Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando School Board to talk to parents about shuffling school times

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando School Board is one step closer to making wholesale changes to school start times.

At a workshop Tuesday, the board agreed to hold public meetings to get input from parents on which of two proposed schedule changes they favor and to solicit feedback from principals.

Both options would cut costs by allowing for double bus runs.

A majority of the five board members said they liked the option that would have elementary students start earlier and middle and high school students later. The option would save an estimated $453,000 and reduce the number of buses by eight.

In a district facing a tight budget and a big cost to meet the class size amendment, the savings are key.

But board members said they supported the option because the schedules are more in time with students' natural rhythms. They cited research that shows younger students are more alert in the morning and older students take some time to wake up.

Under the proposed schedule:

• Zoned elementary schools would start between 25 and 55 minutes earlier.

• Zoned middle schools would start between 15 and 105 minutes later.

• High schools would start between 55 and 92 minutes later.

Other changes in this option: Chocachatti Elementary, a magnet school, would start 12 minutes later, and Explorer and Challenger K-8 schools would start five minutes later.

"All of the research has indicated this is beneficial to learning, and that's what we're all about," board member John Sweeney said. "We're not the first to do this. Where it's been done, it's been successful."

Board members Dianne Bonfield and Sandra Nicholson agreed.

Under the current schedule, nine schools have start times between 7:18 and 7:52. As part of the option favored by board members, the earliest bell at any school would ring at 7:55 a.m.

Chairman Pat Fagan favored the other proposed schedule. Under this proposal, nine of the district's 22 schools would have adjusted times. Six of those would start between 10 and 30 minutes later: Brooksville, Chocachatti, Eastside and Moton elementary schools, Challenger K-8 and Springstead High. The other three — Spring Hill Elementary, Central High and the STAR Education Center — would start between five and 25 minutes earlier.

The option would allow for 10 fewer buses, saving $566,000.

Also Tuesday, board members put the brakes on an idea to eliminate bus service for students who live within two miles of school, citing safety concerns.

Cutting bus service for the roughly 2,100 students who live within 2 miles of school could save as much as $1.5 million.

The district does not get reimbursed by the state for busing a large majority of those students.

Bonfield, Fagan and board member James Yant were against cutting any bus service. There aren't enough sidewalks to make it safe, they said.

Hernando School Board to talk to parents about shuffling school times 03/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 7:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA


    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  2. St. Petersburg man shot in arm during home invasion robbery


    ST. PETERSBURG — One man was arrested on charges he shot another man in the arm while attempting to rob a home in what St. Petersburg police are calling a drug-related incident.

    John Alam, 25, faces charges of home invasion robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon after deputies said he tried to rob a home Wednesday morning and ended up shooting someone. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Bob Buckhorn, a mayor who knows what he wants, surveys constituents on what they want


    TAMPA — Focus has not been a problem — or really, even a question — during the six-plus years that Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been in office.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn keeps a digital countdown clock in his office showing the days, hours. minutes and seconds until he is term-limited out of office on April 1, 2019. As of Wednesday, he had 584 days to go. [City of Tampa]
  4. WATCH: Heroic Hooters manager helps two sheriff's deputies subdue unruly customer


    BRANDON — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office praised a heroic Hooters Restaurant manager Wednesday for coming to the aid of two deputies struggling to subdue an unruly customer.

    It took two deputies and a Hooter's manager to get control of Ashton B. Toney after he threatened to kill an employee who refused to serve him alcohol at a Hooter's in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
[Booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]