Indian River School District Considers Change to Start, Dismissa - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Indian River School District Considers Change to Start, Dismissal Times

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - Some changes may be on the way for the Indian River School District. Leaders are considering moving the start and dismissal time of all middle schools in the district back by 15 minutes, all in the name of getting double the usage from school buses. School officials said this change was necessary since population growth has been large in the district. 

In response to the possible change, some parents have raised some concerns. One of those parents was Bo Richardson, who was playing with his toddler son Chad Wednesday morning. His other son was busy studying at the Georgetown Middle School. Richardson said he was concerned the change would mean missed class for those students with extracurricular activities like his son. 

"He’s in little league right now," he said. "And he said he was going to be playing football next year. So that definitely might affect us with going to away games. And him getting out of school. And he’ll probably like getting out of class early to get to games.”

But Assistant Superintendent Mark Steele said this was the only option. 

"We were really kinda bursting at the seams,” he said of the school busses  

Steele said the enrollment numbers have grown greatly, creating some problems for the school district. Last year, he said the kindergarten moved from half day to full day, leading to far more students taking the busses. All in all, he said enrollment jumped by 550 students this school year. Next year, he said enrollment is expected to jump once again by another 200 to 300 students. 

Steele said that the school district looked to the state for new busses, but had that request denied since that would be such a costly purchase. 

"No matter how we look at it, we have to go to a tiered system," he said. "We can’t possibly utilize a bussing system we’re using and make it work. We just can’t.”

By tiered system, he was referring to a setup where the elementary schools and the middle schools would be set at staggered times, so that they could re-use the busses. Single mother Carmellia Bradigan of Georgetown said that the staggered setup would hurt her family since her teenaged son typically watches her young daughter after school. 

"When I'm working late or something he won’t be able to walk her home," she said. 
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