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Virginia Beach school board approves moving start times

The changed start times would not go into effect until Fall of 2020.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — School start times for Virginia Beach Public Schools will soon change.

On Tuesday night, the Virginia Beach City School Board voted and passed a resolution that would let administrators discuss the idea of letting older students go to school later.

Since the school board approved the resolution, the next step is to engage the community about start times, and then go to the school board summer retreat in July with recommendations. The change wouldn't go into effect until Fall 2020.

High school classes currently start at 7:20 a.m., but the resolution doesn't explicitly create a new start time. School leaders said the possible change could affect all grade levels.

Many parents think high school class should start an hour or two later than normal.

"They have a crazy homework schedule, sports schedule. At that age, they are growing at that age. I would love the idea of having high schoolers having a later start," Parent Stacy Ortiz said.

Virginia Beach officials have researched this issue for months. They've done transportation studies, a ligature review, and even a survey that garnered more than 30,000 responses. The goal is to make sure Virginia Beach students are fully rested and ready to learn in class.

Parents are concerned that if the classes start earlier for younger students, it could cause problems for parents working the traditional 9 to 5 schedule.

"If they are not able or old enough to be on their own just yet. I would have to wait for them to get them to the bus stop or take them to the school," said Ortiz.

The school district said as continue to work on plans going forward, information will be posted on the Virginia Beach Public Schools' website.

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