GCS Proposes Shift to Elementary School Start Time

Warning: Information you find on this page may be outdated or incorrect.

Greenville County Schools has proposed a fifteen minute shift in the elementary school start time beginning in the 2020-2021 school year to ensure on-time drop off for high school students.

Problem:  Secondary bus riders, especially at the high school level, are regularly missing instructional time due to late morning arrivals. The late arrivals that occur on a regular basis are due primarily to heavy traffic, a lack of transportation infrastructure in our county, and a critical shortage of bus drivers.

Students on a traditional schedule who are just 10-15 minutes late on a daily basis miss the equivalent of a full class period every week and as much as seven weeks of instruction over the course of a year.

Proposal:  Shift elementary bus rider drop off to 7 a.m. and start the school day at 7:45 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. This enables GCS to add 15 minutes to the window of time buses have to complete secondary routes, without extending the workday for elementary teachers. Eight years ago, GCS moved the start times for middle and high schools to build in a window for bus transportation.  The length of the existing window is no longer adequate.

Impact on Elementary Bus Riders’ Pickup Time:  There will be little to no impact on the time of pickup. Most elementary buses already arrive at elementary school by 7 a.m.  Currently, students wait on the bus for the building to open at 7:15 a.m. Schools schedule early duty to provide supervision to these students.

Impact on Dismissal: Elementary dismissal will move to 2:15 p.m.

Impact on After School Childcare:  Extended Day Programs at GCS elementary schools will continue to operate until 6 p.m. This will require an additional 15 minutes of paid time for extended day workers. This may require a minimal increase to tuition costs for extended day programs.

Impact on Breakfast:  Free breakfast will still be available for all students.  Service will begin early enough (between 7 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.) to serve all students before the start of school.

Tardies:  Students who arrive at elementary school after 7:45 a.m. will be considered tardy.

Please visit the GCS proposal page for additional information and for ways to provide feedback.

Prepared by GCS.