When the 2012-2013 school year starts in September, students from Davis Elementary may be sharing a bus with students from .
Since its formation at the May 22 school board meeting, the ad hoc committee on the elementary bell schedule has met a few times at the district administration building to create a viable solution to a . Members of the committee include parents and administrators from the three regional elementary schools, district administrators, school board directors and representatives from the transportation department.
According to blog posts on the Centennial web site, members of the committee are confident they can create a new schedule that does not have any of the three elementary schools dismissing at 3:45 p.m., a main point of contention for parents who feel that the later dismissal takes too much time away from extracurricular activities and family time.
One of the keys to the solution is streamlining the routes with the parochial schools also serviced by the Centennial buses, and OLGC. The principals from both schools met with the committee last week to provide their own input.
"I'm glad they called us in and listened to us," said Nativity principal Roselee Maddaloni. "It's a very complex problem, and we have to be open to all options."
Maddaloni made it clear that it would be impossible to alter Nativity's start and end times because students are also bused from other neighboring districts.
"I can't call up Central Bucks our Council Rock and tell them we are opening earlier," said Maddaloni. "Then they will have to restructure their own schedules and it becomes a bigger mess."
The original plan was to have something to present to the operations committee on June 4, then forwarded to the June 12 school board meeting. Committee chair Mark Miller said that a special school board meeting will be held sometime after June 12 for the final vote on the district budget. The ad hoc committee will make a presentation of its findings then, with time allotted for community comment.
Some have bristled about the lack of clear notifications when the ad hoc committee meets. According to the Pennsylvania Sunshine Law, committees that are formed for informational purposes and do not hold any decision-making authority are not required to advertise meetings.
"The committee will produce recommendations that will go before a standing committee or the full school board at an advertised public meeting," said Miller.