Anchorage schools will start an hour later on Mondays beginning in fall

Anchorage schools will start an hour later on Mondays beginning in fall
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 6:32 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 6:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School Board voted Tuesday night to change school start times for the 2024-2025 school year, but also made a schedule change that will start next year.

Beginning in August, all schools in the Anchorage School District will start one hour later on Mondays. District Communications Director M.J. Thim said the district is giving that time to teachers and staff for professional development so they can strategize ways to improve student outcomes in the classroom. The move is supported by the Anchorage Education Association.

Anchorage’s high schools already start later on Mondays, but this will be a first for middle and elementary schools. Thim said bus times would be adjusted but emphasized that Monday school days will end at the usual time and will not be extended an additional hour. He said students will not be expected to make up the time.

The changes have raised some concerns, especially among before and after-school care providers. Chloe Halverson, who helps run a Rabbit Creek Community Association program, said a schedule change — even for a day — could hit working parents hard.

“More parents are going to need childcare once school starts at 10 a.m. one day a week that childcare programs just won’t have room for,” Halverson said.

The district said it was aware of those concerns and is working to ease the burden that schedule changes will likely bring to parents both next school year and the following year when more new start times are implemented.