Chesterfield leaders address fiscal and parental concerns over school start times

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The talk of pushing school start times back has some parents in Chesterfield County concerned.

"If he goes later then he would have to be at the bus stop later and I don't know how he would get to work because he's too young to drive," said one parent at James River High School.

On Tuesday, The Chesterfield County School Board held another community meeting to discuss the options of starting classes later and ending later.

"Teenagers and their body clocks, they are naturally staying up much later and it's much more difficult for them to function early in the morning," said School Board Chair, Carrie Coyner.

Parents were also able to learn about three different possible options for school schedules.

However, one option of having high schools start at 9:30 a.m. is not sitting well with one parent.

"That's really late for me because I have to be at work at 7:30 and my husband doesn't get home until 8-8:30 so there is no way to get him to a bus stop to school on time," she said.

School leaders also discussed the transportation costs that would come with pushing back start times.

One option could cost around $371,000 annually and another could cost the school system over two million.

Still, school leaders said they are listening to parents' concerns and nothing is set in stone yet.

"We're really trying to take our time and make sure that we listen and we adjust and give the community enough time to give us feedback," said Coyner.

Coyner encourages parents to contact the board if they have any suggestions or comments on the start times.

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