For some Pasco schools, later wakeup call this year - FOX 13 News

For some Pasco schools, later wakeup call this year

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This upcoming school year will mean change for some - not for others.

That's because school officials in Pasco County are listening to what parents had to say at one local elementary school.

The school board has decided not to change the start time for Deer Park Elementary, and this comes as a big relief to the parents there.

There was a new proposal by the board to start classes an hour later in the fall. The superintendent initially made the recommendation for Deer Park Elementary and eight other schools.

He says changing the bell schedules would save the district about $800,000, but parents at Deer Park have been strongly opposed to the idea. They say it's mainly a safety concern for students.

The new suggested bell time would have started school at 9:40 a.m. instead of 8:40 a.m. Parents say the times will cause child care issues for many of them. In addition, they don't want their children walking to school that late in the morning when traffic starts to pick up.

The new start times were rejected for Deer Park, but will be implemented at the other eight recommended schools.

"The other schools, it still made sense," Linda Cobbe with the Pasco County School District said. "What we did was we consolidated many of the bus routes, we streamlined transportation, so we have a better use of the facilities."

The other eight schools include New River and West Zephyrhills Elementary Schools, Bayonet Point Middle, Ridgewood and Fivay High Schools, as well as three education centers.

The school district will still be saving about $800,000.

That's because the new start times allow for bus route reorganization. The board says Deer Park Elementary is mostly made up for children that walk to school, so keeping their schedule won't greatly affect the savings.

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