Start times to change for some schools in Nixa


Marielle Chu, Contributing Writer

Recently, a district-wide decision by the calendar committee was made to alter the 2020-2021 Nixa school year, changing start times and affecting summer vacation. 

Zac Rantz, chief communications officer for Nixa High School, said that the decision was made to lengthen hours for elementary and middle school students, allowing the district to ensure that there would be no more snow make-up days, though the high school is unaffected by this change. 

“February of this year is when we made the final decision to change the start times across the district. The high school is not affected at all by the change in the start times,” Rantz said. “Just looking at the need for additional instructional hours in our calendar for kindergarten through 6th grade, they needed additional hours built into their calendar … In order for us to not have to make up any snow days across the district.” 

Rantz also confirmed that the start times would change, and all schools except for Nixa High School will drop early-out Fridays and instead adopt late-start Mondays, similar to the high school. 

“The start time change is probably going to be the biggest impact for [parents],” Rantz said. “And, currently, right now, trying to investigate how that impact will be with parents because it does change from them, you know, having to leave work early on Fridays to pick up their kids to dropping off their students 30 minutes later than normal.” 

He added that this would also allow both parents and administration to plan for summer, and finally enables the district to set an exact date for summer school. 

“It’s gonna be great because I think they’re going to have a definite start date and a definite end date. And, before, people had to plan their vacations based upon snow days ⎯ this does help people to plan a lot more,” Rantz said. “For the teachers, as well, it does give a final plan for the start date and the end date. … They can also know when summer school is going to be. They can plan their schedules as well. …What we hope, then, is that it will help parents as they are making summer plans, that they make those plans to where their child can be in school the entire time, and then those breaks can happen after that last day of school, or over spring break.”

Liam Perkins, 11, says that the change is beneficial for most students, but some may be against the decisions at first. 

“For students, I feel like, as it affects the general population of the school … it will be met with discontent, that’s the word I’m going to use,” Perkins said. 

Perkins said he felt that parents would have some difficulty driving their children to school on Mondays, but besides that, the change overall is useful.

“A late Monday start … for the parents that have something scheduled and they can’t do that, what would happen is that they would have to get their Monday mornings freed so that they could do that, put them on a bus, or have their older kid… drive them to school if they need to, which is also annoying, of course, for the older ones,” Perkins said, “It’s like, ‘Ah, I have to drive all over Nixa, Monday morning,’… It might be a little bit of a negative, but it’s not going to be imperative.” 

Childcare will be available for younger students in the district on late-start Monday mornings.