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TDSB changing start and end times at 131 elementary schools

Last Updated Feb 27, 2020 at 3:39 pm EDT

Some students will be getting up a bit earlier, and some will be sleeping in when the new school year gets underway.

The Toronto District School Board says it is changing the start and end times at 131 elementary schools starting in September, 2020. (See full list below)

In a release, the TDSB says by staggering start and end times, the board will be able to “plan bus routes more efficiently” and reduce the number of buses used for transporting students.

Some schools will start as early as 8:15 a.m. while others will start as late as 9:15 a.m. and finish as early as 2:45 p.m. or as late as 3:45 p.m.

“Additionally, this is projected to save the TDSB approximately $2.5 million, which is important as the TDSB currently spends more on student transportation than we receive from the government,” the board said on its website.

The TDSB says the decision was made in June 2019 as part of last year’s budget process and will help address the ongoing bus driver shortage by removing around 55 buses from current routes.

“We understand that these changes may impact the routines of some families,” the TDSB said. “However, if we did not reduce transportation costs by staggering school start and end times, we would have to reduce other services and supports to students that would have more direct and negative impact on classroom teaching.”

The board will hold a series of in-person information meetings with parents/guardians.

CityNews reached out to the Toronto Catholic District School Board to ask if it is considering similar changes. A statement from the TCDSB said it will be discussing optimizing bell times further during the spring 2020 budget deliberations.