Dothan City school leaders discuss possible changes for next school year

Changes proposed for Dothan City Schools

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan City School leaders are considering revamping the school bell and bus schedule as part of consolidation efforts.

During Thursday’s work session, transportation director Jay Bruner presented the board with a proposed new tiered schedule:

  • K-6th would be in school from 7:40 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.
  • 10th - 12th would be in school from 8:10 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.
  • 7th - 9th would be in school from 8:30 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Bruner noted the extra time for the 7th-9th graders was requested because of curriculum needs.

He says the shift in the schedule will help improve bus route efficiency and safety. According to Bruner, some bus riders are dropped off more than an hour early before school and some have to wait between 35-40 minutes for a bus to take them home in the afternoon.

The new schedule will also allow the system to have similar grade students riding the bus at the same time.

“By staggering the times, elementary rides with elementary, junior high rides with junior high, high school rides with high school. They’re with their peers,” said Bruner. “As we speak on April 11, I may have a 17-year-old riding next to an 8-year-old.”

The school system is exploring options about what to do with students before and after school if they move forward with the schedule shift. Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards said she’s speaking with principals about options. At the elementary level, there has been discussion about implementing an after school program.

The school system is also preparing to roll out its Signature School Choice Option.

During Thursday’s work session, Edwards presented the board with the application she would like to use for the school choice option.

Next school year, certain schools will focus on special concentrations like math and science, or the arts.

Edwards says she plans to work with school principals to determine which schools have availability, and parents can apply to have their child attend.

The school system would use a lottery to randomly select which students would fill the remaining spots.

Edwards says the school choice option for the upcoming year would likely be limited to students who are currently enrolled in the system - not students entering the system.

The school board will meet next week to vote on bell and bus changes along with the signature school application process.

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