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Roanoke parents react to proposed school schedule changes

“The transportation issues is causing all kinds of other issues. It’s a ripple effect,” mom Kristen Doss said.

Kristen Doss’ four-year-old son is in preschool in Roanoke City, but after hearing the school’s recommendations for new start times of 7 a.m. for elementary school and 9:30 for middle school, she’s not so sure she wants him to stay.

“I’ve never felt so tempted to home-school in my life. Or move, get a different house,” Doss said.

The recommendations come from a collection of 3,600 community responses on transportation adjustments and procedures for cell phone usage.

But Doss tells us she felt the questions were too vague.

“As basic and generic as the questions could be, they were a little below that. You know what I mean, it was very broad,” she said.

Highland Park PTA President Jessie Coffman echoed that sentiment.

“Yes, I said that I was fine with staggered start times. But when you ask me, am I fine with staggered start time, where one child will go to school at 7:00 and the other will go to school at 9:30, that’s a very different question,” Coffman said.

Coffman has a child in elementary school and another in middle school, and that gap in times would be the case for her family.

“They’re interpreting it to, I guess bolster what they already want to do. And so I feel like there must be other things that could be considered, optimization of the current routes, it’s a very aggressive plan for families,” she said.

Both Doss and Coffman said they plan to attend the next school board meeting, along with other parents and students, to make their opinions heard.

“It seems like we went through this exact same problem a year ago, and here we are going through the exact same scenario a year later with a different vendor. And perhaps the onus needs to be on the school system instead of the parents every single time,” Coffman said.

The next school board meeting for people to speak at will be May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School.


Source: WSLS News 10

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