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Richmond School Board invites parents to attend meetings about school start times

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond school leaders want to hear from parents as they consider proposed changes to school start times.

The school board is considering swapping elementary and high school start times.

Leaders are leaning on research that shows teens need more rest, and are more productive when they start their school day at a later time.

If approved, it would mean younger kids in elementary school would get an earlier start. Their day would start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:40 p.m.

Middle school students would start at 8:30 a.m. and get out at 3:20 p.m.

High school students would get the latest start at 9:00 a.m. and get out at 3:50 p.m.

School leaders say they know some parents are concerned that younger kids would be home alone too long before their older high school siblings, and that they are working to ease parents' concerns.

"We are trying to close the gap on making sure that we have after-school enrichment programs and after care that is affordable for our families,” School Board Member Kimberly Gray said. “Want to make sure that no small children are going home alone."

A series of scheduled community meetings will kick off this week.

  1. Parents can attend the first one at Huguenot High School, on Wednesday Jan. 21.
  2. On Jan. 22 one will be held at MLK Middle School.
  3. A meeting at Broad Rock Elementary is scheduled for Jan. 27.
  4. Linwood Holton Elementary will host the final meeting on Jan. 28.

All of the meetings begin at 6 p.m.