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Miami-Dade Public Schools Consider School Time Change

Discourse has rapidly spread throughout Ferguson about the proposed change in bell times. Most students are taking the change negatively, while some believe that the new time changes could be beneficial.  There have been town hall meetings held at Coral Reef Senior High and Dr. Michael M. Krop High School to discuss the proposed schedules. The most recent town hall meeting was January 28th at Miami Jackson Senior High. The district will host two more: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 3rd at North Miami Senior High and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 10th at Coral Park Senior High. The evaluation process involves the community’s opinions and input on the change which they have acquired through participation in town halls and the online survey that is available on their website.

The idea is that there will be two more proposed schedule options. The first option is that schools will start at 8:30 AM and end at 3:30 PM for high schools. The second option is that schools will start at 9:30 AM and end at 4:30 PM for high schools. Lastly, the third option is for the bell times to remain the same. 

These schedules are shown below:

PROPOSED MODEL 1

Grade Level Start End
Elementary/K-8
Grades PK-1st
8:00 AM 1:30 PM
Elementary/K-8
Grades 2-8
8:00 AM 2:30 PM
Middle 8:30 AM 3:10 PM
Senior 9:30 AM 4:30 PM

 

PROPOSED MODEL 2

Grade Level Start End
Elementary/K-8
Grades PK-1st
8:00 AM 1:30 PM
Elementary/K-8
Grades 2-8
8:00 AM 2:30 PM
Senior 8:30 AM 3:30 PM
Middle 9:30 AM 4:10 PM

Teachers have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the change with their students to help them decide and have encouraged them to send emails to their school board representative. One possible advantage of the change is that the new schedules will better align with the natural sleep cycle of teenagers. Numerous research studies have shown that adolescent brain functioning is higher later in the morning, which can lead students to perform better in school. Various medical centers have recommended this change since adolescent sleep deprivation can influence associated health and public safety risks.

Another possible benefit to the new bell schedule is that the district can maximize the use of buses and limit any additional costs. This can make a cost-neutral impact on the district. The funds saved from operational efficiencies can help expand transportation options for choice programs. The change of time schedules can also give buses enough time to service multiple grade levels.

However, many students believe that the new bell schedules will create conflicts that can derail their after school schedule. Many students argue that the change will not have any benefits and will confuse the daily routine that they have established this school year. 

These students argue that because they will get home later in the day, they will have less time to complete homework, study, and participate in extracurriculars. This can give students a hard time because they will have to stay up later at night to finish their assignments.

Another argument against the change is that getting out of school later negatively affects transportation. Around 3:30 and 4:30 (The new proposed times that school would end), people start getting out of work and the streets become crowded. This can cause transportation issues that come with changing schedules. Parents of students have already established their way of transportation after having done it for years. 

If you feel you would like to contribute to the conversation, attend an upcoming town hall, tweet using the hashtag #MDCPSBellTimes, or fill out the survey. You can find the link at https://surveygoldcloud.com/s/F84D432A19574AAD/44.htm.

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