GILBERT, AZ — Gilbert families will need to re-organize their morning routine as the Gilbert school district votes to change the district's bell schedule.
Starting in the 2019/2020 school year, all high schools will start at 7:30 a.m., while elementary school students will go in at 8:10 a.m. Middle schoolers will go to class at 8:40 a.m.
Right now, there are nine different start times throughout the district. The driving force behind the change was to respond to a statewide bus driver shortage that caused many delays to school drop-off times.
The change is expected to save about $1 million and will allow bus drivers to stay on the same route at the start and end of the school day.
The district presented two options and collected feedback from more than 10,000 parents and 2,000 staff members. Both groups approved the same option, then the board tweaked that.
Leaders also heard recommendations from sleep deprivation and transportation experts.
The new schedule will not affect early release times already on the calendar for next year.