MDCPS To Hold Town Halls Regarding Proposed Changes To School Bell Times

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) will be holding four town hall meetings to receive community feedback about the changes being considered to school bell time changes for Miami-Dade County Public schools for the 2020-2021 School Year.

MDCPS explains the following reasons for the consideration of changes:

“There is a significant body of research that shows that adolescent brain functioning is higher later in the morning. At puberty, kids’ body clocks shift, which makes it harder for them to fall asleep until later at night (for teens, closer to 11 p.m.) and leads to them sleeping later in the morning. Waking a 16-year-old at 6:30 a.m. is the equivalent of waking a 40-year-old at 4:30 a.m. Moving school start times to 8:30 a.m. or later has been shown to be the single best way to address adolescent sleep deprivation and its associated health and public safety risks. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Society of Behavioral Medicine, American Psychological Association, and others all recommend this.

“At school, too-early start times result in more absences and tardies, lower test scores and graduation rates, and even increased rates of student-athlete injuries. Studies have shown that when start times are moved later, students with the lowest scores show the biggest increases.

“There is also a proven link between sleep deprivation, school start times, and teen hopelessness and suicidal ideation. Adolescents who experience chronic sleep deprivation because of early school start times are likely to have decreased ability to regulate negative emotions and moods.

“As a result, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is exploring adjusting school start times to provide optimal conditions that will support students’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being and promote academic achievement.”

TOWN HALL SCHEDULE

January 9: Twitter Town Hall. You can Tweet your questions or comments to @MDCPS using the hashtag #MDCPSBellTimes from 4:00PM to 5:00PM.

January 13: Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School, 1410 NE 215 Street, Miami, from 6:30PM to 8:00PM.

January 21: Coral Reef Senior High School, 10101 SW 152 Street, Miami, from 6:30PM to 8:00PM.

January 28: Miami Jackson Senior High School, 1751 NW 36 Street, Miami, from 6:30PM to 8:00PM.

CURRENT BELL SCHEDULE

Grade LevelStartEndEarly Release (Wed)
Senior 7:20 AM 2:20 PM
Elementary/K-8
Grades PK-1st
8:20 AM 1:50 PM  
Elementary/K-8
Grades 2-8
8:35 AM 3:05 PM 1:50 PM
Middle9:10 AM 3:50 PM  

PROPOSED MODEL 1

Grade LevelStartEndEarly Release (Wed)
Elementary/K-8
Grades PK-1st
8:00 AM 1:30 PM
Elementary/K-8
Grades 2-8
8:00 AM 2:30 PM 1:30 PM
Middle8:30 AM 3:10 PM  
Senior 9:30 AM 4:30 PM  

PROPOSED MODEL 2

Grade LevelStartEndEarly Release (Wed)
Elementary/K-8
Grades PK-1st
8:00 AM 1:30 PM
Elementary/K-8
Grades 2-8
8:00 AM 2:30 PM 1:30 PM
Senior8:30 AM 3:30 PM  
Middle9:30 AM 4:10 PM  

For more information about the considered changes, please visit: http://belltimes.dadeschools.net

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3 thoughts on “MDCPS To Hold Town Halls Regarding Proposed Changes To School Bell Times

  1. Seeing the pattern in my female 9th grader, who cannot fall asleep before 11:30 p.m. (puberty does not end in middle school and it is harder to make a high-schooler go to bed!) and considering that many parents have multiple K-8 kids, I would think it would make more sense to have elementary and middle school schedules not too far apart (= Proposal #1). It might also be easier/more acceptable for many parents who cannot drive their kids after 7:30 a.m. to organize alternative transportation for high-schooler (e.g., private vans) than for a middle-schooler, when MDPS transportation is not available. Individual preferences probably depends on the number and age-range of siblings, homework load, and pre-selected extra-curricular activities.

  2. If the following statement is correct, then it makes sense to adopt Proposed Model 2 as it provides a later school start time for middle (puberty kids) school.
    ” At puberty, kids’ body clocks shift, which makes it harder for them to fall asleep until later at night (for teens, closer to 11 p.m.)”

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