Hit Snooze: Superintendent Michael Beresford explains proposed changes to daily schedule

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Hit Snooze: Superintendent Michael Beresford explains proposed changes to daily schedule

Kassi Darnell

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Why is the administration considering these changes now?

It’s a big swing. The reason for the 6-12 study that we’re doing is that there’s a ton of research that says that adolescents benefit greatly from a later start time in school. They kind of set that at around 8:30 a.m. or later. A lot of that has to do with the circadian rhythm—the sleep patterns that you go through—and that when they are in that time of adolescence, that time pattern shifts, and the research has cited that kids perform better and are less stressed; it’s better on their mental health and it’s just more in line with where you are developmentally. In education, we’re always interested in what’s the most developmentally appropriate. You probably notice that a lot of districts around us and around the city are all starting later and it’s based on that research. It’s been recommended by the American Pediatrics Society and the CDC.

Have there been any objections to the times?

I think there’s objections to just about everything. A lot of the objections, I would call them concerns because we really haven’t presented anything that would be hard enough to object to yet. There’s concerns about starting activities later. There’s concerns about childcare for teachers and parents. Whenever you change people’s routines, there’s going to be some concerns.

What time will students in grades 6-12 attend school?

Those are to be determined, but if you figure a seven hour day, if they started at around 8:45 a.m., it’d (end at) 3:45 p.m. If it’s an 8:30 a.m., it’d (end at) 3:30 p.m. But it’d probably be somewhere within that zone between 3:35 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

When would these start times be implemented?

We don’t have enough time to have it ready for next school year. We’re working with administrators to just get to a point where we’re getting ready to film an elementary presentation on the longer school day for the  elementary. Our goal is to put that out to parents and staff and have them watch that presentation, they’ll have the opportunity to give feedback. So implementation would be fall 2021.

Would the high school get rid of late start?

No. We’re actually thinking, right now just the high school does that, and we’re wondering what it would be like if the whole district did that. So we’d have late start twice a month with the whole district instead of just the high school. The transportation schedule would be the same for the whole district on those delayed start days.

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