Prince William School Board considers later start times for 2022 academic year

Virginia

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Prince William County School Board is considering later start times for high school students for 2022.

The board will spend the next year working on a plan to move start times for high school students back to 8:30 a.m. or later.

Superintendent Steve Walts said the change would be beneficial to students’ health and well-being.
Walts proposed three different potential bell models:

•Invert traditional schedule and start high school later by moving elementary schools first;

•Keep the current ordering of school times but delaying everything until at least 8:30;

•Start high school and middle school no earlier than 8:30, with elementary starting earlier.

School board member Loree Williams said she is glad to see later start times back on the table for discussion, although she says it would not be a “smart” change for the upcoming year.

“I hope that we can reach a point where we are able to make a change to start times. We need to. . . really look at not just what the community says, but what the research says, what our students say, and what our parents say as a holistic picture in making that decision,” said Williams.

New Superintendent LaTanya McDade will take over for Walts and the planning for the bell schedules.

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