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Superintendent Eakins Introduces Proposed 2018-2019 Bell Schedule Based on Community Input

October 10, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
813-272-4060

Tampa, Fla. – (October 10, 2017) – After feedback from parents, students, district employees and the community, Superintendent Jeff Eakins introduced the proposed 2018-2019 Bell Schedule, at a press conference Tuesday.

The bell schedule must still be approved by the School Board. The School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at the October 17 meeting.

Nearly 57,000 people chose one preferred option among the six possible bell schedules on the district’s Bell Schedule Survey. In addition, more than 1,800 stakeholders provided input using the Bell Schedule Simulator. The district hosted three community meetings to gather additional feedback and answer questions. Last spring, students, parents and district staff took part in bell schedule focus groups.

The proposed 2018-2019 bell schedule, based on community input, is listed below. Individual school schedules, including K-8 schools, may vary. For a complete school-by-school list, see this link: https://tinyurl.com/y7cpldwy.

 Type Start Time End Time
 Elementary Schools 7:40 a.m. 1:55 p.m.
 Elementary Magnet 8:45 a.m. 3:00 p.m.
 High Schools 8:30 a.m. 3:25 p.m.
 Middle and High Magnet 8:30 a.m. 3:25 p.m.
 Middle Schools  9:25 a.m.  4:20 p.m.

  
If approved, this bell schedule would be a significant change with elementary schools starting first, then high schools, and then middle schools. Under this proposed bell schedule, high school would start an hour later than it does right now.

This matches guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommend high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later.

Before-school and after-school care at elementary and middle schools will be available, at a low cost, for families where there is a need. These programs provide a safe, supervised environment that develops the physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth of students.

The proposed new bell schedule supports additional planning time for teachers, giving teachers more time to collaborate on instruction for students in the classroom. The proposed new schedule still maintains seven periods per day, allowing students the chance to benefit from valuable learning opportunities such as Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement, Credit Recovery and various electives, ensuring students have every opportunity to reach their graduation requirements and go on to college or a career.

Every student deserves a full day, so the district must make changes to its existing schedule. Thousands of students arrive late to school because the current arrival and dismissal schedule does not allow buses enough time to run their routes. Last year, 12,000 students were unavoidably late to school every day. The proposed new bell schedule will afford our bus drivers more time to safely navigate traffic and get students to school on time.

The School Board will vote on the proposal at the October 17 meeting. The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. at the district headquarters, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd. If approved, the new bell schedule will take effect August 2018, giving families nearly a year to make needed adjustments to their schedules.

For more information and to see the frequently asked questions, please visit our website at sdhc.k12.fl.us.

For parents, students, staff and the community who would like to provide feedback or input to the proposed 2018-2019 bell schedule, please send emails to bellschedule@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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