Could High School Start Later in the AM? - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Could High School Start Later in the AM Next Year?

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More than 70 percent of high school teenagers are not getting the recommended hours of sleep on a school night, according to a study from the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Then is starting school at 7:30 in the morning contributing to this? That is something Bay District Schools is looking into, a later start for these teenagers, possibly 30 minutes to an hour later.

High school really starts too early," says Superintendent Bill Husfelt. "The best thing that research says is that the later you can start the better because they need more sleep. They need more time to wake up and get adjusted, and so we've been talking about this for a while."

Bay District Schools is looking into pushing back the 7:30 AM start time to later in the morning, allowing the teenagers to get a few more 'zzz' before class. Changing the high school schedule, however, might change the times for the other schools.

"Obviously, if we're going to start high school a little later that means somebody else is going to have to start a little earlier," says Husfelt. "We have about 135 buses that run routes, and we don't have enough of them to run all of them at the same time so we'd have to kind of stagger it so we could transport all of them."

The District is also exploring adding between 10-20 minutes to the day for elementary schools.