SCHOOL PATROL: New start times for several Hamilton County Schools next fall
UPDATE: School is out for the summer in Hamilton County and a new schedule is in.
"Talking with parents in the Brainerd and also the Signal Mountain Middle/High area-- they were interested in the high-schools starting later," said Hamilton County Schools spokesperson Tim Hensley.
Brainerd High and Signal Mountain Middle/High are among the eight schools that will have bell changes next year.
Channel 3 spoke to a teacher at Signal Mountain Middle/High. She says both students and teachers will benefit from starting later.
"It's only a 20-minute time difference for the middle/high school but you can do a lot of things in 20 minutes," said Signal Mountain teacher Marion Wagner. "If you gave me an option right now to take a 20-minute nap, I would gladly take that 20-minute nap."
Wagner hopes students will use the extra 20 minutes in the morning to prepare themselves for school.
"Hopefully they will take advantage of that time and use it for sleep and not texting and Fortnite," Wagner remarked.
Hensley says by staggering the start times for the elementary and middle/high schools, it should get rid of some of the traffic congestion.
"We do have an issue on the mountain especially with two of the schools really close together on the same road," Hensley told Channel 3 in regards to Nolan Elementary and Signal Mountain Middle/High.
Hamilton County school officials note that changing schools' start times is not a one size fits all concept.
"You have some who like to work after school maybe wanted to get out a little earlier. There's no way to structure it where it works best for everybody," said Hensley.
"At the very least we have to try something that could be better for the kids in the long run," Wagner said.
PREVIOUS STORY: When the 2019-2020 school term begins in Hamilton County, eight schools will have a later start and end time.
Parents wanted Brainerd High and Signal Mountain Middle/High times to change. Because of the changes, elementary and middle schools connected to these high schools and their bus routes had to be changed.
School 2018-19 Start 2019-20 Start 2018-19 End 2019-20 End
Signal Mountain Middle/High 7:25 a.m. 7:45 a.m. 2:15 p.m. 2:45 p.m.
Thrasher Elementary 8:10 a.m. 8:30 a.m. 3:10 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Nolan Elementary 8:45 a.m. 8:55 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 3:55 p.m.
Brainerd High 7:15 a.m. 8:15 a.m. 2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m.
East Ridge Middle 7:45 a.m. 7:20 a.m. 2:45 p.m. 2:20 p.m.
Sequoyah High 9:00 a.m. 7:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m
Harrison Bay Center N/A 7:30 a.m. N/A 2:30 p.m.
Howard Connect Academy N/A 8:00 a.m. N/A 3:00 p.m.
You can find more information about the time changes and bell times on the district's website.