CAMARILLO : Hearing to Discuss School Start Times

Camarillo parents can respond Thursday to a Pleasant Valley Elementary School District plan that would change the starting times for all 13 schools in the district next year.

If the school board approves the plan, Santa Rosa School would start 20 minutes earlier and the district's 12 other schools would begin 20 minutes later than they do now. The plan would enable the district to accommodate additional intermediate students from eastern Camarillo, officials said.

Trustees are expected to vote on the plan after Thursday's public hearing.

The hearing comes after deliberations about how to handle an overflow of 150 students in eastern Camarillo, the site of a proposed new elementary school. Officials say the school will not be built and other facilities cannot be expanded without the passage of a bond issue. However, voters in the district rejected two bond measures last year.

The plan is an alternative to spending $66,000 on new buses and portable classrooms.

Under the plan, two of the district's 11 buses would be run twice as much as they are now in "double runs." It will cost $21,000 to extend bus drivers' hours and for additional gas and operating expenses.

Also, late morning busing to Santa Rosa for the divided day program would be eliminated.

The divided day program was started to lower the teacher-student ratio for subjects such as reading that are more readily learned in small groups.

Under the proposed changes, Santa Rosa's day would start at 7:55 a.m. and end at 1:42 and 2:40 p.m. Other elementary schools would begin at 8:40 a.m. and end at 2:27 and 3:25 p.m.

The intermediate schools, which start at 8:20 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m., would start at 8:45 a.m. and finish at 3:25 p.m.

Dianne Quinby-Anders, Santa Rosa principal, said the elimination of "late bird" busing for her school may mean the divided day program would be discontinued in the second and third grades there.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers.

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