Philadelphia's public high schools will start at 9 a.m. in the fall, district says

High schools in the Philadelphia school district will start at 9 a.m. this fall as the next wave of changes that officials hope will improve transportation and education. 

Spokesperson Monica Lewis said the district's plan to phase to a three-tiered bell schedule started last fall, impacting kindergarten through 8th grade. 

"The American Academy of Pediatrics whim have stated that a later start time for high school students would help them arrive to school more alert and prepared to learn," Lewis said. 

In a letter to families, the district said the plan also "promotes safer travel in the mornings" since most high school students are responsible for their own commute to school. 

"This effort improves the overall transportation experience for our students, even as we continue to face a nationwide bus driver shortage," the letter said. 

FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce spoke to parents who are onboard with the change. 

"I would rather him go in a little later a little lighter out in the morning considering all the things going on in city," Cherise Dandy-Miller said. 

Philadelphia isn't the first local district to push its start time back for high school students. Upper Darby High School pushed back its start time to 9:45 a.m. last Fall. 

The district will hold four virtual forums to discuss the changes and hopefully make the transition easier on families.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers issued a stern response to the schedule change and said they have shared their opposition to the change with the district.




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