- New Operational Schedules – School Start & End Times

To: Students, Parents, and Covington Community School Corporation School-Community Stakeholders

Fr:  Kevin Smith, Superintendent

Re: New Operational Schedules

In keeping with our commitment to provide the best opportunities for student learning, through a positive, safe, and secure environment, Covington Community School Corporation will implement new operational schedules beginning with the second semester of the 2018 – 2019 School Year.  Effective, Wednesday, January 2, 2019, the following schedules will be in place within our educational facilities:

Start Time                                           End Time

Covington High School                   8:00 a.m.                                             3:00 p.m.

Covington Middle School              8:00 a.m.                                             3:00 p.m.

Covington Elementary School     8:05 a.m.                                             2:55 p.m.

Note:  The buildings will be open at 7:45 a.m. to receive students.

Note 1:  There will be no impact to the availability of morning breakfast for our children.

With the above changes to the daily operational schedules it is important that we take a look at why the adjustments were necessary.

During the first semester of the school year an analysis has been made on the current effectiveness of our process for the drop off and loading of students.  This analysis has included the impact on students riding one of the eight school buses serving the district, as well as the overall vehicle traffic in and around our buildings.

The observations which have been made provided “Opportunities-For-Improvement” in a number of areas, including eliminating a large amount of time students are sitting on a bus, while on campus, and providing a safer environment within an area designated for staff parking.  Thus, not only will the start and end times be modified, but the flow of traffic, including school buses and passenger vehicles will also be re-directed into a new pattern of travel during times of student drop off, at the beginning of the day, and pick up, at the end of the school day.

To provide more data around the above referenced analysis I would like to offer the following:

  • A total of 194 students are riding a bus to and/or from school each day, an estimated 70% of which are elementary aged children;
  • Elementary students, riding a bus, spend from 20 – 25 minutes, perhaps more, each day, idly sitting on a school bus once they arrive on a school campus;
    • This time is due, in particular, to the current gap in the ending time of our buildings. With the high school and middle school dismissing at 3:10 p.m., while the elementary school dismisses at 2:55 p.m., there is a 15-minute difference, around which the elementary students are waiting on their respective bus;
    • Following the dismissal of students at the high school and middle school, at 3:10 p.m., there is a 5 – 7-minute amount of time for students to load a bus for the trip home; and
    • With this 5 – 7 minutes of time added to the 15 minutes the elementary students have already been on a bus, a total of 20 – 22 minutes are consistently being spent by our children waiting to leave campus.

With the above information in mind, the need to make adjustments to the daily operational schedules became clear.  Further, the mission and vision of Covington Community School Corporation is to “Do what is right for the child, at the right time, which will always be RIGHT now”.

In conjunction with the changes being made to the operational schedule, a number of supporting adjustments to the process will be made.  These adjustments are necessary, not only to ensure an efficient dismissal of students at the end of the school day, but to enhance safety in and around our buildings.

The supporting changes are as follows:

  1. School buses will make their morning drop offs at the Northeast Entrance to Covington Middle School, off of 6th
    1. Bus drop offs will continue to be made at the front entrance of Covington Elementary School, off of Market Street.
      1. This will reduce the interaction of bus traffic and vehicle traffic dropping students off at the high school.
    2. In coordination with Covington City Police, 6th Street will be blocked off to ensure the safety of our children during the time frame of bus unloading each morning.
  2. In the afternoon, buses will be staged from 6th Street to 7th Street for loading.
    1. This will require there to be no parking from Market Street to Railroad Street, along 6th Street, to ensure a clear and safe path for students to move to the loading location.
    2. Staff members will assist with the movement of students from their respective building to the new bus loading area.
  3. Beginning January 2, 2019, individuals dropping off and / or picking up students at the middle school, should use the “Drive-Thru” zone, off of 5th Street (Area previously used for bus pick up and drop off). We will no longer be using the north parking lot for pick up and drop off.
    1. While recognizing the need to identify enhanced processes for student drop off and pick up at the high school and elementary school, no changes are being made to the current process, at this time.


In an effort to ensure those impacted by the identified changes have an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming adjustments, the Covington leadership team is in the process of identifying a plan to practice the new procedures prior to the end of the first semester.  Further, a continuous communication strategy will be used to ensure the details of the second semester changes remain current.

I recognize that the referenced changes may create questions that one may like to discuss.  I would welcome the opportunity to address any questions and / or concerns you may have regarding the planned schedule adjustments for second semester.

Please know that the decision to move forward with the adjustments was not made lightly, with the interests of the individual child taken into account.  I appreciate the support and cooperation of all stakeholders.

FAQ’S (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Do these changes mean my child will be spending more time riding on a school bus each morning?
    1. Our analysis indicates there should be no need for the morning pick up times to be earlier than they currently are.
  2. If my child rides a bus, what does this mean for them in the afternoon?
    1. School buses should be leaving for the ride home approximately 10 – 12 minutes earlier than what is currently occurring.
  3. What do the start and end times mean for the bell schedules at the high school and middle school?
    1. The respective building principal has identified a new bell schedule, which will work to meet the needs of the adjusted operational schedule, while ensuring opportunities for the continued focus on high level instruction of our students. Detail on what this will look like will be provided as we move closer to January 2, 2019.
  4. Will my child be able to have breakfast, as they currently do?
    1. Our food services team will continue to support breakfast for the children.  Each child will have the opportunity to have a meal.
  5. What time will breakfast be scheduled at the elementary school?
    1. Breakfast will be available from 7:45 a.m. to 8:05 a.m.
  6. Why make this change now, rather than wait until the next school year?
    1. The amount of time our children are sitting idle, on a school bus, is not acceptable. Through benchmarking of a number of school corporations, there was one consistent piece of information provided, which focused on ensuring an efficient process for student dismissal, minimizing the amount of time children had to wait on a bus before being dropped off in the morning and heading for home in the afternoon.
  7. Will additional changes be considered?
    1. CCSC is committed to a “Continuous Improvement” focus.  For example, if additional changes are needed in our operational adjustments, we will remain open-minded to make them.
  8. How does the new operational schedule differ from the current one?
    1. The High School and Middle school currently begin their educational day at 8:05 a.m., ending at 3:10 p.m.

The Elementary school currently begins the educational portion of the day at 8:15 a.m., ending at 2:55 p.m.

Covington Community School Corporation
601 Market Street
Covington, IN. 47932
Phone: 765-793-4877
Fax: 765-793-5209