At a recent school committee meeting, discussed the need to adjust some bus schedules to alleviate problems with late arrivals to . Francis Wyman has the latest start of all Burlington schools with an official start time of 8:35 a.m.
According to Francis Wyman Principal Susan Astone, the situation has improved since school started in September when some buses did not drop students off until 8:55 a.m. Despite adjustments, there were still several buses regularly arriving between 8:32 and 8:40 a.m. By the time students made it to their classrooms, it was 8:45 a.m. and the school was starting ten minutes behind schedule.
To alleviate this situation, the School Department implemented changes to the start and end times, which in turn affect some (BHS) bus routes. According to Conti, Memorial School now starts at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m., which is identical to last year’s schedule. The morning pick up times for Memorial School students do not change because buses were arriving at the school early enough to accommodate the earlier start time.
However, Memorial’s end time of 2:15 pm necessitates that some buses must complete Memorial school afternoon bus routes before proceeding to BHS to pick up high school students. The impact will affect a relatively small number of BHS students as, according to Conti, only four buses are involved. The students who use those four buses will be picked up ten to fifteen minutes later than usual.
A reverse 9-1-1 call informed BHS parents of the changes to bus pick up times, but did not specify which buses were affected. Currently, the BHS school day ends at 2:00 p.m. and, according to Conti, buses arrive between 2:15 and 2:20 p.m. With the new schedule, four buses should arrive at BHS closer to 2:30 p.m. While not ideal, School Committee members agreed that it is more acceptable for high school students to wait longer for school buses than elementary school students because the latter require greater supervision.
Conti expressed hope that the impact on BHS students will not be severe.
“I will have a better understanding of the impact of the bus schedule changes after this week as it usually takes a few days to shake out,” he added.
Several BHS parents have complained that this week some buses did not arrive to pick up high school students until 2:55 p.m., nearly one hour after school ended.
Principal Astone said the change has helped at Francis Wyman.
“By making the adjustments that started this week, the buses are now able to arrive at Francis Wyman by 8:30 a.m. as originally scheduled. An 8:30 a.m. arrival allows for the official start time of school at 8:35 a.m.,” she explained.