QUAKERTOWN, Pa. – Sixth grade students in the Quakertown Community School District can sleep in a few minutes longer, thanks to a school board vote Thursday night.
The board voted for students at the Sixth Grade Center school to have the same start and end times as the district's four elementary schools for the 2021-22 school year.
The times at Strayer Middle School and Quakertown Community High School also will be slightly advanced by approximately five and ten minute spans compared to the current weekday start and end times.
Parents voiced their concerns about the decision to the board, cautioning that sixth graders should be more closely aligned to the middle school bell schedules, rather than those of the elementary schools, since a number of the students frequently visit Strayer to attend extracurricular activities, meetings, and practices.
Superintendent William Harner said in an effort to contain transportation costs, sixth graders will be busing to and from schools with elementary school students in grades one through five. Parents, however, feel the changes would lead to inconveniences for the sixth graders.
Harner pointed out the changes may apply only to the 2021-22 school year.
District officials said the impact of the later start and end times at the high school level could involve some students and their teachers who serve as coaches to miss their last period afternoon classes in the event of away games involving travel time. They suggested that start times for home games could be adjusted to accommodate student and teacher needs.
The newly approved bell schedules for students and staff for the 2021-22 school year are as follows:
- Elementary schools and Sixth Grade Center - Students: 9:10 a.m. to 3:40 p.m., teachers: 8:35 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.
- Strayer Middle School - Students: 8:05 a.m. to 2:50 p.m., teachers: 7:35 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
- Quakertown Community High School - Students: 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., teachers: 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.