Dowagiac Union Schools announces change to school start times

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Union Schools district is making changes to school building start times.

The district announced Wednesday afternoon it will be changing school start times effective Monday, Sept. 13.

“As we have continued to assess the beginning of the school year, including the elementary start times and lunch-recess time, we have concluded that we can and will make changes,” wrote Superintendent Jonathan Whan in a letter to families. “For these changes to happen, the High School and Middle School schedules will need to be adjusted to allow our buses to be able to make the new elementary start times work. We have been able to increase the elementary lunch-recess time by 10 minutes. We have worked within our contractual requirements to the best of our ability to increase this time.”

The new times for the district will start being used Monday, Sept. 13, and are as follows:

Buses Unloading

Union High School: 7:15 a.m.

Dowagiac Middle School: 7:25 a.m.

Justus Gage: 8:29 a.m.

Kincheloe: 8:39 a.m.

Patrick Hamilton: 8:39 a.m.

Sister Lakes: 8:50 a.m.


Start of Instruction

Union High School: 7:25 a.m.

Dowagiac Middle School: 7:37 a.m.

Justus Gage: 8:44 a.m.

Kincheloe: 8:54 a.m.

Patrick Hamilton: 8:54 a.m.

Sister Lakes: 9:04 a.m.


End of Instruction

Union High School: 2:15 p.m.

Dowagiac Middle School: 2:23 p.m.

Justus Gage: 3:36 p.m.

Kincheloe: 3:46 p.m.

Patrick Hamilton: 3:46 p.m.

Sister Lakes: 3:56 p.m.


Buses Depart

Union High School: 2:20 p.m.

Dowagiac Middle School: 2:30 p.m.

Justus Gage: 3:41 p.m.

Kincheloe: 3:51 p.m.

Patrick Hamilton: 3:51 p.m.

Sister Lakes: 4:01 p.m.


The changes were made following a special board meeting on Tuesday, Aug.31, where board members voted to have the district reevaluate recent changes made to class start times and lunch/recess times.

Bus stops for the middle and high school will be five minutes earlier than this week. Elementary school bus stops for Justus Gage, Kincheloe and Patrick Hamilton will be 18 minutes earlier and Sister Lakes will be 10 minutes earlier.

The district asks elementary families whose children do not ride the bus and will not be eating breakfast at school to not drop off their children until five minutes before the start time of school due to limited supervision.