Bell times at 70 Hamilton schools to change in September

·5 min read

Bells at some Hamilton schools will ring a little earlier — or later, depending on the school — next fall, boards say.

Start and end times at 70 Hamilton schools — 37 public and 33 Catholic — will change in September to address an ongoing shortage of school bus drivers.

In a March 26 letter to families, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board announced the joint bell time study, done in conjunction with the Catholic board through the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation System (HWSTS), has been completed, resulting in changes to class start and end times.

In an email to The Spectator, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board chair Pat Daly said the changes were necessary “to ensure we are able to maintain the level of service currently provided ... and as well to mitigate against the expected increase in costs as a result of the expiration of our bus operator contracts.”

Bell times at many schools will be pushed back or moved up, allowing boards to reduce the total number of school buses and increase the number of runs each bus completes.

“Ultimately, it was to make sure that we can get every student to school for the full instructional day, because that hasn’t been happening consistently for the past few years,” said HWDSB chair Dawn Danko. “We’ve had a chronic bus driver shortage for years ... where those bus driver shortages led to delays.”

Danko said the changes — which range from five to 45 minutes — are “more significant” than changes in the past, and that the board recognizes the impacts the changes will have on families.

“People have very different schedules and they may have a routine that’s set up that they will now need to change for the fall if their school is impacted,” she said.

School start times will now fall anywhere between 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Before- and after-school care programs, most of which currently operate from 7 a.m. to school start time and from dismissal to 6 p.m. at the public board, are expected to adjust to accommodate the new bell times.

HWDSB elementary schools with changing bell times:

A.A. Greenleaf — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

A.M. Cunningham — New times: 8:20 a.m., 2:40 p.m.

Ancaster Meadow — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Balaclava — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Bellmoore — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Bennetto — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Buchanan Park — New times: 8:40 a.m., 3 p.m.

Chedoke — New times: 9:10 a.m., 3:30 p.m.

Collegiate — New times: 8:45 a.m., 3:05 p.m.

Cootes Paradise — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Flamborough Centre — New times: 8:20 a.m., 2:40 p.m.

Frank Panabaker — New times: 8:15 a.m., 2:35 p.m.

Gatestone — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Huntington — New times: 8:40 a.m., 3 p.m.

Mary Hopkins — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Mount Albion — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Mount Hope — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Parkdale — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Ray Lewis — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Ridgemount — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Rockton — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Rousseau — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Rosedale — New times: 8:20 a.m., 2:40 p.m.

Sir William Osler — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

South Meadow — New times: 8:20 a.m., 2:40 p.m.

Tapleytown — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Tiffany Hills — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Winona — New times: 8:40 a.m., 3 p.m.

Viscount Montgomery — New times: 9:15 a.m., 3:35 p.m.

Yorkview — New times: 8:20 a.m., 2:40 p.m.

HWDSB secondary schools with changing bell times:

Ancaster High — New times: 8:15 a.m., 2:35 p.m.

Dundas Valley — New times: 8:05 a.m., 2:15 p.m.

Saltfleet — New times: 8 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

Sherwood — New times: 8 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

Sir Allan MacNab — New times: 8 a.m., 2:05 p.m.

Waterdown — New times: 8 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

Westdale — New times: 8 a.m., 2:30 p.m.

HWCDSB elementary schools with changing bell times:

Annunciation of Our Lord

Blessed Sacrament

Canadian Martyrs

Corpus Christi

Guardian Angels

Holy Name of Jesus

Holy Name of Mary

Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Our Lady of Assumption

Our Lady of Hope

St. Agnes

St. Augustine

St. Bernadette

St. Clare

St. Eugene

St. Francis of Xavier

St. Gabriel

St. James

St. John Paul II

St. Joseph

St. Marguerite D’Youville

St. Martin of Tours

St. Matthew

St. Paul

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Thomas

St. Vincent De Paul

Sts. Peter and Paul

HWCDSB secondary schools with changing bell times:

Bishop Tonnos

St. Jean de Brebeuf

St. Thomas More

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator