ONLY ON 3: Codington Elementary start time changes, parents voice concerns

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Codington Elementary School students will begin their day 15 minutes earlier this fall.

According to a letter sent out to Codington parents, the time change will be during construction on River Road. The letter said the NCDOT’s River Road project will put more traffic on Carolina Beach Road, so school officials say a time change will help them avoid some of that congestion and make it safer.

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Some parents have voiced concerns about the late notice of the change. Amber Ponnett, parent of three Codington Elementary School students, said the time change will have a big impact on her family.

“I was really upset, I knew it was going to be a big burden. I struggle already trying to make sure that my kid is picked up at the bus stop every day,” said Ponnet.

Ponnet said the news of the change was troubling for this working mother of three and for other parents.



“It’s a much bigger affect than people realize and it’s a financial one. I know families will have to modify the work schedule, I will have to do it too to make sure I can be there 15 minutes early to get my son,” said Ponnett.

Ponnett said she’s now scrambling after learning the time change will be effective August 24.

“We have less than two weeks to get this in place which is just not enough when you think about your job and when you’re talking about your kids and people who are taking care of your kids,” said Ponnett.

 A New Hanover County School spokeswoman told WWAY the district has been in contact with the developers of the River Road project. Principal Eric Pfirman said he needed to get clarification on whether he needed to change the school’s start time or unload buses earlier. Then, he had to meet with his School Improvement Team to discuss the matter. He has been working with Central Office administrators to establish the temporary start time of 7:35 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. dismissal times due to the construction. The principal had to make sure he had the accurate information before communicating it to the parents.

The spokeswoman said the district regrets any inconvenience, but in this case, it is unavoidable due to the major construction project on River Road.

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