best tracker School start times will likely change in Polk County – Techss

School start times will likely change in Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A new state law placing mandatory guidelines on public and charter school start times is sparking conversation in Polk County.

Under the new law, middle school students will start school no earlier than 8 a.m., and high school students will start school no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Polk County School leaders also said elementary schools’ start times will likely be impacted by the new legislation.

The law doesn’t go into effect until the 2026-2027 school year, so Polk County school leaders are using this time to collect input from parents, teachers, and students.

Their first of several town hall meetings to address school start time changes begins Monday, March 25 in Lakeland.

All stakeholders are invited to the Jim Miles Professional Development Center to learn more and to share their opinions.

If you can’t make the first meeting in Lakeland, there are several other opportunities in different cities on different days.

  • Monday, March 25 Jim Miles Professional Development Center, 4270 Wallace Rd, Lakeland
  • Thursday, March 28 Stuart Center, 1702 S. Holland Parkway, Bartow
  • Monday, April 1 Dream Center of Lakeland, 635 W 5th St., Lakeland
  • Monday, April 8 AdventHealth Fieldhouse, 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven
  • Monday, April 22 Tom Fellows Community Center, 207 North Boulevard West, Davenport

Each town hall meeting is expected to last an hour and a half and begin at 6 p.m.

State leaders hope starting school later would help students get more sleep and lead to better mental and physical health.

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