Madison Co. Schools Asking for Parent Input on Staggered Start, Release Times

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Madison County Board of Education is considering staggering start and release times next year, and wants to know what parents think.

There’s an online survey on the school system’s website.

The school system has experienced significant growth in the number of students enrolled and those who ride school buses, according to spokesperson Geraldine Tibbs.  And, Madison County Schools’ state funding for transportation is less than it was in 2008.

The plan would allow school buses to run one route for elementary and middle school students, then run the same route at a different time for high schoolers.

You can respond to the survey through Tuesday, February 4.

Hard copies of the survey are also available at local schools.


  • Dave

    This is funny, we go and spend billions of dollar in middle of nowhere, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other places, built hundreds of million dollar useless bombs and drone, here in our own country don’t have money for our school bus. what a irony. We can buy hundreds of school bus with cost of one fighter plane or tens of bus with cost of one drone or money we are spending on country like egypt or pakistan who hates us. and here we don’t money for books, teacher, and school buses, wake up america.

  • MadisonCountyMom

    It needs to be made clear that one of the proposed start times for elementary students is the same as the current start time (7:45 AM), yet the release time will be 15 minutes later than it is now. So, students would be in school 15 minutes LONGER under each of these proposals, and the only way to keep the students from having a later release is to select plan 2, which requires instruction to begin at 7:30 AM. This change – the intent to extend the school day for elementary students – is not pointed out, and it should have been.

    As a teacher and parent, I don’t believe that earlier start times (before 8:00-8:15 AM) are conducive to the best-quality education. Many of the students I have taught (elementary through high school) struggle to keep their eyes open at 7:45 AM, and the students overall (even the ones that are fully awake) retain far less information and have significantly lower comprehension of their material when they aren’t as alert and rested. Some students get on their buses now at 6:00 AM. This does NOT make for fully alert and ready-to-learn students.

    Many of these kids DO get in bed between 8:30 and 9:00 PM, and then we wake them up at 5:00 AM, put them on the bus at 6:00 AM (the earliest bus riders’ pick-up time), have them on a 1.5-hour bus route, and then tell them to remember whatever subject they’re unfortunate enough to have to start retaining at 7:45 AM. By this time, they’re hungry, sleepy, and cranky, which affects not only their comprehension of their lessons, but it affects their behavior in class, as well as their social interactions with their peers. They do not get less tired during the day; their systems simply adjust to being awake. This helps their behavior (usually), but they still will not learn as well as they would if they were a bit better-rested. An extra half-hour or so in the morning, plus beginning instruction at the reasonable time of 8:15 AM, would make a world of difference in the ability of our students to actually learn and retain what they’re being taught.

    • fedup

      When I was in High School over 30 years ago it was a big discussion that students did not learn well in the morning hours, it would be better to start at a later time, imagine that things still haven’t changed.

      One thing I have not understood, they have cut out several programs in the school systems, yet the hours in the day children attend school has not changed, why?

  • MMA

    the military is necessary. People need to quit supporting the “college football” AND NFL mental midgets. They all make millions for playing a stupid “sport”. Yet, teachers aren’t paid a decent living wage. America is morally and spiritually bankrupt!

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