School start times could be added to the long list of what’s changing in the Verona Area School District for the upcoming 2020-21 year.
As boundaries shift for elementary and middle school attendance zones with the opening of a new high school and a shift of several other buildings, the district must evaluate transportation areas in the district that could be deemed as “unusually hazardous.” That evaluation will yield new transportation routes and could change the start times of the school day, superintendent Dean Gorrell told the school board Tuesday night.
Unusually hazardous conditions might include the lack of sidewalk on a road a student needs to take to walk to school or a high speed limit on a road that might make it generally unsafe to walk on the shoulders. Students who live in such areas could be bused to school even if they live within the maximum walking distance set by the district.
The district is also aiming to reduce some of those hazardous zones. One way is working with City of Verona staff to determine whether some crosswalks near schools can be upgraded to “high visibility” by painting lines inside them to make it easier for drivers to see.
The district will try to minimize the changes in the start/stop times as much as it can, Gorrell said, but the district doesn’t have much flexibility with start times for elementary schools.
“We’ve put a charge on the group to come up with the least amount of change to the start and stop times without creating a wildly expensive transportation budget,” he said.
Gorrell said he expects any proposed start/stop time changes and preliminary transportation routes to be brought to the school board sometime in January.