Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeEducationPhilly received’t transfer excessive colleges’ begin time

Philly received’t transfer excessive colleges’ begin time

Philadelphia has reversed its choice earlier this yr to transfer the beginning time for prime colleges  to 9 a.m. subsequent college yr, citing the necessity for “stability” and a scarcity of bus drivers.

“Our preliminary plan for the 2022-2023 college yr was for all 56 District excessive colleges and center/excessive colleges to shift to a 9 a.m. bell schedule,” Superintendent William Hite wrote in a Wednesday letter to college students, mother and father, and workers. “Nonetheless, like college districts throughout the nation, we proceed to wrestle with ongoing bus driver shortages, and are unable to equitably assist the shift for all 56 colleges.”

The district introduced in March that it will transfer the beginning time for prime colleges to 9 a.m. within the upcoming yr. The change would have meant a later begin time by as a lot as 90 minutes at some colleges. 

In explaining the reversal, Hite stated that college communities “are nonetheless working arduous to reclaim a way of familiarity and stability” on account of prolonged college constructing closures throughout an “ever-changing” pandemic” and are coping with “many different traumas regionally, nationally and globally. Suspending this modification in bell schedules is the caring factor to do presently.”

Analysis from the American Academy of Pediatrics exhibiting that youngsters particularly profit from extra sleep was a key issue within the district’s push to maneuver again the beginning of college days at excessive colleges. The district additionally stated in March that the change would make it safer for college kids touring to and from colleges.

In his Wednesday letter, Hite stated that district leaders “stay absolutely dedicated to our final purpose of shifting all of our excessive colleges and center/excessive colleges to start out occasions” that match the academy’s findings and proposals.” 

As well as, making begin occasions extra uniform would cut back the period of time that college students spend on buses.

Nonetheless, pushing again the beginning time for prime colleges  would have prolonged the college day till 4 p.m., resulting in later begin occasions for sports activities and different extracurricular actions. As well as, the transfer would have affected college students who’ve after-school jobs. In the end, extra college students would have needed to journey house after darkish.

As for the bus driver scarcity, Hite stated that the issue is nationwide and due partially to the pandemic.

Hite stated the district’s purpose is to shift these colleges to later begin occasions for the 2023-24 college yr. Nonetheless, Hite is resigning from his place subsequent month, when Tony Watlington is because of take over because the district’s superintendent.

The beginning time of 9 a.m. would have gone into impact for all however 4 district excessive colleges subsequent yr.

In 2021, the district had moved to standardize what was then greater than 40 completely different begin occasions for its 219 colleges to a few: 7:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m., and 9 a.m. In consequence, many highschool begin occasions had been moved as much as 7:30 a.m.

Dale Mezzacappa is a senior author for Chalkbeat Philadelphia, the place she covers Okay-12 colleges and early childhood schooling in Philadelphia. Contact Dale at



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