Rocky Lake Junior High parents not happy about planned bell-time changes
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 11:04PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 11:06PM ADT
Some parents at a Bedford junior high feel the change to bell times disrupts their children's quality of life -- and education.
Bell times at Rocky Lake Junior High will change in September and parents are displeased.
The main reason given for the change is that students are arriving late for school because of the bus schedule.
“Why is the school having to accommodate Stock's inability to deliver children to the school on time?” said parent Siobhan Ryan.
Currently Rocky Lake Junior High classes begin at 8:45 a.m. There's 50 minutes for lunch, with dismissal at 2:40 in the afternoon. Next year, though, start time is bumped up to 8:10 a.m., lunch is reduced to 35 minutes, and classes will be dismissed at 1:55 p.m.
Some parents say this will impact their child's quality of life.
“My kids are in sports, and sometimes they're in soccer until 10 o'clock,” said parent Denise Kroll. “They're in East Hants, they're in Sackville, and so for them to get home at 10 o'clock at night, and then turn around and get up at 7 a.m., that's just not realistic for a teenager,” Kroll said.
Ryan’s son is a young teenage boy.
“He does have difficulty sleeping in the evening,” she said. “That's his sleep cycle, so it's the early start that really concerns me, particularly with respect to being able to learn that early in the morning.”
Officials with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education say programming at Rocky Lake was being discussed with the school's advisory council.
Doug Hadley says with the addition of Grade 6, the new schedule allows for everyone to have physical education.
“Stock came forward a few weeks back and said ‘look, almost all of the schools in the Bedford-Hammonds Plains area, the C.P. Allen family of schools, start within a 15-minute window, and if we could potentially move the junior high outside of that window, then we would have a lot more opportunity to make sure all of our busses are running on time,’” Hadley said.
Hadley says the changes will mirror the schedule at Madeline Symonds Middle School in Hammonds Plains.
It’s a schedule this parent never agreed with.
“Buses come so early, and I know friends of mine, that have had kids, they’re putting their kids out in the morning, and in the winter time, it's still dark!” said parent Leanne Beddow.
Beddow is encouraging all parents at Rocky Lake to voice their concerns.
Meanwhile, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education is hopeful parents can accommodate the changes since they've been given nearly four-months notice.
The chief operating officer of Stock Transportation tells CTV News in part: “The school start and end time modifications were proposed back in April … HRCE accepted the proposal as they agreed with the approach and fully supported the change for September 2019.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.