The Hillsborough County School Board voted 6 to 1, approving the proposed Bell Time schedule recommended by Superintendent Jeff Eakins. The bell time changes will tentatively take effect in the 2018-2019 school year.
After receiving feedback that many families would have difficulty adjusting to a new bell schedule for the 2017-2018 school year, Superintendent Jeff Eakins recommended waiting one year before making districtwide changes.
The new Bell Times are tentative for the 2018-2019 school year.
The district’s current bell schedule does not allow enough time between our high school, elementary and middle school start times, to get students to school on time. The district was seeking to correct this in order to secure the appropriate number of instructional minutes for students. Across the State of Florida, the standard time between bell times is at least 55-75 minutes for successful pick-up and drop-off of students. Currently, our district only has 27 minutes between our high school and elementary start times.
The district is preparing to offer HOST (before and after school care) at all elementary and middle schools, starting at about $12 a week.
The new bell schedule means high school students will be dismissed nearly an hour earlier. This will allow opportunities for them to begin homework, get to practice, go to after-school activities and begin their jobs sooner.
Our elementary students are expected to gain an extra 15 minutes of Art, Music and Physical Education, which facilitates learning in other subjects and improves the overall health and well-being of students.
Our middle school students, along with our high school students, keep a 7-period day which affords them the opportunity to take more classes (including Advanced Placement and electives such as Art, Music and Band).
In addition to allowing students to arrive to school on time, the improved efficiency will redirect $2.5 million from transportation back to the classroom to support student instruction.