Muscogee County School District proposes school start time adjustments

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:20 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The time school starts is crucial for both students and parents. Now a change is on the table for when kids are supposed to get to their first class in Muscogee County.

“When we asked ourselves does the bell schedule currently support the whole child, the answer is no,” said Dr. Travis Anderson.

Anderson is the Chief Operations Officer for the Muscogee County School District. He and a team of other school officials looked at it, and the research shows the proposed change might help kids be more successful.

“The circadian rhythm... we all have one. It happens every 24 hours. However, we know our teenagers. They are just a little bit different than we are. So their rhythm is slightly different. The research says those students should really be in school after 8:30 p.m.,” said Anderson.

This is why for high school, the proposed change has them starting their day 35 minutes later at 8:45, while other school kids would start earlier.

The first bell would ring for middle school at 8:10 a.m., forty minutes earlier than it is now and 7:45 a.m. for elementary, fifteen minutes earlier.

“Seems like it would affect some people in a negative way.”

According to Anderson, the proposed change benefits 60 percent of kids who use school transportation.

“We will be able to get every student home by 5:30. Every student to school on time as well as have no one at the bus stop before 6 a.m.,” said Anderson.

He adds start times for athletics would change also. Games and practices would start later, but there’s an opportunity to have earlier practices.

The Muscogee County School District is working out the kinks on that front. They will host a series of community meetings to allow parents to learn more about the proposal.

For a complete look at the time adjustment proposal, see below.