ORLANDO, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools will test more flexible schedules that allow for later start times at three of its high schools next year.

What You Need To Know

  • East River, Evans, Windermere high schools part of pilot program

  • Students will have expanded scheduling, similar to college

  • Schedule will allow for more flexibility, including earlier or later start times

The school board agreed to a pilot program Tuesday night. The program will take place at three high schools -- East River, Evans and Windermere. 

East River HS will offer a nine-period school day, where students will take seven periods of class. Windermere will have a 10-period school day where students will take seven periods.

At Evans HS, 11th and 12th graders will have block scheduling. 

The school district says doing this would expand the school day to resemble college scheduling, and also allow students to decide when they want to have classes, such as classes later in the day instead of earlier in the morning.

“This is an added opportunity for students and parents who want to utilize this expanded flexibility in their schedule,” said Dr. Harold Border with OCPS.

For years, some parents have tried to convince Orange County Public Schools to move high school start times to later in the day, in keeping with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.  The parents say not only are the early start times not optimal for teens's health, getting to a bus stop, sometimes in the dark, can be dangerous. 

But the school district has been resistant, saying it would cause logistics problems. Some parents and students have also opposed it because of after-school student activities and work schedules.

Spectrum News 13 Reporter Matt Fernandez contributed to this story.


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