Important Changes to MSD ’15–’16 School Year

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 4.51.37 PMPhyllis Kohel, Superintendent of Milford School District

School is right around the corner, and there have been a few changes that will be important to all of you. First, the school start and end times have changed for several schools. The most significant changes occurred at Morris Early Childhood and Milford High School, and we did this for several reasons. For the past several years, the children at Morris have had to get on their buses starting as early as 6:15 a.m. During much of the school year, our youngest group of 4 and 5 year olds were getting on in the dark. Not only was there great concern from the bus drivers and Board members, but a number of parents voiced their concerns as well. By changing the high school back to an earlier start, Morris can start an hour later and we can add two additional buses to the Morris route so that we can significantly reduce the afternoon ride home. Furthermore, starting the high school earlier addresses the concerns of many teachers with students missing time in the afternoon for student activities and/or away athletic events. With the addition of a number of honors and AP courses, there was no option but to schedule them throughout the day and student athletes, in particular, who have a last period honors/AP class would miss too many hours due to travel time for away games.

Mispillion, Ross, Banneker, and Milford Central Academy may have changed by 5 minutes or so, but overall, their changes are minimal. The start and end time schedule for all schools is listed below:

School                                                       Student Start           Student End

Morris Early Childhood Center          8:40                            3:05
Pre-K (A.M.)                                           8:40                            11:10
Pre-K (P.M.)                                          12:35                            3:05

Mispillion Elementary                         7:35                             2:15

Ross Elementary                                   7:35                             2:15

Banneker Elementary                          7:35                             2:15

Milford Central Academy                   8:35                             3:15

Milford High School                            7:38                             2:30

There will be no late starts this year. Through developing a new master plan, the Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings will be held prior to the students arriving. This will save the district approximately $11,000 in additional transportation costs associated with having had late start Wednesdays.

Other changes involve a change in a number of Milford School District employees. Unfortunately, we are losing teachers to neighboring districts whose pay scale is much higher than ours. This is partially due to the fact that we have not been able to give any pay raises and Milford’s pay scale is falling considerably lower than others. Our teachers want to feel secure in their jobs, but the uncertainty associated with not having passed two referenda, weighs heavily on the teachers’ decision to look elsewhere. Just over the summer, we have lost 3 administrators, including our Director of Secondary and Director of Elementary Instruction positions. We have also lost 3 paras and 12 teachers. This is a great loss, but needless to say, our principals have been interviewing most of the summer and at present, we only have two or three open positions.

Another change will take place in the traffic pattern at Lulu Ross Elementary this year. To try to address the bottleneck in traffic that occurs in the mornings on Lovers Lane going into both Ross and Mispillion Elementary Schools, we are making a “One Way Only” exit coming out of Ross. Once a parent drives into the parking lot at Ross, or even if the parent simply drops the student off at the front door, he/she will follow the existing circle out to S. E. 3rd Street and make a left turn only. A new exit onto the old bus circle will be available by the start of school so that anyone pulling into the parking lot will not exit out onto Lovers Lane; they will now exit the premises on S. E. 3rd Street. Regardless of how a car comes on to the property, cars will not be permitted to enter back on to Lovers Lane; all cars will be directed to S. E. 3rd Street and once there, they must make a left. For the first several weeks, there will be people directing traffic until the exit pattern becomes completely clear to those dropping students off at Ross. Mispillion traffic will not be changed. Cars will still travel in from of Mispillion School, make a left onto Claude Street, another left on to Lemuel Street, then a right on Lovers Lane.

As always, we will work hard to make the school year a smooth and successful one for all of our students. As you ride around the district, this year, you will see a double classroom modular outside of Ross and an additional one outside of Milford Central Academy. Although the high school enrollment is down at the current time, the elementary and middle levels are still increasing. Subsequently, with the help of Representative Kenton, Sentaor Simpson, and Representative Wilson, we were able to obtain the extra modulars at a fraction of the cost. The legislators representing this district are truly amazing and are always willing to assist whenever they can. We certainly appreciate their help.