Salt Lake Board Of Ed. Considers Later Start Times For High Schools
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake City Board of Education has scheduled four community meetings to take comments from the public about a proposal to start high schools later in the morning.
The meetings follow an announcement made Wednesday morning that they would consider the proposal.
According to district administrators, board members will travel throughout the district to get input from parents and teachers.
They will hold four community meetings, with the first scheduled for Monday, January 13, 2020 at Bryant Middle School, at 40 South 800 East. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.
Doctors and researchers across the county have advocated for later start times for teenage students. The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a recommendation that high schools and middle schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
In a September report, KSL’s Deanie Wimmer found the two biggest hurdles usually mentioned around the issue are busing costs and the impact on after school sports and activities.
However, many districts and states across the country have found ways to make the shift.
Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-Draper, who is also a doctor, said she supported the change to later start times.
“Let’s start a conversation as a community and understand the risks that our kids are currently experiencing and talk about solutions,” she said.
Harrison had planned to introduce a resolution that would urge every district in the state to at least have a conversation with parents about later start times for middle and high school students.
“There aren’t many silver bullets in life, but helping our kids get enough sleep and having that conversation about school start times may be as close as we’re going to get to a silver bullet,” said Harrison.
Salt Lake school officials said they wanted to get more opinion from the community before making a change, as it would affect starting and ending times for nearly all schools in the area.
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