Start and end times will change for ten southern Kenai Peninsula schools next year. That’s according to an announcement released on September 14 by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
The changes came after the school board approved a cost-saving plan to move from the current “single tier” bus system to a “two-tier” system. Under the new plan, buses will stagger pick-up times for schools.
Pegge Erkeneff is a spokesperson for the School District. She says a similar system is currently used for Central Peninsula schools.
"The cost of transportation continues to rise. We can reduce the number of buses we are using and reduce our transportation costs," said Erkeneff.
The School Board estimates that the plan will reduce the number of buses in operation by six. It is projected to save a total of $570,000 dollar per year.
The ten Southern Peninsula schools affected by the schedule change are Chapman School, Fireweed Academy, Homer Flex School, Homer High, Homer Middle School, McNeil Canyon Elementary, Nikolaevsk School, Ninilchik School, Paul Banks Elementary, and West Homer Elementary.
The Kenai Peninsula School District will hold three informational meetings next week for parents, students, staff and community members. Erkeneff said the District wants community input.
“We want people to come in to talk about what their thoughts are for their schools. We all want to work together and look at all the other implications for changing school start and end times," said Erkeneff.
The first meeting will be at Homer High School on Monday, September 19. There will also be a meeting on September 20 at the Ninilchik School, and a third meeting on September 22 at Chapman School in Anchor Point.
After the community meetings, school principals will work with district administrators to draft new bus schedules. The district will finalize the schedule changes by spring 2017.