The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is changing school start and end times at elementary schools across the city to help reduce budgetary spending.
By staggering the start and end times at 131 schools, the TDSB claims they can plan bus routes more efficiently, allowing students to get to school on time and reducing the number of buses used.
According to the TDSB, the change will save the school board approximately $2.5 million, as transportation costs are not sufficiently supported by the government, with the TDSB spending a substantial amount on this particular area of need for students.
The change to the start and end times is said to take effect in September 2020.
The decision was made in June 2019 as part of last year’s budget process. TDSB Trustees approved an operating budget plan for the 2019-20 school year that required $67.8 million in staff reductions, and changes to programs and services to address provincial government funding reductions with the TDSB’s annual structural deficit.
“We understand that these changes may impact the routines of some families,” the TDSB said. “However, if we did not reduce transportation costs by staggering school start and end times, we would have to reduce other services and supports to students that would have more direct and negative impact on classroom teaching.”
Apart from budgetary cost saving, the change to the start and end times will improve service to remaining routes and will remove 55 busses, reducing the board’s carbon footprint by approximately 2,750 metric tonnes per year.
Multiple information meetings will be held for parents and guardians.
In-person Information Meetings:
- Thursday, March 5 at 7 pm at Richview CI (1738 Islington Ave., Etobicoke)
- Thursday, March 12 at 7 pm at David and Mary Thomson CI (125 Brockley Dr., Scarborough)
- Additional sessions: Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at Earl Haig SS (100 Princess Ave., North York)
Virtual Information Meetings – Online Webchat:
- Thursday, March 26 from 10 am to 11 am
- Thursday, March 26 from 7 pm to 8 pm