Worcester County School District addresses petition concerning new bus times

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md.- There’s some confusion among parents when it comes to new school and bus times announced by the school district.
So much so, that some parents are singing a petition.

“We got a robo call from the principle, and it was this is what’s going to be happening for the school year these are the changes and there was no discussion about it,” Katie Addis, a supporter of the petition, said.

The district recently announced students in the northern region would now be dropped off by buses at and picked up at. That’s about 15 to 20 minutes later than it used to be.

A parent we spoke with said she worries about that later pick up time.

“Not only, A,  in the winter time is it dark, B, that takes away any opportunity to do any sort of extracurricular activities after school,” Addis said.

Worcester County Chief Academic officer for grades pre-k through 8, said that they have been looking into changing bus times for a few years.

That’s because she said in the northern region the high school, middle school, intermediate, and elementary schools all share buses causing the kids to arrive and leave school at different times.

That often caused teachers to lose around 15 minutes of instructional time.

“The staggering was due to the fact it took certain buses longer and some shorter to end their first round,” Dee Shorts, Chief Academic Officer for pre-k to 8 in Worcester County, said.

We’re told the decision to change bus times was made in order to help with the time lost for enrichment opportunities.

“We are starting 15 mins later, and in the afternoon we are finishing 15 mins later, but the day hasn’t been extended, it’s just everybody is arriving at the same time and leaving at the same time,” Shorts said.

Meanwhile, Addis said as parents they are not trying to cause an issue for the school they just wanted answers and they felt more input was needed from parents before a decision like this was made.
Shorts said the school day will still be 7 and a half hours long for students.

She added that she appreciates the feedback and apologizes if they caught parents off-guard.

Any parents with remaining questions are encouraged to contact their individual schools.

Categories: Local News, Maryland