St. Johns County school leaders proposing change to start times

School leaders are pushing to shift start times in Florida’s highest rated district.

On Wednesday, parents of St. Johns County students said minutes make a difference when it comes to getting kids out the door.

Mom Heather Ray said, “It varies. Some days he’s great, some days he’s not, you know, it just depends on his mood really.”

Soon some of the students could be forced to get up even earlier, as district leaders look to change the time classes start.
Action News Jax reporter Beth Rousseau sat down with Superintendent Tim Forson who said the county's growth is the reason for the proposal.

He explained, “You have roadways that are full and busy, and buses are in the midst of that traffic so sometimes it limits their ability to get in and out in a timely manner.”

If the new schedule is approved:

Middle Schools start at 7:30 (20 minutes earlier)

Elementary and K-8 classes start at 8:25 (5 minutes earlier)

High Schools start at 9:20 (5 minutes later)

“It’s creating a 10-minute expansion of time between elementary and high school so we could get those students to school,” said Forson.

An Action News Jax investigation earlier in February showed research suggesting later school start times are associated with more sleep and better performance in high school students.

According to Forson, it’s why they’re not changing the order schools start.

Ray said, “Twenty minutes is kind of, you know, a big gap of time.”

The school board is set to vote on the changes March 12.

The new schedule would begin during the 2019-2020 school year.


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