WALLA WALLA, Washington — Following weeks of study and input, school board members unanimously approved the Transportation/School Time Efficiency proposal which will save more than $400,000 a year in transportation costs by adjusting and aligning school start times. All elementary schools will start at approximately 7:50 to 8 a.m. as will 1st period at Wa-Hi. Middle Schools and 2nd period Wa-Hi will begin at 8:50 a.m.
Superintendent Wade Smith conducted a Communication and Engagement Plan over the past several weeks to elicit feedback. He met with staff to discuss the proposal. The district also sent home a fact sheet to parents and created a webpage on the district’s site which housed a public survey. Superintendent Smith reviewed data from the study which included nearly 1000 completed surveys.
“There was overwhelming support for the proposal to adjust school hours slightly to enhance transportation efficiencies,” said Smith. “People understand funding is tight in today’s post-McCleary public schools environment and were willing to make a minor change to further stretch our precious resources.”
Transportation Director John Griffith will begin developing new bus routes and have them completed by June. The new school start and stop times will be in place to start the 2019-20 school year.