Brunswick County School Board holds special meeting on staggered day schedule
brunswickschool300.jpg

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC -- Staggered school scheduling, which started this year in Brunswick County, has cause quite a bit of controversy. Concerned parents were able to voice their opinions at a special Brunswick Couty School Board meeting Tuesday night.

"I'm at the point where I'm ready to take my kids out of traditional school because it is affecting their education," said Angela Morris, a Brunswick County parent.

The Brunswick County School Board says that it changed to a staggered day schedule in order to save over $500,000 annually.

The new schedule allows the county's school system to use 20% less school buses and to reduce their routes. Parents say the adjustment is not working...

"Even though the schedule may have shifted a little bit, 15 minutes as chairwoman Shirley Babson was saying, it still makes a world of difference when it comes to dropping off children, catching the bus and traffic issues," said Nicole Smith, another Brunswick County parent.

Some parents are concerned about how the drop off and pick up schedule effects their work day, saying that many professions do not have flexible hours. Others talked about how their kids ware spending a lot more time on the bus, cutting into time of post-school activities.

Although this meeting was just a public discussion to hear theses issues, Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden has not ruled out a future change.

"The board is getting information from this meeting and from other sources in the community and they will make a decision, I predict, in the spring of the year for the coming school year," said Pruden.

Not all parents at Tuesday's meeting necessarily feel the change is wrong, some understand a change had to be made in the tough economy.

"People get used to doing things a certain way and really don't want to change that often and I understand some of the hardships but what do you do if the money is not there to pay for it," said Joseph Stanley.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

this is how the brunswick county school system should save money, first, cut the salaries of some of the people working at brunswick county schools central office, like deann meadows, joyce beaty and the media person, and several others who make over 100,000 dollars a year for NOTHING... tv3 should look into this

Money is being saved but at what expense? My children have different bus drivers for morning and afternoon which has left the bus a complete nightmare with all kinds of behavior issues. The elementary school aged children are up at 5:30 in the morning like they have jobs to get to while the older kids sleep in. Those "15 minutes" make a world of difference for parents who do not have flexible work schedules or for those of us who must commute to New Hanover County. Parents who work have to come up with extra funds to pay for afterschool care until they get off because the older kids who once helped out are still in school and do not get home until after 5 in some cases. It was not well thought out nor planned. We got phone calls for surveys and attended meetings but these decisions were ultimately still made by people who are not directly affected by it. The county is saving money so it's ok. Where's the money going? Mr. Stanley says people don't like change. How about cutting the salaries of some of the county employees who are just keeping seats warm to save money instead? Tax payers and parents are sacrificing why not them? We could probably save $1,000,000! How's that for change?

I have three children attending school in Leland and my youngest son, who attends Belville Elementary, does not leave for school until 7:30 AM.

If you read the comment, I said they are up at 5:30 in the morning. The bus comes at 6:30 in the morning.

I can see both sides in this...and believe me I understand. My child is in high school and I had to rearrange my work schedule to come in an hour later, now I have to stay later every day to make up for the lost hour in the morning. Thank goodness I have a boss that was willing to work with me. It was a hard adjustment to move everything in our routine to an hour later each day, but my child is doing better in school this year and really loves the change. Our kids and teachers were already suffering from the economy, not enough text books, teacher layoffs, etc. If they can really save $500,000.00 and save jobs and make it better on our children in the long run, then I am willing to do my part.

It's refreshing to see a parent that actually cares about their child enough to put the child first. Too many people are whining about how this affects them. Every student/classmate/friend that my kids talk to in school prefer the new schedule.

The new schedule is FANTASTIC! The kids are up and ready to go to school every day now. This was one of the better decisions made by the school board in the last several years!!

Try being a parent and an employee with this schedule it does not work. The teachers and supprt personel go in early for meetings in middle and high school and have to stay late in elementary school. There is no overtive so we have people working 10 to 11 hour days getting for 7.5 hours of work. It was a good thought to try this. But it is not working!

If you are a school employee with kids in school, why don't you organize a network with your fellow employees to deal with some of the "issues" you bring up. Are you saying that before and after school meetings never happened before? How did you deal with it last year?

I will admit that the staggered schedule does seem to help traffic. However, I see busses still out and running long after all the kids and drivers should have been home. As for the moms and pops crying about the school schedule interfering with their work schedule, you should have thought about all this when you decided to start a family. You are either a career person or a parent. Conflicts are sure to arise when you try to juggle both. That's life.

You obviously either do not have kids or oblivious to the current condition of the economy. So as for us "moms and pops crying about the interference with our work schedule" we have to work to provide for our kids! We are not on welfare our born with silver spoons in our mouths! We have to work. As a parent with a career, we do what we have to for our kids.

Shirley Babson needs to go. Her thoughts and ideas may have worked in the 60's, 70, and maybe the 80's, but no longer. She comes across as a mean old lady.

We DO NOT LIKE IT...no matter whether you have 10 surveys, we don't like it. It does not work. As for the savings, I really do not believe it. Figures lie and liars figure.

But for the right individuals online degrees bend to personal schedules, are available 24/7, and may sustain the student that simply has no other choice, check out "High Speed Universities" for advantages and disadvantages of online degrees.

Can anyone tell me exactly how the staggered school schedule saves money?

By doubling routes. That uses less drivers, less buses and reduces maintenance costs.

It absolutely does not reduce maintenance costs. That may be the most uninformed comment ever made.

The need for buses & drivers can be cut back since all three school levels won't be coming and going at the same time. Currently you need 3 buses & 3 drivers to pick up kids from one stop. If they are time staggered, the same one bus & driver can come pick up the elementary kids, make a second trip to get the middle school and a last trip for the high school. And it doesn't have to be in that order, make the high school the first pickup and the elementary age kids the last.

You save on the number of buses; however, you do not save on the number of hours worked by one bus driver vs three. Remember, drivers are paid an hourly rate.

The High School and Middle ride together this was someone BRIGHT Thought years past

Whoever thought of this idea is an idiot and obviously doesnt have children they send to school. So while my small child is catching the bus at 645 for a say 8 am start of the day. My older child is catching the bus at 815 for a 9 am start of the day. so from 645 in to morining to 815 in the morning i have kids getting off to school.So how does that affect me? Try doing breakfast as a family in the morning with all that going on, it doesnt work the older kids want to sleep because their school doesnt start until 9am. So it makes the work that much harder for poor ole Mom in the morning. How about when they get home.. The youngest gets home at 320 in the evening.....I have to have daycare or be home because my older child who normally would just watch the younger one doesnt get home until 445 in the evening.. so nearly 5pm before they are even all home from school. So dinner is at 6 and homework is until like 730.. then its baths and off to bed.. there is no time for us or even extra activities after school. How about church on Wed night? Thank you Brun County School Board for your great solution to YOUR money problems but see I know how to fix it... I VOTE and your seats are like musical chairs!!!!!!!!!!!

This idea hasn't worked out here in Leland. I wish that when they do surveys they would ask all the schools notjust certain ones. And I know for a fact that the parents in Leland were not asked. Getting 1 child up earlier then another school child is not fair. Having to sit at the bus stop for one child then another is too much to ask for,car running for AC and heat cost parents money too. Buses running late or too early, We might need to get rid of who ever came up with this idea. I believe that it is the new man on the totem pole,

By switching to this staggered schedule they said they could save nearly $500,000 a year by removing buses from operation. The figured in the maintenance, gas, staffing, etc. I think it was a choice of this or loosing at a minimum 10 teaching positions.