When Sampson Middle students return to school on Aug. 27, they will have to remember to set their alarm clocks a little bit earlier.
The Clinton City Board of Education recently approved moving up that school’s start time to 8 a.m., from its original 8:15 a.m. It’s the only city school hours that will be changed.
Educational officials cited safety as the reason for the change.
Principal Shirley Williams refused to comment Thursday on the time shift, sending a message through another school employee that any comment on the situation would have to come from the central office and not from her.”
Clinton City Schools superintendent Stuart Blount explained the situation, noting that the request to start school at 8 a.m., came from Williams.
“What was happening last year is that there were large number of students arriving very early because they were getting dropped off by their parents on their way to work,” Bount explained . “Mrs. Williams requested that, for safety reasons, it would be better if that 15 minutes was cut.”
The Board of Education agreed and approved the measure a little over a week ago.
“It is not going to disrupt the students,” the superintendent explained Thursday. “In fact, it is going to be more efficient for the bus drivers.”
According to system officials, the bus drivers were already at the school and were actually waiting in the afternoons for the middle school students, who will now get out of school 15 minutes earlier, at 3 p.m.
“It was in the best interest of the students safety,” Blount noted Williams’ request. “A lot of the students were arriving early and they were on campus with some supervision, but not enough because of the amount of students. So, her request was a good way to get them in class a little quicker and get the day started instead of them just sitting around idle.”
Since the earlier start time was just put in place, ConnectED messages will be sent out to parents in the school, as well as letters, within the next two weeks to ensure that everyone knows the time has been moved up.
The next question is will the students be penalized if they show up late during the first week of school?
“No,” assured Blount. “There will be some flexibility with the start time during the first week or two. But by the third week, everyone should know the start time is going to be 8 a.m.”
For more information, call the school at 910-592-3327.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.