Changes coming to Meridian School District's bus, bell schedules

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) -- Changes are coming to the Meridian School Distric's busing system and school bell times.

The district says it's adjusting the times due to a bus driver shortage.

"On any given day, the transportation department is 30 drivers short," the district says. "This spring, this shortage has had a particularly negative impact on the bus service at the middle school level. Frequently, both in the morning and after school, the available drivers are running double routes."

The district says it's moving to a tiered system which will reduce the number of buses and drivers and save the district $900,000 a year.

For elementary students, the tardy bell will still ring at 9:10 a.m., but students will be released five minutes later at 3:55 p.m. For middle school students, the tardy bell rings at 8:05 a.m. but that will chance to 8:35 a.m. next year. The release is now 2:55 p.m. but that will change to 3:25 p.m.

Some parents we talked with like the later start times not only for bus issue, but also the benifit to the kids.

"None of them start their days spunky early in the morning, and in talking with their teachers it's the same way," said Meridian parent John Jacobs. "First period is difficult so starting a little does make sense for them to get the most out of their education."

For high school students, the tardy bell will ring 10 minutes earlier at 7:45 a.m. -- it's now 7:55 a.m. In the afternoon, high school students get released at 2:57 p.m., but will now be let go at 2:42 p.m.