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Lancaster Central School District

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2023-24 Start/End Time Change FAQ

What are the current times (2022-2023) and new times (2023-2024) for each building?


2022-23 School Hours    
(6 hours 40 minutes)

2023-24 School Hours    
(6 hours 40 minutes)

Start/End Time Change

Como Park 

8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.  

9:20 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

30 minutes later

Court Street

8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

9:20 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

30 minutes later


8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

No Change

John A. Sciole       

8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

No Change


8:35 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

8:35 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

No Change


7:50 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

7:35 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

15 minutes earlier


7:35 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

7:35 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

No Change


Why has the change lengthened the day for Como Park (CP) and Court Street (CT) students?
The change has not lengthened the instructional day. The start/end time has been adjusted by 30 minutes. This year the instructional day for both buildings was 8:50 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Next year it has been changed to 9:20 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

What time does LHS start? Does the time change affect LHS?
There is no change to the high school start time. The student day will begin at 7:35 a.m. and end at 2:15 p.m.

Does the school day end at 4:00, or is that when dismissal begins? 
Dismissal will be at 3:55 p.m. for students taking the bus, and 3:50 p.m. for students being picked up by parent/guardian. Buses will depart when they are loaded.

What time will the bus pick up and drop off be for CP and CT students next year?
Morning drop-off at school: 9:20 a.m.
Afternoon pick-up: 3:55 p.m. for students taking the bus, 3:50 p.m. for students being picked up by parent/guardian.

If the new school time starts at 9:20 am, what is the bus pick up and drop off time? 

Families will be notified in August regarding specific information such as bus number, pick up, and drop off times.  To provide a preliminary estimate for your planning purposes, pickups for CP and CT may range between 8:35 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.

How will the amended start times affect the route times (how long a student is on the bus)?
The total route times will not change for LHS, LMS, WSS, Hillview (HV), and John A. Sciole (JAS).  The route times are dependent upon each child's proximity to the school building and the number of other students on the bus route.  For CP and CT, we anticipate the routes being more economical, but how it changes for each student compared to the previous year depends on the route and will be apparent in August when routes are finalized. 

Is it possible for these schools to release the bus pick-up times earlier than normal so that I can have more time to request a time adjustment at work or arrange for child care if necessary?
Families will be notified in August regarding specific information such as bus number, pick up, and drop off times.  The information is sent out when routes are finalized. For a preliminary estimate for your planning purposes, pickups for CP and CT may range between 8:35 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. for the morning, and afternoon drop-offs at stops may range between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Will there be a drop-off time in the morning for child care like the YMCA program after school?
The YMCA utilizes District space to run before and after-school programs at the following schools:

  • Hillview 
  • John A. Sciole
  • Como Park Elementary for Como Park and Court Street students. The district buses students from Como Park to Court Street before school starts/after school.
  • William Street School

We have discussed the time change with the YMCA.  Their capacity is based on their staffing levels and state-required student/staff ratios for their program.

Will the district still be providing bussing to Court Street from Como Park YMCA program like they did this year?
Yes, before and after school.

Will we receive notification if there are changes to bus schedules for other LCSD schools in the future?
Yes. The school community will be notified any time there would be a change to student start/end times. 

Has the district explored outsourcing transportation?
Yes. The shortage of bus drivers is a nationwide and regional problem. The city of Buffalo and other suburban school districts have announced that bell times will have to change to help accommodate their transportation contractor’s staff shortage.  Other contracting agencies are also short-staffed.  We are all dealing with this critical shortage. 

If additional bus drivers are hired prior to the 2023-24 school year, will start times revert to the current start/end times?
No. We will, however, evaluate the staffing and start/end times on an annual basis.

Has any consideration been given to starting the older students later?
Yes, there is some research that shows that a later start time can be beneficial for students at the secondary level (i.e., LMS, LHS). However, a decision of that magnitude (given the amount of after-school events and other activities) would drastically impact all buildings beyond a 30-minute delay and would take several years to study and implement. For example, it impacts all programs that our high school students participate in outside of the District (i.e. BOCES programming).

How did the district decide that CP and CT are the only two elementary schools to be affected by this? 
The buses from WSS and LMS are on the same side of town as CP and CT and can transition from the WSS and LMS students to start picking up/dropping off students from CP and CT with the quickest turnaround time. The boundary zones for CP and CT are also smaller and closer to the school building of attendance.  The boundary zones for HV and JAS are larger (i.e., more spread out across the district) and would take more time to complete morning and afternoon transportation.

LMS and LHS will be on the same schedule as each other because fewer LHS students take buses, and we can then use the LMS buses to do the WSS and two-tiered K-3 building runs. If we adjusted all of the elementary schools, it would result in the same shortage as if the schedules were all kept the same.

If I drive my children or they are able to drive themselves (e.g., LHS), does this make a difference in the bus schedule or time? 
It can affect the bus schedule for the bus they are routed on, but not other buses. If you will be driving them or they will be driving and subsequently do not need to be routed on a bus for the year, please call the Transportation Department at 716.686.3290 to let them know.

Will this impact students who attend LAAP and Harkness?

What other options have been explored before making this decision? 

The district has considered the following options:

  • Transport fewer students by moving away from 100% busing and implementing student walking zones of up to 2 miles (K-8) and 3 miles (7-12).  This would entail board policy changes, voter approval in certain cases, and the elimination of certain child safety zones. 
  • Combine/consolidate runs.  This has already been done over the past three years to every extent possible and is continually looked at for further efficiency.
  • Outsource additional runs. All contractors are short-staffed. It would still be the district's responsibility to cover transportation if the contractor is short-staffed, and contracting would exacerbate coverage issues within the district when we are short-staffed on a given day. We continue to increase the number of out-of-district runs we assign to our contractors to provide us with more flexibility with our in-house program.
  • Explore other routing and start and end time scenario adjustments across district school buildings.  The CP/CT/LMS time adjustment impacts the fewest number of schools and affords us a routing plan that requires the least number of drivers.  

If my children live in the same household and attend the same school, will they ride the same bus?
Yes, unless a student's individual needs require different transportation arrangements.

Additional information of interest:

  • We presently have the highest number of out-of-district runs ever assigned to a contractor.  
  • Our 5 licensed office staff members are out driving every day.
  • All newly hired bus mechanics are to be licensed to drive a school bus.
  • Our drivers are currently (and have been for years) the highest-paid school bus drivers in the county.
  • On a daily basis, our current drivers and office staff are stepping up, covering runs, adding to their existing runs, being flexible with their schedule and route, working additional hours, and foregoing appointments and scheduled time off to get the job done.
  • The number of pickup or dropoff delays we’ve had to implement this school year is far below what we anticipated due to the staff’s efforts.  
  • We have “now hiring” lawn signs around the district, have school buses with the “now hiring” banner that are placed in different district locations, and we have a “now hiring” tube man placed on Walden Avenue in front of the bus garage. 
  • We have advertised at the DMV for a year, and we’ve hosted multiple "drive and sign" events.  We have called through a DMV list of licensed CDL drivers in our area multiple times to discuss school bus driving for Lancaster CSD.
  • We follow up several times with people who have come in for applications, attended a permit review class we hosted, or are permitted but haven't started to train.
  • We are hosting permit review classes and switched to offering paid training once a permit is obtained by an individual.
  • The department will happily speak to any interested individuals about the requirements of becoming a licensed school bus driver (NYS CDL, S endorsement).