Anchorage School Board votes not to change school start times

On Monday night, the Anchorage School Board voted against changing school start times for the district.

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(Anchorage School District screenshot)

The proposed memorandum would’ve had high school days start 30 minutes later from 7 am to 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools would start 15 minutes earlier at 8:45 a.m. from 9 a.m. Middle schools would’ve had the largest shift from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., a change of 75 minutes.

The board voted 5-1 against the change. Board member Deena Mitchell was the sole yes vote.

Two amendments to the memorandum also failed: one proposed by Alisha Hilde and another by Mitchell. They failed 4-2 and 5-1 respectively, with Hilde voting for hers and Mitchell voting for both.

The school board has been exploring the decision to change start times since March, pointing to studies that show high school students would benefit from an extra 30 minutes of sleep. However, opponents of the change felt that it shifted schedules too much and negatively affected both staff and parents.

The seven-member board currently only has six members. Bettye Davis resigned last month. School Board President Starr Marsett says a new school board member will be in attendance at the next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 22.