• Before the bell: Osceola parents, school district prepare for new school start times

    By: Sarah Wilson , Sarahbeth Ackerman

    Updated:

    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Registration is now open for a program aimed at helping students and their families adjust to new school start times in Osceola County.

    The new bell times, which standardize times across the district, will go into effect in the fall. In February, the school board voted to have high school classes start at 7:20 a.m., elementary classes at 8:20 a.m. and all middle school classes to start at 9:20 a.m. 

    The superintendent said standardizing the time will save the district about $2 million in transportation costs.


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    But some parents are less than thrilled with the switch. 

    "It’s just going to be a whole new crazy," parent Jessica Piersonte said.

    The district’s new Before the Bell program is the school district’s attempt to help parents cope.

    The program will allow parents of middle and kindergarten through eighth-grade school students to drop their kids off early between 7 and 9 a.m. During that time the students will be able to get homework help or work on STEM projects.

    READ: Study: Later school start time means more sleep, better grades

    To participate in the program, there's a $20 enrollment fee plus a weekly cost of $20.

    Parents can apply for the Before the Bell program this week at participating Osceola County schools. 

    The YMCA will also be holding a before school program. That registration begins in July.

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