Philadelphia Postpones Plan to Push Back School Start Times

After originally stating their plan to have schools start later in the day, the School District of Philadelphia is now pulling back

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A shift to later start times for all of the Philadelphia School District's schools previously planned for the beginning of the 2022-2023 school has been postponed, the superintendent said Wednesday.

A shortage of bus drivers and "some much needed stability...during these challenging times" were reasons cited by Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite.

High schools and middle/high schools will maintain their current schedules for the next academic year.

This comes after an original statement from the district in March regarding a plan to push back times for these schools this coming fall.

"Our initial plan for the 2022-2023 school year was for all 56 District high schools and middle/high schools to shift to a 9 a.m. bell schedule. However, like school districts across the country, we continue to wrestle with ongoing bus driver shortages, and are unable to equitably support the shift for all 56 schools," Hite said in a statement posted to the district website. "We also know that our students, staff and families are still working hard to reclaim a sense of familiarity and stability as we continue to: recover from extended time apart when school buildings were closed; learn to live in the presence of an ever-changing pandemic; and deal with many other traumas locally, nationally and globally. Postponing this change in bell schedules is the caring thing to do at this time. School leaders who would like to move forward with a revised bell schedule for the fall can submit a proposal for consideration."

Hite said that the intended goal for the shift is to follow recommended guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics. With the initial plan to move to a 9 a.m. schedule, older students would have the ability to get the sleep the AAP recommends.

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