Bell Times Adjusted for 2012-2013


Dear Beachwood Parents & Guardians:


Much attention has been given to the topic of daily start and end times for students in the respective school buildings since I presented some proposed times early in June. Many of you have registered opinions and concerns related to one or more issues affecting your family or your children. We have heard you and have tried to address many of the topics raised.


While the changes in start and end times of the school day will not be as great as originally considered, some alterations of the school day will take place at each school (except Fairmount) for 2012-2013. Such changes are not uncommon. School times at our buildings vary slightly from year to year depending on a number of factors, most typically the nuances of the building schedule and the coordination of busing for both public and private schools.


The main focus of building a schedule for any school must be its positive impact on student learning. Please be assured that the principals and I see this year's schedules as fulfilling that purpose. A secondary consideration relates to transportation. While some glitches and delays related to transportation occur at the inception of each school year in every school district, personnel in the Beachwood Transportation Department are determined to make this year a vast improvement over last year. Accordingly, we have made significant changes in our route structures.


Beachwood High School: 7:50 am - 2:40 pm 

For 2012-2013, the start of school at BHS will shift from 8 am to 7:50 am. Despite this change, students will arrive at school by bus at the same times as last year. The student school day will end at 2:40 pm, five minutes earlier than last year, for a net gain of five minutes. Several important elements of the new schedule bear mention:

  • Morning Academy is maintained. It begins at 7:25 am. A Wednesday morning (late start) Academy involving all teachers will be added from 8:35 am to 9 am.
  • The Afternoon Academy option remains.
  • Class periods are lengthened slightly. Regular periods shift from 48 to 50 minutes. Blocked classes shift from 80 to 90 minutes.

Beachwood Middle School: 7:45 am - 2:45 pm

BMS sees very little change in scheduling for next year. Essentially, it shifts five minutes earlier with student starting and ending times of 7:45 am and 2:45 pm.


Hilltop Elementary School: 8 am - 2:45 pm

The time shift at Hilltop is 15 minutes. The students will start their day at 8 am and end at 2:45 pm. The length of the school day for students remains unchanged.


Bryden Elementary School: 8:50 am - 3:30 pm 

Start time for students at Bryden Elementary School will move to 8:50 am. This is 10 minutes earlier than the traditional start time of 9 am. (Last year only, Bryden Elementary School had a start time of 9:10 am.) The school day will end for students at 3:30 pm, 10 minutes later than last year's dismissal time. Thus, the student school day is lengthened by 30 minutes over last year's. Like the high school, Bryden Elementary School will be enacting some changes during the upcoming school year. The additional 30 minutes will be put to good use. Instructional time will be enhanced and increased in both whole classroom and tutorial settings. Music time and physical education time will also be extended.


Fairmount Early Childhood Center is not affected by the changes in the other buildings. Its start and end times will remain as they have been in the past.


One major benefit of the altered school start and end times is the positive impact on transportation services. Put simply, we have to coordinate these times, as well as those of the 12 non-public schools served, so that our students are transported safely and efficiently. These new schedules allow us to keep the same driver on elementary school runs for both mornings and afternoons. They permit the same buses that complete the Hilltop routes to return to do the Bryden routes. That means that families whose children attend both Bryden and Hilltop will get to know one driver instead of multiple drivers. Accordingly, bus drivers will become better acquainted with their student passengers, their families, and the respective routes.


The small number of Beachwood High School students who ride buses to school (approximately 70) will be transported on the seven buses that serve Beachwood Middle School. They will have seats specifically reserved for them. Prior to moving the sixth grade to Beachwood Middle School in 2007, combining the two schools' bus routes was common practice. Our high school students have a history of good behavior on the buses; it is hoped that their presence will have a positive influence on the younger riders. Any behavioral issues will be dealt with in accordance with the student code of conduct, which could include loss of riding privileges. Combining high school and middle school bus routes eliminates the need to send two buses down the same street 10 minutes apart to pick up high school and middle school students from the same home.


With more punctual scheduling of arrival and departure times at the respective schools, we plan to reduce the time that students spend waiting for buses at the end of the day. We also hope to shorten the actual times that students ride the buses.


We are excited for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Much is happening in anticipation of the return of our students and staff. You will be receiving written information about your child's assigned bus route and pick up time from the Transportation Department by August 10, 2012. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the summer.




Markwardt signature
Dr. Richard A. Markwardt, Superintendent
Beachwood City School District

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