Guthrie BOE to discuss start, end times for school year

The Guthrie Board of Education will meet for the second time in a week. A special meeting has been called to discuss altering the start and end times for the upcoming school year.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 17 at the Administration Building located at 802 E. Vilas.

The board will discuss two agenda items: transportation staffing, bus routing and the impact of students along with starting and ending times for the 2019-20 school year.

No action or votes are expected at the meeting.

“During my seven years at GPS we have looked at different options to make our transportation system more user friendly and efficient,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said on the district’s Facebook page Wednesday evening. “We continue to review those options as we educate the community to the unique challenges that transportation presents.”

The school district has not released any details or information regarding the agenda items, but several rumblings have hinted at the idea of staggering the school start and end times between the high school and junior high and the elementary schools by a reported 50 minutes.

Transportation for the school district has been an ongoing issue for several years. The school district covers 232 square miles. By comparison, Deer Creek covers 71 square miles and Stillwater 125 square miles.

The school district has seen stagger times before (prior to the 2013-14 school year) but by less than 10 minutes.

Many teachers and parents have shared their concerns about the length of the reported staggered time of 50 minutes when it comes to possible additional childcare, after school activities and the length of time between dropping off and picking up multiple children in the home.

“I am very sensitive to the challenges any change in our educational delivery brings to families. I’m also very proud of the progress we have made as a district through some of the changes we have endured together,” Simpson said of the ongoing concerns.

The superintendent continued, “Monday night will be a time of providing information to our Board of Education members. It is my hope that all district patrons and especially parents will listen along with our board members to become informed about the challenges we face that will surely grow as our school district grows.”


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