Changes to Pasco County bell schedules go into effect across school district

The new year is bringing with it new school start times for students in Pasco County. For some students, the changes will be significant with their first bell ringing 90 minutes earlier or later than it did during the fall semester.

The district says while inconvenient, these changes are necessary to help make sure that kids make it to school on time.

The Pasco County School District has been facing a significant bus driver shortage for a while. The problem has gotten so bad, it’s affecting students learning. Students are consistently showing up to school late and missing classes due to bus drivers being spread too thin.

The district said the changes to the bell schedule will help alleviate this problem by adding in extra time as bus drivers would be tasked with getting students to school in four different stages instead of the current three.

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It’s a change not everyone is happy about, but Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning said these changes will make a difference

"One way or another, it will," said Browning. "You'll be starting a little bit earlier, starting a little bit later. And it's unfortunate, but we can't get our kids to school. We cannot get our kids to school. We've got to have our kids in school."

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For some students, the changes won’t be that big of a difference with their first bell ringing 30 minutes later or earlier. However, for other students, their start time will shift by 90 minutes.

LINK: For a full list of the new bell schedule for Pasco County schools, click here.