Schools now have more freedom in class scheduling

SAN BENITO — For the new school year, elementary students will have to start their day a little earlier.

That’s because the school bell will be ringing earlier — 7:30 a.m. to be exact.

Last week, the school board approved a new calendar that is almost identical to this year’s school calendar.

The only change affects the elementary schools.

Instruction will begin at 7:30 a.m. for all elementary campuses during the 2016-2017 school year.

First bell is 7:25 a.m. with instruction starting five minutes later.

Before the change, children were starting school about 20 minutes later.

The students will be dismissed at 3 p.m.

Because of a recently passed state law, the school district is required to base the school calendar on the number of instructional minutes instead of the number of instructional days, Superintendent Dr. Adrian Vega said.

As a result, the start of the elementary school day will change to meet the state’s required number of minutes — 76,500.

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ksom-mer@valleystar.com