Valdosta City Schools sees enrollment increase, implements new start times

Published: Aug. 7, 2017 at 6:34 PM EDT
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By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

August 7, 2017

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) – The morning rush returns to Sallas Mahone Elementary as kids head back to school Monday morning.

Valdosta City Schools is seeing a record high for enrollment this year. Administrators say there are more than 300 new students walking the hallways.

Monday was also the first day of new start times at Sallas Mahone. This year, the school day begins 30 minutes earlier, at 7:45 a.m.

"We're adjusting to it and making changes around all of our schedules,” says Kira Williams, who was dropping off her two nieces.

VCS says a major reason behind the decision to change start times was the benefit of more time for high school students to sleep and study. Elementary schools now start earlier in the day, and middle and high school students start learning later.

"I had to work on getting them to bed earlier knowing that they were going to have to get up earlier because of the new start time,” says Jesse Sheeley, a parent of students at Sallas Mahone.

Like many others, Sheeley is finding ways to make it work for his two daughters.

But, he says the time change and influx of students aren't to blame for the first day jitters.

“The ride up was good and both of them were really excited,” says Sheeley. “Hopefully they have a good day.”

Many parents are falling into a new morning routine, watching their kids take on another school year.