ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Students in the Orchard Park and Frontier Central School districts are going to have plenty of time to get their homework done before the Bills home opener next week. The districts will be having a half school day on Monday.
School leaders at Frontier Central School District say they made the decision because of traffic concerns as the stadium parking lots are set to open three hours before the 7:15 p.m. kickoff right in the middle of when the normal school traffic happens. This change was announced to parents in a memo on Tuesday.
Orchard Park Superintendent David Lilleck says he hopes this move will not only help students get home safely but also assist police on what is expected to be a very busy day for them. Orchard Park made the change to its schedule in June in anticipation.
"One of our elementary buildings, Windham Elementary, is right over by the stadium, and with that early start, that 7:20 p.m. kickoff, we just felt that was in everyone's best interest to make sure we weren't adding to the traffic difficulties, and also making sure that we got our kids home in a timely manner,” Lilleck said.
Frontier's announcement came on Tuesday when the district released this statement expressing concern for the normal bus routes. Orchard Park on the other hand already had a half-day planned for Friday but decided to make the switch once the NFL schedule was released back in May.
“We’ve given people, hopefully, ample time to make plans and adjustments, and we do really appreciate our partnership with our families. So we know we don't take those decisions lightly. But again, knowing that we had as soon as that schedule came out, making sure that we made that change, it gave people plenty of time to make adjustments,” said Lilleck.
But even with the advanced notice, parents still have mixed reviews some calling it a smart decision while others are seeing it as more of a disruption to their routine.
Here are some comments from 2 On Your Side's Facebook page:
Dismissal times vary for the two districts ranging from 10:40 a.m. to 12:45 p.m, and while the Bills aren't scheduled for any more home games on Monday nights this year, the Orchard Park superintendent tells me there are no plans to make any more adjustments to the schedule this season.