New Year, New MDCPS Bell Schedules


Nataly Leiva

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has proposed two ideas of new bell schedules that hope to favor their students’ well-being.

Nataly Leiva, Staff Writer

On the week of Jan.6, Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced how they would be having an opinion survey for their new suggested bell schedules. The district hoped to divise bell times that would accommodate the health needs of its students along with transportation adaptability.

The current bell schedule are high schools beginning at 7:20 AM until 2:20 PM, middle schools fr0k 9:10 AM to 3:50 PM and elementary/K-8 grades pre-kindergarten to first grade are from 8:20 AM to 1:50 PM while second to eighth grades are from 8:35 AM to 3:05 PM.

According to the research Miami-Dade County Public Schools has done, waking up a teenager who attends high school at 6:30 AM is equivalent to waking up a middle-aged person at 4:30 AM. With this in mind, this can be analyzed as a contribution to health hazards such as sleep deprivation, which can lead to absences and low test scores. As a result, the school board members have decided to arrange a new bell schedule to implement better circumstances for students’ academic achievement.

“In my opinion, I believe that the time schedule should remain the same due to the fact that it will just push back everything. For instance, people will most likely get the same amount of sleep since students will get home at a later time,” sophomore David Kuper said.

The first model of the new bell schedule consists of all grades in elementary schools starting at 8:00 AM but different release times; pre-kindergarten at 1:30 PM and the rest at 2:30 and their early release being 20 minutes earlier than their current one. Middle schools on the other hand, would begin at 8:30 AM and end at 3:10 PM while high schools would be from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. This model was intended to avoid early morning traffic as well as to give middle and high schoolers a chance for an adequate amount of rest.

Pullquote Photo

[I tweeted] complaining about option 1 because I don’t think school should end that late. I prefer the current bell schedule since it would be inconvenient adjusting to a new bell schedule, but I am not completely opposed to option 2.

— Daniela Parra del Riego


Nataly Leiva
The first proposed bell-schedule.

In Model 2, Elementary schools stay the same as in Model 1, but there are drastic changes elsewhere.  For high schools, the start time would be at 8:30 AM and would have students leave school at 3:30 PM instead of 2:20 PM. Then for middle schools, they would be pushed back an extra 20 minutes from the current schedule to 9:30 AM. and having students finish at 4:10 PM. This bell schedule will most likely be beneficial to students who are involved in after school activities such as clubs and sports.

Nataly Leiva
A chart of the second imposed schedule.

“If we begin school at 9:00 AM, I personally believe that it wouldn’t just benefit us students by giving us more time for our after-school activities and homework, but also the faculty and staff to avoid early traffic and wake up with less of a rush.” sophomore Romulo Delgado-Gonzalez said.

This week, the Miami Dade County Public Schools’ twitter account held an open forum to help get students’ opinions and give them the voice they deserve in this decision-making. From 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, students and parents had the opportunity of commenting their opinions and suggesting alternative ideas for bell-schedules they believed would be more beneficial. For example, some students suggested for high schools to be from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM as it would not be a radical change. 

The district plans on hosting town hall meetings in three different schools; Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, Coral Reef Senior High and Miami Jackson Senior High School. After these conferences, Miami-Dade County Public Schools hopes to come to a successful and beneficial final schedule.