Eight elementary schools to change start time

Eight Wichita schools will start and end an hour later next school year, saving roughly $2.5 million in transportation costs, school leaders announced this afternoon.

The following elementary schools are set to change to a 9 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. schedule: Caldwell, Colvin, Earhart Environmental Magnet, Emerson Open Magnet, McLean Science-Technology Magnet and Payne.

Both the Little and Midtown Early Childhood Centers will adopt the same schoolday schedule.

The change in bell times will not have an effect on transportation services to those schools, with the exception of the bus pickup and drop-off times, according to the district. Students who qualify for transportation services will continue to receive transportation.

The school buildings currently operate on an 8 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. schedule, but most elementary schools follow the 9 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. schedule.

Adjusting the schools' schedules is expected to eliminate the need for 72 buses, saving $2.5 million, district officials said. They said this is the first districtwide cut as leaders try to keep an estimated $25 million budget shortfall from affecting classroom instruction.