MANCHESTER — The end of the school day will come 15 to 20 minutes earlier for elementary and middle school students next fall.
The changes to the start and stop times for the 2014-2015 school year are the result of an agreement between the school district and the teachers union, the Manchester Education Association.
For the most part, the new schedule reverts to the school hours in the 2012-2013 school year, before the district switched from a day-based to an hour-based calendar to meet state standards.
The final bell for elementary school students will be 2:35 p.m., 15 minutes earlier than last year. The end of the day for teachers will be 2:50 p.m. In the middle schools, students will get out at 2:00 p.m., 20 minutes earlier than last year. The end of the day for teachers will be 2:25 p.m.
In both the elementary and middle schools, teachers’ days will end 15 to 25 minutes later than the students. This past school year, principals strongly criticized the hours-based calender because it left little time in the teachers’ days to supervise students as they boarded buses and left school grounds.
At a school board meeting Monday, Assistant Superintendent Karen Burkush said she believed that the principals were “in agreement” with the plan.
The start and stop times for the high schools will remain the same for teachers and students, 7:45 a.m. to 2:42 p.m. (Teachers begin the day seven minutes earlier.)
The start time for middle school students will be 7:35 a.m., five minutes earlier than last year. The start time for elementary students will stay the same, 8:20 a.m.
The agreement with the MEA came about after the union rejected a contract that would have governed the length of teachers’ workdays.
The new schedule is to be in force “until a time when a change is negotiated” with the union, according the document.
Superintendent Debra Livingston said on Monday that the union’s president had been “very forthcoming in working together.”