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Seattle School Board Considers Later Start Times For High Schools And Middle Schools

Some Seattle students will see less of these.


The Seattle School Board is considering a plan that could lead to teenagers and tweens being more rested and ready to learn. A proposal is going before the board which calls for a later start time for middle schools and high schools.

Diane Casper has two teenage daughters who have to get up early to make it to their first classes at Ingraham High School which start at 7:50 a.m. Casper is part of a coalition of parents, teachers and doctors who have spent the last four years pushing for later start times for older students.

Casper says ever since her children made the switch to early mornings back when they started middle school, they have been “grumpier.” “[They have been] much more reactive to things than they would be in the summer when they’d go to programs that started at nine in the morning,” said Casper. “They would just say, ‘It’s night and day.’ Getting that extra sleep made life that easier and happier.”

The Under the plan, starting in September 2016, high schools and middle schools would begin at 8:50 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m.  Most elementary students would move to an earlier day with classes starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 2:10 p.m.

The district says several factors, including transportation costs, prevent these programs from having an earlier day.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adolescents who get at least eight hours of sleep have lower incidents of depression, get into fewer car accidents and perform better academically.

Jennifer Wing is a Producer for our weekly show, Sound Effect.
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