Parents question new start time for Roosevelt Middle School

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A lot of parents weren’t too happy when Albuquerque Public Schools announced they were changing the bell schedules for next year, especially over in Tijeras.

Parents at Roosevelt Middle School say the changes to their bell schedule goes against the research the district is citing.

On Monday, APS said middle schoolers need more sleep, yet Roosevelt was the only middle school who will now start 30 minutes earlier.

“It didn’t make sense at first it still doesn’t make sense, and it feels like we were being singled out,” said  Angela Lybarger, a Roosevelt Middle School parent.

Lybarger says she is not the only Roosevelt parent that is confused by the district’s decision to have their middle school start at 7:30 a.m. when every other middle school in the district is starting at 9:15 a.m.

“It made no sense when you think about APS’ reasoning behind changing start times for middle schools and high school,” said Lybarger.  

On Monday, the district announced these changes saying they are based on research.

“Based on research, we agree that early start times for adolescents can negatively impact school performance,” APS Chief of Schools, Dr. Channell Segura said. “According to research, adolescents perform better in school and are generally healthier if the school day begins after 8:30 a.m.” 

“The research makes sense I don’t think any of us are arguing with that. I think it is beneficial, but as an entity APS cannot take the research and say ‘this is why we are making changes,’ but selectively leave out a group of students and subject them to negative outcomes,” Lybarger said.

Lybarger says she doesn’t expect the district to be lenient if issues come up because of their new 7:30 start time.

“I don’t think that is fair because I don’t think APS is going to give us a pass then for more tardies, more absences, lower test scores because the kids are more tired. We are not going to get that type of understanding,” she said. 

KOB 4 reached out to APS Tuesday for an explanation as to why this one middle school is starting at 7:30 rather than 9:15, and a spokesperson said it all goes back to the bussing issues: 

“Because A. Montoya Elementary and Roosevelt Middle School share a campus, they act as a K-8 school for the purpose of busing. Once the bus driver drops those elementary and middle school students off at their joint campus, the driver turns around to transport east mountain high school students who attend Manzano High School.”

She went on to say they do not have enough drivers to designate a bus to a later start time for Roosevelt.