School’s starting earlier this fall in Spokane

School’s starting earlier this fall in Spokane

Changes are coming to Spokane elementary schools in the fall as the school board voted Wednesday night to begin classes 30 minutes earlier.

Elementary schools will be in class from 8:30 to 3, middle schools will now start at 9 and end at 3:30 and high school schedules will remain the same.

About a year ago the school board asked the district to look at options to both increase learning time and decrease transportation costs.

“It wasn’t that a decision that was taken lightly, it took a lot of different departments, everything from nutrition services, maintenance, after school sports, you look at all the moving parts of a system this big and it really takes a long time, that’s why it took a year,” Kevin Morrison, director of community relations for Spokane Schools, said.

Morrison added the new times bring the district in line with others across the region, adding the time change and extra half hour will help students meet more rigorous state standards.

“That’s an additional 30 minutes of instruction and when you add that up over the course of a year, 180 days that’s almost an added three weeks of instruction we are giving our students,” he said.

When the idea was first presented a year ago parents were split but now Morrison says he feels that’s changing.

“Today what I think we are starting to see is overwhelming, quite a few people accepting it. You’re always going to upset, of a system this big with that many students change is hard,” he said.

More information will be released as the district continues to prepare for the change but say they’ll be keeping parents up to date ever step of the way.

“You’re going to start seeing a great increase in the communication on these changes on these start and stop times,” Morrison said.