.k12.oh.us online.

In the plan:

• Morning preschool will start at 9:05 a.m. and end at 11:35 a.m.; afternoon preschool will start at 1:05 p.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. Last year, morning preschool attended from 8:30 to 11 a.m., and afternoon attended from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

• Kindergarten and first grade will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:50 p.m. Last year, the Instructional day for kindergarten and first grade was 8:25 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• The school day for second and third graders will start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m. Last year, Bissell Elementary, which traditionally has been the school for these grades, the school day went from 9 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

• Fourth through eighth graders will be in school from 7 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. This is unchanged from last year at R.B. Chamberlin. This is a change for students who would have attended Dodge Intermediate, which started at 7:40 a.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m. last year.

• High school students will start at 8:15 a.m. and end their day at 3:05 p.m. Previously the school day at the high school went from 7:15 a.m. to 2:05 p.m.

Superintendent Kathryn Powers said in a message sent to district families Aug. 6 that the start and end times was due primarily to the bus routes, plus the social distancing requirements in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To make transportation possible, with the 6-foot social distancing restrictions which limit our capacity to transport only 24 students on each bus, we designed the routes to meet our Prek-8 families' transportation needs based upon the feedback we received through the declaration surveys,” Powers said. “One of the tiers involves transporting our grade four through six students at the same time as our grade seven and eight students, the next tier involves our grade two and three students, and residents' children in grade kindergarten through eighth that attend parochial or private schools, and the last tier transports our grade Prek through one students.”

The district is not busing its high school students, Powers said.

“The high school start and end times were actually determined after considering multiple factors,” Powers said. “We are cognizant of the traffic that will occur with many parents in Prek through eight deciding to transport their own children to and from school. Beginning the school day for our grade nine through 12 students at 8:15 a.m. will hopefully address traffic flow and congestion on our campuses. Further, for many years, our parents, staff members, and students have cited research that suggests adolescents perform better in school if their school day starts later. This ongoing pandemic was a good opportunity to adjust the school day in an effort to address that concern.”

As of now, the district plans to provide all students in preschool through sixth grade in-building learning five days a week. Students in seventh through 12th grades would attend in-building classes every other day and have online school with Blended Learning activities the alternating days.

To make it possible for the younger students to attend class five days a week while maintaining social distancing guidelines, the district has reconfigured which students go to which buildings:

? Preschool and kindergarten students will still go to Wilcox Primary School.

? First graders will go to Bissell Elementary School.

? Students in second through sixth grade will have their classes at the high school.

? Seventh through ninth-graders will go to Dodge Intermediate School.

? The district’s 10th through 12th graders will go to R.B. Chamberlin Middle School.

The first official school day for students is Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day, with a “soft reopening” over several days the week before.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com