Staggered start at overcrowded school

August 19, 2009 3:33:15 PM PDT
For some students at Lockport High School, classes will start at 6:44 a.m. and lunch will be served at 8:44 a.m.This year, the school is moving into a 'staggered start' to deal with overcrowding after voters in the district rejected a tax referendum to build a new high school for the fifth time. The high schools are over capacity.

The school is using trailers as 10 classrooms at Lockport Township High School's East Campus, where 3,000 students- sophomores through seniors- attend class in a building with a 2,7000 capacity. The solution for now: Seniors and juniors start at 6:44 a.m. Sophomores start 2 hours later.

"So what we've really done is extended the school day to disperse the students throughout the day, so less students per day, which we have all students in the building," said Brett Gould, Lockport East Principal.

Students who like the early schedule say it allows them to leave early or gives them more time to work part-time jobs. Some seniors are out of class by 11:44 a.m.

"I got a job making sandwiches at Jimmy John's, so one of the reasons I got it so I could start at noon.," said Jon Kobey, student

"I think it's way too early to come into school. It's way too early. I'm having trouble concentrating," said Roxanne Gomez, student

Students who don't like the time change said they are inconvenienced by having to come back in the late afternoon for extracurricular activities. The school said it will work with students who need transportation.

The other problem for some: lunch- pizza, meatloaf, tater tots- as early as 8:44 am. But don't expect the early schedule to change until Lockport Township gets a new high school building. Voters failed several tax increases for a new school in the last 3 years.

"I think it's way too early to come into school. It's way too early. I'm having trouble concentrating," said Richaun Holmes, student

Teachers are also on staggered schedules, so they will not have to work extra hours. But some administrators will have to put in some more time.


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