Sweetwater #1 Evaluates School Start and End Times


Option #6 will be the recommendation to the Board of Trustees at the June 11, 2018 meeting. The district vote was very close with 50.3% in favor of Option #6 and 49.7% in favor of option #5.


Please see information below on the Transportation Budget deficit and different options for adjusting school start and end times.

Feedback on school start times is now closed. The district employees will be voting over the next several days.

The purpose of reviewing start times include:

  • to maintain student safety while transporting students to and from school; and
  • to maximize instructional time and opportunities for students, staff, and parents; and
  • to provide cost savings in transportation while operating effectively and efficiently

Here is a synopsis of the document and how to become involved in the process:

  • The file, UpdatedTransportation&SchoolStartTimes052018, begins with a quick reference on the first page charting all of the options drafted. 
  • Pages 2 & 3 detail transportation information.  The District is in the process of solidifying the 18-19 budget.  
  • Two community forums have been scheduled for May 9 & 10 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room.
  • Important note: Farson-Eden is notaffected by the proposal due to operating on an approved alternative schedule, 4-day school week, for two years.  Therefore, these areas are left blank for this reason.  The school start and end times for the Farson Pronghorns will not change.
  • Each option includes the proposed start & end time for each school, the length of the school day, the instructional time of the school day, the contract time for certified staff, the proposed bus route times, and the change in instructional time per day as compared to the current schedule.
  • The District is looking solely at school start and end times. This should not be confused with school calendars such as the start date of school, holiday vacations, and the length of spring break, etc. This comes through the District calendar committee and reassembles every two years.
  • Bus routes for the 2018-2019 school year will come forward at a later time for public feedback during a Board of Education monthly meeting.
  • Written feedback and input can be provided on the link found on the District homepage at sweetwater1.org or on the District’s Facebook page beginning May 3.

Any recommendations to change the school start and end times will go before the Board of Trustees at the June meeting after gathering information from the community and District staff.

Transportation Budget Deficit


Purpose: To maintain student safety while transporting students, maximize instructional time & provide needed cost savings.

Budget info: $5,703,050 for current 17-18 budget (includes 3510 codes to & from school & 3520 codes for student activities).  3590 codes are not reimbursable due to fuel, supplies, & bus insurance ($217,107 - other).  17-18 budget amount above does not include leases & isolation payments.

$4,183,367 for 18-19 budget (3 year average: 14-15; 15-16; 16-17 freeze from Legislative cuts)

$-1,519,683 difference in 17-18 budget & 18-19 budget (3510 & 3520 budget codes).  This is the funding gap.

Facts: 3 hours of savings a week (i.e. from 29 hours/week to 26 hours/week) for a driver earning $16.81/hr (185 schools days / 5 days a week = 37 work weeks in the school year) = 3 * 37 * $16.81/hr * 1.22 benefits = $2,276.41 per year. So, $2,276 per year * 56 in town drivers = $127,456 per year
Facts: 9 hours of savings a week (i.e. from 29 hours/week to 20 hours/week) for a driver earning $16.81/hr (185 schools days / 5 days a week = 37 work weeks in the school year) = 9 * 37 * $16.81/hr * 1.22 benefits = $6,829.23 per year. So, $6,829 per year * 7 in town drivers = $47,803 per year                       
So, $127,456+47,803 = 175,259         
Facts: Out of 85 29-hour employees that have worked this school year only
17 have worked on average of 20 hours or less a week
26 have worked an average of 21-23 hours a week
36 have worked an average of 24-26 hours a week
4 have worked on average 27 hours a week
2 have worked an average of 28 -29 hours a week                                                            

Routine maintenance: oil change for 1 in town route bus  - $12 per filter * 2 filters + 24 quarts of oil * $12 per quart + 1.5 hr ($32.50 pay & benefits) = $344.50 once per year* 102 buses = $35,139 per year  (if contracted out = $600-$700 for labor)  

Over The Road (OTR) Driver: 185 school days * 8 hr/day * $18/hr * 1.22 benefits + $17,000 health insurance = $49,501 per year

Length of an average route: 30 - 40 minutes

Cost per in-town route (cost of part-time route driver): Roughly $30,510 (average salary & benefits of a driver is $22,000 + ($2.30 for fuel & maintenance cost per mile * 10 miles, average length of a route, * twice a day * 185 school days)). The fuel component is $0.73 / mile & the WDE maintenance cost is $1.57 / mile totaling $2.30 for fuel & maintenance/ mile.

Cost per bus aide: $12/hr * 5 hr/day * 185 school days = $11,100

17-18 Transportation staff: 1 director; 1-assistant director - open; 3-route coordinators; 1-secretary; 1-health & safety coordinator; 5-mechanics; 6-OTR full time drivers; 72-part time route drivers; 28-bus aides; 2-resource special services part time drivers (12.5/week, 1-29 hr); 1-part time Community Connections (2hrs/day); Wamsutter-1.5 FTE; Farson-3-part time drivers

Needs: 3 more OTR drivers; mechanic pay is not competitive; bus driver pay is not competitive


Possible scenario for 18-19 budget reductions due to Legislative cuts:

Budget freeze allotment is $4,183,367  + $464,819 (operational leeway from general fund) = $4,648,186.

$4,183,367 minus $5,703,050 (2017-2018 current budget) = $-1,054,864

Scenario: change school start times (from 29 to 26 or 20 hours/week) = $175,259    This is only hours and does not include any eliminated routes.

2017-2018 unfilled budgeted positions (bus aides and bus drivers ) $457,297

absorbing 1 assistant transportation director (never filled) $119,560

absorbing 13 bus aides (attrition) $144,300

adding 3 OTR full-time positions $-148,503

adjustment for actual transportation employee hourly rates $89,023

transportation department operational budget reduction $60,000

18-19 transportation budget deficit remaining: $40,072