VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Some students in Valdosta will get a little extra sleep next year.
Valdosta City School Board members voted to change school start times, saying it will help students improve their academic performance.
"The way high school kids lives are now they're just so full and so active. They're really stretched really thin and they don't get enough sleep," said VHS parent Mattia Goddard.
Elementary schools used to run from 8:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Now, they're shifting a little earlier and will start at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.
Middle schoolers will gain a little extra sleep. They usually run from 7:45 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. Their new schedule will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
High schoolers who used to start at 7:25 and end at 2:30, will now sit in class from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
"Any extra time we can give them in the morning is going to help them," said Goddard.
"For the high school it will help, we believe, with academic achievement. Those students are more alert in the morning because they are now able to get more sleep at night," Dr. William Cason, Valdosta City Schools Superintendent.
And while most people were on board with the new schedules, some were concerned about any school starting too early.
But it's an issue the school system says they are tackling a little bit at a time.
"We did talk about the possibility of stating all 3 schools after 8 o'clock but we have to consider transportation and the needs," said Dr. Cason.
It's a decision that Dr. Cason says takes time, but is being considered.
"So we are still looking at making the decision with our elementary time," said Dr. Cason.
School board members have been talking about the changes for 2 years.
The new schedule will go into affect in August when the new school year starts.