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New school schedule debated at Kanawha County school board meeting

Parents, teachers and even some students pack the Kanawha County school board meeting Thursday night to speak out against the change in school start times. (WCHS/WVAH)

Parents, teachers and even some students packed the Kanawha County school board meeting Thursday night to speak out against the change in school start times.

“I'd really like them to take it back to 8 o'clock, but from what I'm hearing, that's not going to be possible. That's real-world time, and that's what our students need, real world time,” Ben Franklin Career Center teacher Martha Hewitt said.

At the beginning of the year, the board implemented new start times with elementary schoolers going earlier, as early as 7:05 a.m., and getting out earlier and high schoolers going later, around 8:30 a.m. and getting out later.

Board members said it’s because studies show high schoolers need more sleep.

But now, more than halfway through the school year, this room was packed with people saying, it's just not working.

Members from the Ben Franklin Career Center gave a presentation to the board on the problems with the start times -- and offer real-world examples why it needs to change.

“There's a lot of problems with it right now. I think it would be disappointing if it was still later like this next year because, like it was mentioned in the meeting, in real life you're not going to your job at 9 o'clock. It's just not going to happen,” Herbert Hoover High School junior Cari Hively said.

Those students said it’s been difficult to get jobs after school.

Meanwhile, parents of elementary schoolers said it’s been rough on the younger kids, going to school so early.

Board members said they will take the concerns into consideration, but they said there is no single plan that will satisfy everyone.

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