From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

  Dorchester District Two is looking for input on a proposal regarding bell schedule changes. The school district will be holding a series of meetings to explain the potential changes affecting all school levels as early as next year.

High Schools
Current: 7:15 a.m. - 2:55 p.m.
Proposed: 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Middle Schools
Current: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Proposed: 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Elementary Schools
Current: 7:25 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.
Proposed: 7:15 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Elementary schools and middle schools will only see minor changes in their start times, while high schools will start more than an hour and a half later at 9:15 a.m.

The district is considering the proposal to combat conflicting busing schedules and teen sleep deprivation

"When the kids get up that early, they're missing a whole lot of sleep," said Diana Taylor Morris a Summerville High School parent. "Your body needs at least eight hours of sleep." Morris-Taylor said her daughter only gets around six hours of sleep. 

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends middle and high schools delay their opening bells until least 8:30 a.m."They are biologically programmed to fall asleep at 11 and wake at around 8 a.m., and that's a time when they're already in first period class," said Dr. Judith Owens of the Children's National Medical Center.

Dorchester District Two has taken notice of the recent research in later start times and plans on starting its high school students after the suggested 8:30 a.m.


"We want our students to be successful," said Dr. Sean Alford Dorchester District two Assistant Superintendent. "And if the research is telling us - not just today - but it's been telling us for years that students perform much better in school later in the morning, then that's something that we need to consider."

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