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Washoe school board votes against changing school start times

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:29 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees voted to throw out a preliminary decision to implement later start times for the 2022-2023 school year.

Trustees voted unanimously to reverse option A, which would’ve had middle and high school students starting 30 minutes later, and elementary schools up to an hour later.

Board president, Dr. Angie Taylor says although she supported this option at the beginning, many emails from parents made her reconsider.

“Option A puts everybody back a little, but it didn’t really get the high schoolers to be the last ones which research really supports that because of the sleep cycles when you’re in high school,” Dr. Angie Taylor, president of WCSD Board of Trustees. “The other thing was that because of the finances, the limitations on what we can do from a transportation stand point, right now, it really took the majority of the options that were to be considered.”

Additional information requested by the board indicated the change could have some impact on athletics and after school programs for middle and high school students.

“There’s going to be an increase missed class time,” said Taylor. “Additionally, they were going to be in the buses, going to competition during rush hour, which is you know, more dangerous.”

While for elementary school, there are more issues to be resolved, including childcare, nutrition, staffing shortages and having some students walking to bus stops in the dark.

At the meeting, many parents gave public comment against later times.

Ultimately, the board decided to follow Superintendent McNeill’s recommendation of delaying a change to bell schedules until more research is done.

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