Public Weighs in on Cville Schools’ Potential Schedule Change - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Public Weighs in on Cville Schools’ Potential Schedule Change

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Charlottesville parents could soon be taking their kids to the bus stop a lot earlier than usual.

For the first time in decades the Charlottesville School Board is taking a look at developing new start and end times for all city schools. A new proposal would move up the start time for elementary school students by about 40 minutes.

Monday night, the public got a chance to weigh in. Not everyone is on board with the idea.

“It's very big because this is something that's going to impact every single student that attends Charlottesville public schools,” said school board member Juandiego Wade.

It's a decision that would affect every student, but especially the younger ones. Charlottesville schools are looking to do some serious shuffling.

"Most divisions around here, their elementary schools go first. And we're just trying to see if that's something we need to do or should do here in Charlottesville Public schools,” Wade said.

A new proposal suggests busing elementary students in earlier so middle school students can get more sleep with a later start time in the morning.

“We have to factor in afterschool childcare, we have to factor in bedtime, we have to factor in sports and afterschool programs,” Wade said.

Monday, the board held a public hearing and telephone town hall and more than 1,600 people dialed in to listen. Some parents and school board members agree middle-schoolers should get more sleep, but not at the expense of the elementary school kids.

“I think a high-schooler or middle-schooler can always go to bed a little earlier. I can't get my daughter to go to bed at 5:30,” said parent Val Thompson.

Under the proposal, elementary school students would start at 8 a.m. and would end the day at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile, middle school students would begin their day at 8:30 a.m., a big change from the current 7:40 a.m. start time.

It’s a tough decision facing of the board.

"We just have to factor in a lot of different things as we consider this,” Wade said.

Monday night, the school board asked city staff to come up with additional scenarios that would allow elementary start times to be as late as 8:15 a.m.

School board members say they hope to make a decision sometime in May.

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