Atlanta Public Schools changes high school start time after outcry from students and parents

Atlanta Public Schools has reversed course on an earlier start time for high schools after outcry from students and parents.

In a  May 7 email, APS announced that the first bell for high school would be 7:45 a.m. – 45 minutes earlier than usual – as part of a recalibration to make up for lost education time during the pandemic. The move prompted a petition and accusations that APS didn’t consult with parents before making the time change.

On June 7, the district announced that it had made a change after feedback from parents, staff, and a survey. When school starts in August for the 2021-22 academic year, the first bell for high schoolers will be 8:45 a.m.

Here’s the new bell schedule for all grades:

Elementary School:  7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (Previously 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
Middle School: 9:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.  (Previously 9:05 a.m. – 4:05 p.m.)
High School: 8:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Previously 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

The bell schedule change is one piece of APS’s plan to make up for lost learning as part its  Academic Recovery Plan, which also includes a summer academy that has enrolled more than 11,000 students.

The first day of school is Aug. 5, 2021.