ELKHART -

New school hours have been unveiled for elementary students in Elkhart.

For the 2014-15 academic year, Elkhart's elementary schools will hold class from 8:35 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

The city's elementary schools will continue the early release program on Wednesdays, ending classes 40 minutes early at 2:55 p.m.

“Due to the community’s vote and passage of the school referenda, we are able to modify the school day for our elementary students based on our transportation fund resources,” said Dr. Rob Haworth, Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools. “We were not satisfied that some students were on the school bus for over an hour both to and from school, and some elementary students were not arriving home until after 5:00 p.m.”

Elementary school dismissal for the upcoming year will be 25 minutes earlier than the last year.

“We feel it is very important to start elementary school after the traditional rush hour,” Haworth continued. “We understand that we have many students who walk to school, and we make every effort possible to keep them safe, including walking to school when there is less traffic and when it is lighter outside.”

The Elkhart Community Schools Board of School Trustees is continuing to review middle and high school schedules, and will not make a final determination on specific start and finish times until the number of bus drivers available is known. Like elementary schools, secondary schools will release 40 minutes early on Wednesdays.

All Elkhart Community Schools’ elementary school offices will open on August 4 to help with questions and student registration. The first official day of school for all ECS schools is August 15.