Come this next school year, Hattiesburg High School students may get a little extra time to hit that snooze button.
After seeing research that high school students generally aren't quite 'morning people' - and have been shown to process and absorb information better later in the day - Hattiesburg School District officials are considering pushing the start time for classes back by about an hour at Hattiesburg High. Right now the bell rings at 7:20 a.m. and this would shift that to 8:30 a.m.
To make up for that morning hour, school would let out at 3:45 p.m., rather than the 2:45 release the school currently institutes.
"We have a number of students at the high school who have jobs - some of our seniors - and they would maybe need to have a flex schedule where they could come in a little bit earlier and leave a little bit earlier or have a class that accommodates a work schedule," said Jas N Smith, Hattiesburg School District communications director. "They're also considering what they call a zero period. Which would be a class that started at the old start time. Students could come early if they wanted to and take an English class or a class that they needed and so it would kind of be an extra class but it wouldn't be after school, it would be before school.
"Some of the concerns that students had were all their extracurricular activities or afternoon activities would be pushed back another hour and then they would be getting out later, so the students weren't real happy about it but a lot of times when we make changes to the school - regardless of what the change is, so we've seen a lot of that kind of thing," said Smith.
Due to bus routes - starting Hattiesburg High's classes later would mean the middle school getting started a little bit earlier. Smith says nothing has been decided yet and over the next months the district will be looking at bus routes and after school activities in considering whether to let the older kids get a little extra shut-eye next year.
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