Students in Dorchester 2 will not see a change in their school day for at least another year.
In May, the board looked at shifting start and end times districtwide. The proposal called for high schools to start and end later, while elementary and middle schools would start and end earlier.
But, this week the board agreed with a recommendation from Assistant Superintendent Sean Alford that more time is needed to explain the changes to parents and to gather additional input.
The change in schedules would affect the instructional day, bus service and after school activities, he said.
The earliest a schedule change would be considered now is the 2015-16 school year, the board decided.
More than 6,000 people responded to an online survey last month on the proposal, and others called or emailed the schools or district office directly. The majority were in favor of the change, Alford said, but some offered ideas district officials had not considered.
"The feeling was that there needs to be more education and more time for people to provide input and feedback," said district spokeswoman Pat Raynor.
The proposal presented by principals at the May 12 board meeting calls for the school day for high school students to run from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. instead of the current 7:25 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.
Elementary school would start 10 minutes earlier, at 7:15 a.m., and end at 2:15 p.m., five minutes later. Middle school would start 15 minutes earlier and dismiss 45 minutes earlier, for a day that stretches from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Over the next several months, district officials will educate families on the proposed changes at meetings at schools and by newsletters, Raynor said.
Staff will present a proposal for the board's consideration early next year, according to the district.
Some parents have complained that the changes would affect students' after-school sports, activities and jobs.
"It will also cause a burden for working parents who rely on older kids to baby-sit or help them get younger kids home from school or to activities," Summerville mom Sherri Daniels said.
But district officials said the changes will eliminate problems with buses that now don't have adequate time to run their routes.
The bell schedule in the district has not been changed significantly in more than 14 years. Charleston County School District also recently postponed a decision to change start times at five of its middle schools.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.
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