Bell Changes for 2018-19 School Year
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:20 PM

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Dear Families:

You may have already heard about this from your principal, but we just wanted to make sure you heard about a possible change to your school’s bus schedule next year.

As part of MPS’s overall efforts to address its budget deficit, we have looked at how to make transportation services more cost-efficient.  One of the most costly factors is that there are 29 different start times for 68 schools. Of those schools, 21 schools with regular education busing have start times between 7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.; only 6 schools have start times after 9:30 a.m.

This imbalance means 78 extra buses are needed for those schools who start between 7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m. but those buses are not needed later in the morning. To balance this, more schools need to shift closer to a 9:30 a.m. time frame. Getting multiple, extended runs from one bus is how we can save money.

Fewer buses on longer shifts means less fuel and maintenance, less driver turnover and a more stable driver workforce. In turn, more consistent drivers creates better relationships with students and results in safer buses.

As a result of this analysis, our school is one of 20 other schools whose start and end times (bell times) are being proposed to change, effective next school year.

The proposed changes to school times can be found on the attached Fact Sheet.

The changes to school bell times are anticipated to save $2 million. Our goal was to keep bell time changes to no more than 1 hour; 4 out of 20 schools have a 70-minute change. As this proposal was being developed, staff gathered input from the District Parent Advisory Council, Special Education Advisory Council and a Bell Time Committee that included department leaders and school principals.

The proposed bell times changes will be voted on by the Board of Education as part of its overall budget approval process. The timeline for adopting the 2018-19 budget is below:

●        Jan. 25: Board of Education Finance Committee presented with bell times recommendations

●        Feb. 13: Board of Education hears update an overall FY2018-19 budget recommendation

●        April/May 2018: Board of Education reviews update of FY2018-19  budget

●        June 2018: Board votes on final FY2018-19 budget

Community discussions on our overall budget situation are scheduled for February 7, 8 and 15; for more details, visit  mpls.k12.mn.us/community_discussions.

For more Information about proposed changes to bell times, including a Fact Sheet and FAQ, visit mpls.k12.mn.us/schooltimes; information on the overall budget situation, visit mpls.k12.mn.us/mps_budget.

Sincerely,

Karen DeVet                                                

Chief Operating Officer

Michael Thomas

Chief of Academics, Leadership and Learning

document Bell Time Changes for 2018-19 School Year   --  This letter is a general overview of the changes pertaining to the new bell times for some of the schools in MPS.
PDF Fact Sheet: Transportation and Bell Times   --  This fact sheet provides an overview pertaining to transportation and the new proposed bell times for the 2018-19 school year.