Pushing back the earliest school start times by 45 minutes—and doing so without significantly changing the day for those in kindergarten through sixth grade—would cost nearly $1.4 million annually, a consultant told the Board of Education last week. The added cost, which would bring the district’s total yearly busing expenses to about $4.6 million, represents the estimated 14 additional school buses that New Canaan would need to change its highly efficient, current system of three busing tiers down to two tiers, according to Mark Walsh of Walworth, N.Y.-based Transportation Advisory Services.
Yet even if the Board of Ed wants to go in that direction, finding additional drivers to operate those buses likely would prove difficult, Walsh told the elected body at its regular meeting, held Nov. 19 at New Canaan High School. “You have been fortunate that you have been able to have a sufficient roster of drivers,” he said. “Part of it is because of the labor agreement that they have, and that labor agreement provides for a six-hour day.