Save Our 8:30 Bell Time

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Ms. Maddux,

It was recently decided that changing the Discovery School morning bell time from 8:30 am to 7:30 am was in the best interest of the families of our school. This decision was made without consulting the families. By changing the bell time from 8:30 am to 7:30 am will not resolve any of the issue pointed out in your letter. It will only shift the problems to a different time or different families.

Reasons to keep the 8:30 bell time:

  • Families chose Discovery School because the 8:30 am – 3:30 pm bell time fit into their families' work and child care schedules. Three months is not enough time to test for a new choice school or make work changes.
  • Children will get less sleep because they must wake up an hour earlier. There are NO studies that say earlier start times increase academic success. To the contrary, lack of sleep decrease mental functioning and emotional well being.
  • Traffic at 7:30 is just as bad or worse because of Nashville commuters and other schools also starting at 7:30 am. Many children who live on the other side of the city will have to wake up at 6 am or earlier to get to school.
  • The children in full-time ESP will still spend the same total amount of time in childcare whether it is at the beginning or end of the day.
  • Just because our bell times change it doesn’t mean the times of after school activities will change. Many students finish activities after 8 pm and going to bed earlier is not an option.
  • There are other schools in our district that operate at the 8:30 am bell time with great success for their families, faculties, and staff, just as Discovery School has for over a decade.
  •  The Discovery School PTA was not consulted or included in this decision-making process.
  •  Families with siblings at other elementary schools with a 7:30 am start time will have great difficulties getting all their children to school.
  •  Tardiness will most likely increase because of lack of sleep. Tired children are hard to get ready in the morning.
  •  The disadvantages of an earlier start time greatly outweigh the advantages.


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