Time changes recommended for district

Team advises two school start, end time options

Park+students+walk+into+school+March+22.+The+school+board+is+currently+deciding+between+two+different+starting+times+for+all+the+Park+schools.+
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Time changes recommended for district

Park students walk into school March 22. The school board is currently deciding between two different starting times for all the Park schools.

Park students walk into school March 22. The school board is currently deciding between two different starting times for all the Park schools.

Abby Prestholdt

Park students walk into school March 22. The school board is currently deciding between two different starting times for all the Park schools.

Abby Prestholdt

Abby Prestholdt

Park students walk into school March 22. The school board is currently deciding between two different starting times for all the Park schools.

Noah Orloff and Dani Orloff

Looking over the two proposals for school start and end times next year, freshman John Lawrence said he feels both choices present favorable options for the high school.

“It would be nice to make (start times) a little bit later. I do know that if that happens, school would get out later and some kids have to ride a bus for an hour,” Lawrence said.

According to St. Louis Park Public Schools, the team behind the time changes narrowed their options down to two choices for times across the district next year. The projected cost for the top two choices are $1,053,000 and $1,444,000, respectively, compared to $981,000, the cost for transportation this school year.

According to St. Louis Park Public Schools Superintendent Astein Osei, while the team is involved, the School Board makes the decision.

“There’s a project team that is comprised of a student, staff, parents, community, transportation consultants and others that (came up with) recommendations presented to the board,” Osei said.

According to Osei, team members utilized a sleep study done in the district in 2012 when the high school changed from 7:30 a.m. to the current 8:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. schedule.

“As that research has continued to come out, it also shows that it impacts all secondary level students so throughout this process, throughout this strategic plan, that was one of the pieces that the school board was wanting us to look at,” Osei said.

Sophomore Matthew Powell said he believes students get less than the suggested hours of sleep.

“I feel maybe an extra hour of sleep in the morning or a little bit of earlier time to get home would be very beneficial to students because you can’t be mentally present when you’re tired,” Powell said.

The community can provide input on the times is at the School Board Listening Session at 7 p.m. March 18 at the Middle School.

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