By Jessica Groover
Cabarrus County Schools has announced that the three-tier busing plan, presented to the board of education last week, has since been revised, proposing that most elementary schools would start and end earlier than the original version.
The modified plan now has most elementary schools and Long School running from 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In its original form, high schools and four elementary schools would run from 7:15 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. This first tier has not changed much in the new proposal except that the four to six elementary schools would run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and high schools would be from 7:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
In the revision, middle schools, Performance Learning Center and Glenn Center programs would run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of middle school students being in class from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Also, the new Early College High School program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.
After the original plan was presented last week, board of education members received many comments from the community asking for alternatives to the plan, the school system said. The board will discuss this new version at the April 23 work session at Concord Middle School.
Ronnye Boone, director of public relations for the school system, said many of the suggestions from the public were about younger children starting and ending earlier in the day. She also said the four to six schools starting in the first tier have still not been announced.
While there were concerns about the elementary school times, many of the board members and parents in the community have complimented several aspects of the plan. One of the advantages of the plan is that it would put teacher assistants in the classroom more so that they do not have to also drive school buses. It could save the school system about $4 million in capital outlay over the next three to five years and increase bus safety with the savings, and it would add 30 minutes to the elementary school day.
There are many components that have been mentioned, but Boone said it is important for the community to know it is still a proposal.
“(The board hasn’t) voted on it yet, and it’s still up for discussion, so there may be revisions on this as well,” Boone said.
• Contact reporter Jessica Groover: 704-789-9152.