Kids Pay For Sprawl
Winona Daily 'News' 'reports'
Failed to note that this problem results from the policies
of Congressman Gutknekt and the city council.
They have spread the city out along the Mississippi River bluffs.
Which, of course, exacerbates the transport problem.
Also, failed to note that kids learn less when they are sleepy.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Change in start times a compromise
School will start at 7:45 a.m.
for Winona's elementary students next fall. Older
students will begin class at 9 a.m.
The school board chose start
times during Thursday's meeting, continuing the
transition from a single-tiered busing system to the
two-tiered approach the board approved March 20.
Under the new system, school buses will travel each
route twice, once for the younger students and then once
for the older group.
The goal of the new busing system is to save the
district money - an estimated $650,000 - because there
are fewer buses, maintenance costs and drivers. The
result, however, is that the school day will start and
end at different times for the district's younger and
The board was given three options and picked the
middle-of-the-road option. Elementary school students
will attend class from 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Secondary
students will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
Other options had classes starting 15 minutes earlier
and later, but Transportation Coordinator Kari Shiroma
said she was worried about those two choices.
Under the first, younger students would be boarding the
bus as early as 6:15 a.m., she said.
That's too early, Shiroma said, though, length-wise,
it's no different than the current system.
"They currently ride the bus for an hour and 15
minutes, and they will continue to ride the bus for an
hour and 15 minutes, simply because of geography," she
In the other option, older students would get out of
school at 3:45 p.m., which could interfere with
after-school activities and jobs, she said.
But board member Natalie Siderius said after-school jobs
were a secondary concern. She preferred the first option
because it gets younger students to school later, when
it's lighter outside.
Fiscal Affairs Director Jeff Seeley said the discussion
exemplified why they recommended Option 2 - it was the
"We had these conversations back and forth, pros and
cons," Seeley said.
Shiroma noted that there might be some variation - some
schools may start 5 or 10 minutes before or after
But, she said, "This would be the base, and it wouldn't
vary much from that."
Contact reporter Kirsten Singleton at
email@example.com or 453-3511.