Change in start times improves health, safety

New times helpful for students


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.

Maddie Schutte

The city of St. Louis Park School Board’s vote on updating the school start times will accommodate for all student’s health and overall well-being in the district.

The School Board agreed to put a plan into action which will have the elementary schools start at 7:45 a.m., the middle school start at 9:10 a.m. and the high school at 8:25 a.m. This will go into effect in the 2020-2021 school year, according to St. Louis Park Public Schools.

Previously, St. Louis Park Middle School began at 7:33 a.m., which is far too early for students in that age group. Middle schoolers are adjusting to more homework than they’re used to as well as having much stricter sports schedules than they may have experienced at a younger age. In order to be productive and alert in school, students need a sufficient amount of sleep, which is something they currently lack. The 9:10 a.m. start time will allow students to get more sleep and be more prepared to learn.

If it’s necessary for one age group to start school the earliest, it makes the most sense for it to be the elementary students, which is why this plan is beneficial. Young kids have earlier bedtimes in most households, have significantly less homework and participate in less extracurriculars. Therefore, having school start at 7:45 a.m. is much less of a problem for them. Additionally, for parents who live outside the district and have to drive their kids to school, an earlier start time would allow them to drop off their kids while still making it to work on time.

With elementary schools starting earlier, there may be issues with them being released from school earlier, which the district administration will be working on finding alternative options for. Though elementary students who participate in child care programs after school may have to remain at school longer, there is more availability for youth development. Students who attend after-school child care have more time in their day to be creative and play with other students, rather than feeling as though they have been in school for the entirety of the day.

This plan is the most effective option in assuring that students are developing properly. Students will have a healthier sleep schedule, families can have better options in getting their kids to school, making this a better fitting plan for Park than what we currently have.