Some say SLPS move to start school later in day values sports ov - KMOV.com

Some say SLPS move to start school later in day values sports over academics

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Many parents are upset that the start time for St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) have been moved back by 20 minutes

District officials said the move is being made so high school students do not have to go to school early in the morning. Officials also insist the change will save money.

“The only possible solution to move the start time later for high school students was to make it later for everybody or we would be looking at high costs for transportation,” said Patrick Wallace with SLPS.

Some parents contend the move was made to accommodate athletic teams’ transportation schedule.  Parents of students at Mallinkrodt Academy wrote a letter expressing their displeasure to the SLPS School Board.

“What is the primary responsibility of the school district? Is it sports or academics?” the parents wrote.

19 of the district’s 47 elementary schools will now start at 9:30 a.m. or 9:40 a.m. and will get out around 4:30 p.m. Some said they are concerned about students’ safety during shorter daylight months.

“Going home that time of night in the dark in certain neighborhoods, I’m not agreeing with that,” one parent said.

Wallace said schools in more dangerous areas will get out sooner.

“Students in areas that are more dangerous will not get out until 3:40 p.m., so we took that into consideration,” said Wallace.

The teacher’s union told News 4 it also concerned about elementary students getting out later. District officials said they will offer free supervision to students that need to be dropped off at the old start time.

For a list of school start times, click here.

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