BARTOW, Fla. (FOX 13) - More than a dozen schools in Polk County are getting new start and end times this upcoming school year.
School district officials are reminding parents that this school year – beginning in about a month – they're pushing back start and end times at 19 schools. Classes will start as much as 15 minutes later than before.
In a letter to parents back in May, administrators announced the changes to better ensure that buses run on time, citing a commitment to reliable transportation for students. Last August, the district had nearly six dozen open driver positions. The shortfall caused long bus delays countywide.
Hundreds of kids were late to school, leading the district to ask parents to drive them instead. Then, in September, in an effort to fill the vacancies, the School Board voted to raise the base pay for starting full-time bus drivers. Members also voted to drop the high school GED requirement.
There are still school bus driver positions open. The Polk County School District is hosting a job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Polk County School Board Transportation Office, located at 1430 State Road 60 East in Bartow.
LINK: For more information on the job fair, head over to the Polk County Public Schools' website.
The Polk County schools with modified schedules for the 2019-20 school year are listed below:
Bartow Elementary Academy: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
Blake Academy: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
Brigham Academy: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Chain of Lakes Elementary: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Dundee Elementary Academy: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Elbert Elementary: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Griffin Elementary: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Karen M. Siegel Academy: 8:45 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Lake Alfred Polytech Academy: 9:15 a.m. 4:15 p.m.
Lawton Chiles Middle Academy: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
R. Bruce Wagner Elementary: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
Roosevelt Academy: 8:15 a.m. 3:15 p.m.
Sikes Elementary: 7:45 a.m. 2:45 p.m.
Sleepy Hill Middle: 9:15 a.m. 4:15 p.m.
Stambaugh Middle: 9:15 a.m. 4:15 p.m.
Union Academy: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
Winston Academy: 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
Victory Ridge Academy: 8:15 a.m. 2:45 p.m.