Major changes coming to school start times in Hernando

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 5:48 PM EDT
NEW SCHOOL START TIMES

A change in school start and end times in Hernando County will change who gets to sleep in and who has to get up early.

According to Bay News 9's partners at the Tampa Bay Times, the school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to realign the times in order to streamline the district's bus routes. The times allow for the purging of 24 bus routes, saving the district an estimated $900,000.

Schedules will change at almost every school, and five will change by more than 90 minutes, the Times reported.  The biggest change will occur at Weeki Wachee High School, which will begin 105 minutes earlier than last year.

Kim Jones, a coach and teacher at the school, likes the big change. "As a teacher ... when we are getting out at 4 p.m. and we don’t get out of here until 4:15 or 4:30 -- doctor appointments, things like that, that’s hard to do," Jones said.

Not everyone is happy about the changes. A mother, who asked not to be identified, said she was worried about her child having to walk to school early in the mornings.

Deltona, Spring Hill, Suncoast and Westside elementary schools will each begin 90 minutes earlier.

Most elementary and K-8 schools will start at 9:15 a.m. and end at 3:50 p.m. or 3:55 p.m. Middle schools and high schools will generally begin at 7:15 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:10 p.m. or 2:20 p.m.

West Hernando Middle School will stay the same as last year, beginning at 9:15 a.m. and ending at 4:05 p.m. Changing that school's start time would have been costly, the Times reported.

Besides making the bus routes more efficient, the new schedule eliminates unusual start times and unusual lengths of school days. The buses will make a dry run Aug. 17, three days before school starts.

For more information, visit the Hernando County Schools website.