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Osceola County School Board Considers a Flex Schedule for High Schoolers in the District

Set those alarm clocks for a little later-high schools in Osceola could start at 3 p.m. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Set those alarm clocks for a little later-high schools in Osceola could start at 3 p.m. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The Osceola County School Board is considering a flex schedule for high school students that would have classes starting at 3 p.m. The teachers’ union opposes the idea. 

School Board Chair Kelvin Soto says a 3 p.m. start time would make it easier for students to balance dual enrollment classes at community colleges or part-time jobs.

He says the new schedule could improve graduation rates and increase the number of students who pursue college degrees.

“I started thinking about wake up times. That there may be students that could probably improve their performance if they actually had a later school day.”

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But the Osceola County Education Association says the district already changed start times once this year for high schoolers, pushing them back to 7:20 a.m.

President Apryle Jackson says another change could be costly, as it would require adjustments to busing and teacher and staff schedules.

“You have to pay teachers, additional teachers. You’d have to pay additional support staff to be at school and then your custodial staff would be working a midnight shift to clean the classrooms and that would cause a higher expense.”

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Jackson says changing the start time would also make it harder for students to participate in after-school activities at other high schools with more traditional start times. 

The program is based on a pilot program in the East Lansing school district in Michigan.
If you'd like to listen to the story, please click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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