Start times new this year at Savannah Chatham County Public Schools

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Heads up for Savannah Chatham County parents! Your child’s school start time could be different from last year.

The district’s high school students asked for earlier start times this year, and it’s causing shifts across the board.

“I’m real excited, really excited,” says Islands High School Junior Kabrel Brown.

He’s super stoked for the new school year, and the new, earlier start time at Islands High.

“Last year I didn’t go to this school, but you know we got out real, real, real late,” he says. “We’ve got so much other stuff to do after school  and then you go home, you have to do homework got to go to practice and boom time to go to bed.”

This is his first year at Islands. He says last year’s later start time of 8:30 and dismissal at nearly 4 o’clock is just too late to fit everything in his day.

“There’s so much other stuff that we could do with our time,” he says.

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Lockamy and the folks at Savannah Chatham County Public Schools surveyed high school students in the district and found out, despite the lack of sleep, high school students would rather start earlier.

“Many of them have jobs and other things sports and extracurricular activities so they want to start and get out early,” he says.

This year, all high schools in the district will start at 7:30a.m. But that also means later start times for other schools.

“Bell time is driven by transportation,” says Lockamy.

Savannah Chatham County Schools transported roughly 22,000 bus riders last year. Lockamy says with a fleet of more than 500 busses uniform start times might be possible, but the district only has 387.

“The more students you transport, the more routes you have and you have to have distance between those routes,” says Lockamy.

Lockamy says parents have been urged to check start time on the district’s website. In the meantime, Kabrel Brown is just glad his is early.

“We got more time to focus on stuff like football, ‘cause I play football so we got more time to focus on stuff like that, academics so I, I really like it,” he says.

BELL TIMES 2016-17

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