New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | September 25, 2017

Dismissal time for New Kent High School bumped up to address transportation issues

By Andre Jones | August 7, 2017 9:39 pm

In an effort to get elementary school kids home on-time, New Kent school leaders are bumping up the ending time at the high school.

New Kent High School will end its school day at 2:30 p.m., up 11 minutes from the 2:41 p.m. dismissal time that had been established for the past three years.

After receiving the recommendation from transportation director Mervin Hence and director of curriculum and instruction Dr. Byron Bishop, New Kent superintendent of schools Dr. Dave Myers provided a logical explanation for the move.

“Prior to my arrival, previous administration had added 10 minutes to the end of the school day to account for inclement weather,” Myers said, referencing a move made approximately four years ago due to snow days. “We have had that in as a buffer for the past three years.

“But over that time, we had encountered more problems getting elementary students home on time,” the superintendent continued. “While they were being dismissed at 3:45, most of the time they weren’t on the bus at 4 p.m. with students not arriving home until at 5 p.m.

“While some people may not see 10 minutes as a big difference, it does have an effect on us,” Myers added. “We don’t want elementary school students going to the school in the dark and arriving back at home in the dark during the winter months. This slight change should make a difference.”

The idea is to have the 10-minute time difference to allow high school students to be boarded on the bus at 2:35 p.m. and have middle school students boarded around 2:40 p.m. By moving the high school dismissal time up, the buses should be able to complete their middle/high school route and return to the elementary schools by 3:45 p.m. to complete those routes. The earlier departure times will be experimented for the first few weeks with time adjustments made as necessary. Myers hopes that changes made will allow elementary school routes to depart on time.