Providence Changes School Start Times

Jun 3, 2013

Some Providence high schools will begin Wednesday classes later than usual under a new plan aimed at saving the city up to $2.5 million. The change to a 9:25 a.m. start may be welcome for students and their teachers, who often complain teenagers are zombies early in the morning.

Schools adopting the later Wednesday mornings include Hope High School, Classical High School and Central High School. On other days those schools will start at 8 a.m. and finish up by 2:45 p.m. like most other high schools in the district.

Under the plan, which was approved last week by the Providence Teachers Union, elementary schools will open five minutes earlier than they did this year. Dismissal will come 16 minutes later, except on Fridays, when schools ends 80 minutes earlier.

High schools not adopting the late Wednesday start will also get out early on Fridays at 1:20 p.m.

If this is starting to sound a bit complicated, that’s because Providence is using staggered start times to reduce bussing costs. School officials say the change in bell times will also give teachers more time to meet and plan.

Under the new schedule, middle school students will begin classes at 8 a.m. and end by 2:45 p.m. Like most high schools, they will also get out at 1:20 on Fridays.

Providence school officials are urging parents to check the exact start times for each school, especially elementary schools, where district officials say some changes are "more substantial." A full list is at the Providence Public Schools website,