Atlanta Public Schools’ decision to ring the first bell for high school students at 7:45 a.m. for the 2021-22 academic has prompted a petition to reverse the time change.

The change was announced in an email to parents late in the afternoon on Friday, May 7 as part of a recalibration to make up for lost education time during the pandemic.

Elementary school students will get an extra half hour of instruction each day for the next three academic years from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

To make that extra half hour possible, there had to be sacrifices to make sure buses were available, and APS high school students got the short straw. Middle school students will see no change to their bell schedule, which remains at 9:05 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.

But that switch from 8:30 to 7:45 a.m. for high schoolers (they’ll be getting out earlier at 2:40 rather than 3:30 p.m.) was met with an unhappy yawn.

North Atlanta High School student Matan Berg, who will be a junior next school year, started a petition over the weekend at and had over 1,700 signatures as of May 11.

“The decision was made without community input,” Berg said. “Why did they dump this late on a Friday? It was to avoid negative publicity.”

For more about this story, see coverage in Atlanta Intown.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.