Schools in Western Colorado's District 51 will kick off the 2019-2020 school year on August 12. Are you ready? Here's the rundown on this academic year's start and stop times.

Right off the bat let's establish that classes will begin and end at different times than they did in the 2018-2019 school year. For the most part these aren't huge differences, but they are worth noting.

Secondly, is it just me, or did school used to start much earlier than it does nowadays? I was speaking with one of the school bus drivers during this year's "Stuff the Bus" campaign, and we both reached the same conclusion. Back in our day, namely the 1970's, school used to start in Grand Junction at 7:35 a.m., and get out sometime around 3:30 p.m. Yes, that was four decades ago, but I can't help but feel a little ripped-off.

How does it look for 2019-2020? Here's the rundown:

Elementary Schools

Most elementary schools, and please note I said MOST, will start the school day at 8:55 a.m. Classes will end at 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 2 p.m. on Fridays. One exception would be Loma Elementary School, with classes starting at 9:05 a.m. and ending at 4:10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 2:10 p.m. on Fridays. Two more exceptions would be Dual Immersion Academy and New Emerson, with classes running 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Middle and High Schools

The majority of District 51 middle and high schools will start classes at 8 a.m., and dismiss at 3:15 p.m. Students at East, Fruita, and West middle schools, however, will begin classes at 7:52 a.m. and dismiss at 3:07 p.m. R-5 High School starts at 7:55 a.m. and end at 3:10 p.m. NOTE TO STUDENTS ATTENDING R-5: Your academic year will start earlier than other schools with classes beginning August 9.

Let's make this the best academic school year ever! We're off to a good start with a phenomenal "Stuff the Bus" campaign bringing in truckloads of supplies for students. When August 12 rolls around (August 9 for those attending R-5 High School) have your watches synchronized and be ready to start the year on the right foot.

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