Norfolk school board votes to change school start times

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Public Schools start times will be changing for the 2020-2021 school year.

The school board voted Wednesday night to implement the changes.

This comes after open meetings and resident surveys in January for parents, students, and employees to voice their concerns.

In a work session earlier this month, the results of the survey, which had around 1,500 answers, were presented to the board.

Overall, many agreed with the changes.

MORE: Norfolk parents, officials talk pros and cons of school start times ahead of Feb. vote

The company hired for the survey, Cooperative Strategies, presented research that showed later start times was beneficial to health and improved academic performance.

The company recommended pushing start times for high schools between 8:50 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Middle schools would stay the same, starting between 8:05 and 8:15 a.m.

Elementary schools would start earlier, with times changing to 7: 30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m.

Official times will be worked out later this year.

The board discussed that this would give the district enough time to work out issues such as bus schedules, after-school program time changes and other scheduling matters.

The board asked Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone to have the plans ready by December.

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