School Start Times

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Parents had a number of opportunities to speak out about proposed start times for all of the schools in the Washoe County School District.
At the final meeting Tuesday night, Paul Dugan, the superintendent, announced the recommendation he says he'll make at next weeks school board meeting.

He says the proposal has elementary schools starting anywhere between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM.
Middle schools start at 7:30 AM and high schools start at 8 AM, both half an hour earlier than this year.

"Proposal number three really has the least impact on families. So, that proposal really does keep us as relatively close to what we're doing now, but still addresses the concern of efficiency and effectiveness."

Julie Annand, the principal at Mendive Middle School, says the complaints mostly came from parents in the last month who are worried about juggling schedules, she says the students are pretty flexible with a change.
"We'll have kids that just bounce in and be ready to go at 7:30 and those kids who come in and are still asleep at 8 are still going to be asleep."

The district says the proposed start times, created because of the result of two transportation studies, would create a more efficient bus system that would allow drivers to run two routes each morning and it would also regulate firm start and end times.

Katrina Spencer, an eighth grader at Mendive, says a half an hour change won't really affect her morning schedule too much.
"It wouldn't be that big of a deal. You'd have to go to bed earlier. It would affect kids, but it would also probably be better."

Seventh grader, Megan Wurm, says the later start time proposed would have only hurt her family's morning routine.
She says her mom has to be at work by 8 AM, so she and her younger brother need to be at school before then.
"We really pressed we wanted an earlier time than a later time to get up in the morning. So, we can get out earlier in the afternoon and have more time to do things in the afternoon."

The board of trustees is scheduled to vote on the final recommendation next Tuesday at Wooster High School at 5 o'clock in the cafeteria.