ASD considers changing school start times

The student petition that launched the discussion on changing school start times.

It began with a petition on www.change.org by a West High sophomore, Matthew Park.

That petition reads: In order to promote the health and education of our students, the Anchorage School District must push back starting times in high schools to 8:30 AM.

As of Friday, April 6, some 5,369 people have signed it; their stated goal is 7,500. Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop in August 2017 asked the school board if they agreed to allocate staff time to study this proposal and make a recommendation to the board. You can hear their school board discussion here (beginning at 43:06). The superintendent got the go-ahead to study the proposal.

Now, the school district is taking its findings out to eight open house sessions; the first one is April 11 at 6:30 pm at Lake Hood Elementary, 3601 W. 40th Ave. More dates are listed below. The school board is expected to make a decision this spring; if approved, the new schedule would begin in the 2019-20 school year.

This isn’t the first time ASD has looked at changing start times. According to a story in the Anchorage Daily News, 4,500 people weighed in on this topic in 2002-3. At that time, the superintendent recommended maintaining the current schedule.

The potential change raises many questions. How will it affect working parents? How would it affect before-school and after-school programming—everything from childcare to sports and club activities?

Driving the consideration is mounting research suggesting middle and high school students perform better with more rest, and a later start time would allow for that. Elementary students often way up earlier anyway, according to the research, and tire in the afternoon.

Today’s Hometown Alaska is a great opportunity to explore the pros and cons of such a decision. We invite your participation.

Thanks for listening!

 

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

GUESTS:

EXPECTED PHONE CONTRIBUTORS:

  • Candy Jo Bracken, Alaska PTA president @ 2:15 pm
  • Tom Klaameyer, Anchorage Education Association president
  • Matthew Park, high school sophomore, petition starter

LINKS:

PUBLIC HEARING DATES:
(all meetings are 6:30-8 pm)

  • Wednesday, April 11, Lake Hood Elementary, 3601 W. 40th Ave.
  • Thursday, April 12, Tyson Elementary, 2801 Richmond Ave.
  • Friday, April 13, Service High, 5577 Abbott Rd.
  • Monday, April 16, Wendler Middle, 2905 Lake Otis Parkway*
  • Tuesday, April 17, Romig Middle, 2500 Minnesota Dr.
  • Wednesday, April 25, Bartlett High, 1101 Golden Bear Dr.
  • Thursday, April 26, Eagle River High, 8701 Yosemite Dr., ER
  • Friday, April 27, Fairview Elementary, 1327 Nelchina St.*

*Sign language and translation in top 5 ASD languages available these dates.

PARTICIPATE:

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the broadcast.
  • Post your comment or question below

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

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