Lewiston elementary schools to stagger start times to alleviate transportation shortages

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Jul. 23—LEWISTON — In an effort to reduce transportation disruptions and equalize class time, elementary schools will start and end at two separate times beginning this fall.

Montello and Connors schools will start class at 8:15 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m., while Farwell, McMahon and Geiger schools will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

The start and end time for Lewiston middle and high schools will remain unchanged.

Due to a shortage of bus drivers last year, some students were arriving late to class in the mornings while others were leaving later than their peers, according to a memo about the change from Superintendent Jake Langlais.

"Last year routes were consolidated, there were daily notices of disruptions, and through flexibility, patience, and understanding we were able to get through the school year," Langlais wrote.

Still, some students were missing hours of instruction each week by arriving late to school, he said.

"The labor shortage has continued for drivers. We anticipate disruptions again this school year," Langlais wrote. "We have modified start-of-day and end-of-day times to work toward students having instructional time at school that is more comparable."

By starting school at three different times, rather than two, the district will be able to more efficiently transport students with fewer buses.

Prekindergarten programs at the elementary schools will also start at two different times, depending on the school. Connors' prekindergarten program begins at 8 a.m. and Montello's has a session starting at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Prekindergarten at each of the other three elementary schools begins at either 9 a.m. or noon.