School start times in Muscogee Co. could change if proposal is approved

School start times in Muscogee Co. could change if proposal is approved

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Muscogee County School Board is considering a change to the starting and ending times of schools throughout the district.

The proposed adjustment would take place in the 2019 to 2020 school year that is set to begin on Aug. 8.

Elementary school students are facing the biggest change, should the proposal be approved.

Their school day currently begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 2:30 p.m. allowing for the minimum time required by law for instructional purposes. The proposal will have elementary students start their day at 7:45 a.m. and finish it at 2:45 p.m.

Fifth grade teacher and parent, Eric Crouch, said he doesn’t want his children only getting the minimum.

“And we know that it’s best for them," Crouch said. "And we love the kids and we want them here. The only thing we’re doing differently is ringing the bell at a different time. Most of the kids are already in the building.”

Tonight, at the Muscogee County School Board work session, a proposal is being presented to add 15 minutes to the beginning and end of each elementary school day.

“Eleven days of instructional time that’s added to the calendar by doing nothing but moving the bell time 15 minutes earlier, 15 minutes after," Crouch said. "Teachers are already here, most of the kids are already here. Think about the benefits that’s going to have for our kids.”

Middle school students would increase their day by 12 minutes. Their day currently runs from 8:50 a.m. until 3:53 p.m. The proposed adjustment would start middle school at 8:45 a.m. and conclude it at 4:00 p.m.

High school students would shift their day back by five minutes, starting at 8:15 a.m. rather than 8:10 a.m. and finishing at 3:30 p.m. instead of 3:25 p.m.

The presentation posted online lists benefits, including, additional instruction time as well as increased flexibility for music, art and PE. But some parents are upset and have taken to social media with their concerns about students’ attention span and large amount of home work already taking up time with their children.

“And I think if anything, what it’s going to do is allow kids to have more time with some of the work they do and could eventually limit the amount of homework that goes home, because we’ll be able to get more work done at school,” Crouch said.

To see the presentation to the board, click here.

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