West Hartford school discusses start time changes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

West Hartford school discusses start time changes

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West Hartford school officials to discuss a proposal changing start times  (WFSB) West Hartford school officials to discuss a proposal changing start times (WFSB)

West Hartford's Board of Education heard a proposal on Tuesday to push back school start times.

It is all in an effort to help children get more sleep, but there are financial ramifications.

Hall High School currently starts at 7:30 a.m.

Under the new proposal, that time would get pushed back an hour, but it would require other changes.

The committee tasked with reassessing school start times will make its final presentation on Tuesday evening.

Advocates said the research is clear: More sleep benefits students even in scenarios where start times started a modest 20 minutes later.

There is still uncertainty over whether the idea in town will get support.

Conard senior Grace Andrews loves high school but the most challenging part of her day is the beginning.

“I have AP Calculus first period and it’s really hard,” Andrews said.

Andrews, who serves as the student rep on the Board of Ed doesn’t dislike her first class because of the material, she just still feels half asleep.

That’s why Andrews supports a proposal that would push back the opening bell by one hour.

“I think it would make a big difference it would help a lot during your homework waking up it would just be much more refreshing,” Andrews said. 

David Hubbard isn’t dead set against the plan but he does have concerns. 

He worries about some after school sports stretching past sunset and warns childcare could be an issue for some parents.

“I’m a little concerned for all the parents that might need daycare if the school starts a little bit later and whether or not they’ll be able to afford it,” said Hubbard, a parent.

School start times would be pushed 30 minutes to an hour from current times.

The school would have to move to a two-tier system with middle and high school both starting at 8:30 a.m. the elementary schools would shift to either 8 or 9 a.m. 

The move would drastically change the bus schedule. More buses would need to be on the roads. Also, costs would go up because it would require an additional eight or nine buses at about $500,000.

Parents are invited to share their thoughts Thursday night at town hall. Families have until May 15 to fill out a survey.

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