Parents spurn earlier school start times at Winnipeg school

Some Winnipeg parents aren't too happy about an idea to start their children's day earlier at Lord Roberts School.
Lord Roberts School is considering an earlier start time for students in September, but not all parents are happy about it. (CBC)

Some Winnipeg parents aren't too happy about an idea to start their children's school day earlier.

Last night the Lord Roberts School parent council was called to an emergency meeting about the proposal from the Winnipeg School Division (WSD).

The division is considering staggering start times at nine schools starting in September. The idea is to trim the transportation budget, by shifting some start times and enabling buses to be used on multiple routes.

WSD administrators estimate the move could save $500,000 when the amounts are totalled among all nine schools.

One of the benefits to having students start earlier at Lord Roberts School is that buses would get a jump on the heavy morning traffic in the area of Osborne Street and Jubilee Avenue.

The WSD has said feedback from families is being looked at before any decisions are made. But Lord Roberts parent Dave Lobson doesn't believe it.

He's against the changes but doesn't think his opinion matters to the division.

“I'm going to bet this will get railroaded through one way or the other. They're going to do it," he said.

"This is a pony show in the first place. They're not going to listen to anybody here. Their minds are made up what they're doing. They're going through with this.”

Kelly Holtsworth is also opposed, saying her children often have activities at night. Getting up earlier than they already do will be difficult.

“I'm very against that. I think more and more we're impinging on our children's sleep, and sleep is a critical part of their development, of their health,” she said.