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Washoe County School Board Trustees vote in favor of schools starting a half hour later

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:25 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Students and parents in Washoe County might see new start times for classes next year.

After extensive discussion during Tuesday’s meeting, trustees voted five to one in favor of option A for the proposed bell schedules. The potential change would have middle schools starting at 8:00 a.m., high schools at 8:30 a.m. and elementary schools at 9:30 or 10 a.m.

This decision comes after a three-week survey, where the majority supported this option and asked for changes to be implemented for the 2022-2023 school year.

School board President, Dr. Angie Taylor, says there are many benefits to a later start time.

“There’s research that examines the amount of sleep that students, especially high school students need to get and how they perform when they get more sleep,” said Taylor. “They’re a little more alert when they drive. Attendance, they’re less likely to be late, and then there’s some academic performance improvement as well.”

Some of the concerns brought up during discussion included the bus driver shortage and the effect on school hours.

Ultimately, trustees decided to move forward with the changes on a preliminary basis while the Superintendent gathers additional information about the potential impacts on athletics and after school programs.

The board will be making a final decision on November 23.

Once a final decision is made, WCSD will follow a comprehensive communications plan to inform the community.

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