Dear North Colonie Families,
We hope everyone’s school year is off to a great start. We are so excited about the opportunities a new school year brings and look forward to seeing the students grow throughout the year. As we begin looking ahead to next year and prepare for the opening of Shaker Middle School in the fall of 2020, we are busy planning for all of the changes that will come along with this transition, including a schedule change at all levels.
The idea of a separate middle school bus run was discussed throughout the planning process for the district’s capital project. As part of the required State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), the district commissioned a traffic engineer to conduct a traffic impact study of the traffic flow in and around the Shaker Junior and Senior High School campuses to ensure that a larger middle school would not negatively impact the traffic at arrival and dismissal times. The recommendation to add a separate middle school bus run was approved by the Board of Education and incorporated into the district’s SEQR application which was subsequently approved by the state. The addition of a middle school bus run will allow for two different arrival and dismissal times for our secondary schools, helping to alleviate school-related traffic in the area of the middle school and high school. Over the past several months, administrators have worked with our transportation department to review a variety of schedule options to determine the most efficient and cost-effective way to add a separate middle school bus run.
The addition of a middle school bus run will impact the start and end times at all levels. It’s important to note that while the start and end times change, the amount of instructional time at all levels will remain the same. While the elementary and high school will see a slight shift in their start and end times, the middle school will see a more significant shift in its schedule. Since we realize the new schedules may be an adjustment, we wanted to let families know as soon as possible, so that you can start to plan for the next school year.
Middle School Schedule
Beginning September 2020, the middle school student day will be 9 a.m.-3:39 p.m.
Buses will arrive at the middle school between 8:40-8:50 a.m. and will depart school at 3:48 p.m.
We recognize that this later start time may impact family schedules. Accordingly, starting next year at the middle school, the Colonie Youth Center will be providing a before school program for students in grades 6-8, where students can be dropped off before school. Colonie Youth Center is currently finalizing the details of this program. We will provide more information on this optional service later this year.
High School Schedule
Beginning September 2020, the high school student day will be 7:32 a.m.-2:04 p.m. Buses will arrive at the high school between 6:50-7:05 a.m. and depart school at 2:12 p.m.
Early Elementary Schools (Blue Creek, Boght Hills, Southgate)
Beginning September 2020, the early elementary school student day will be 8:10 a.m.-2:25 p.m. Buses for our early elementary schools will arrive to schools between 7:50-8 a.m. and depart schools between 2:35-2:45 p.m.
Late Elementary Schools (Forts Ferry, Latham Ridge, Loudonville)
Beginning September 2020, the late elementary school student day will be 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m.
Buses for our late elementary schools will arrive to schools between 8:25-8:35 a.m. and depart schools between 3:10-3:20 p.m.
The district will still be providing late buses for middle and high school students who stay after school as well as for elementary students who participate in homework club. Specific times for when the late buses run will be communicated later this year.
We understand you may have questions and we will do our best throughout the year to provide as many answers as possible. Specific information regarding athletics and extracurricular activities, bell schedules at the middle school and high school, bus pick-up times, and parent pick-up and drop-off times will be addressed later this year. We wanted to share this initial schedule first to allow families ample time to plan for the start of next school year. You can also read the answers to more frequently asked questions regarding the transition to Shaker Middle School on the district website.
There are many exciting things being planned for the first year of the new middle school. Information will be distributed and parent meetings will be held later this school year to share the exciting opportunities that our students will have when they enter Shaker Middle School.
While there are many changes happening, we appreciate your understanding as we work together to create a smooth transition for all students. We are so excited to welcome a sixth grade class to the middle school next year! If you have any questions, please submit them here and we will respond monthly on the FAQ website.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools