July 29, 2014

Elyria
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Oberlin readies for later school hours

OBERLIN — To ease the transition to later starting times, the Oberlin Schools will be hiring additional aides to be in the buildings early.

The news that the school day would start about an hour later was a shocker for some parents, said Ian Yarber, school board member. So at Monday’s meeting, Yarber urged the school administration to have aides stationed in the elementary schools and middle school by 8:30 a.m. so parents can drop off kids before heading to work.

New school hours:

Eastwood Elementary: 9:20 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.
Prospect Elementary:
9:25 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.
Langston Middle School: 8:25 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.
Oberlin High School: 8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Yarber said after news of the change hit the paper, “I received a lot of e-mails and phone calls.”

“We all did,” said Marci Alegant, school board president. “The tone was, ‘Oh my God, I just heard about it.’ ”

The change bumps the start time at Eastwood Elementary back to 9:20 a.m. The school serves pre-kindergarten through second-grade students. Over at Prospect Elementary School, which serves third through fifth grades, classes will begin at 9:25 a.m.

The middle and high schools also will start later.

Superintendent Geoffrey Andrews assured the board that the district will “err on the side of having more people” working as aides when school begins in case of problems. Additional aides won’t cost the district much — about $8 an hour for each, treasurer Diane Wolf said.

Two aides will be placed at each of the elementary schools and at the middle school for at least the first two weeks, she said.
Last year, there was one aide each at Eastwood and Prospect to greet early arrivals.

Board member Stephanie Jones said she wants students to be confined to the cafeteria so “they’re not free to roam” for an hour unattended. Wolf said that’s where most of the early arrivals end up anyway because they often eat a free or reduced-priced breakfast.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the new schedule, which will give teachers additional planning time and students an extra hour to sleep in.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.