No school starts before 8 a.m. -- new start time options for Anchorage schools

MGN Online
MGN Online(WVLT)
Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 3:20 PM AKDT
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The Anchorage School board will be given two school start time options at its next meeting-- and they're not the options recently proposed for parents and others to weigh in on.

The first option keeps all start and end times as they are now.

The second option would mean no schools would start before 8:00 a.m. That would mean schools would be in session from 8:00 to 2:30, 8:45 to 3:15 and 9:30 until 4:00. It's not been decided which ages would start when.

"No one would start before 8:00. That seems to be the magic number," said Deena Bishop, Ed.D., the superintendent of Anchorage schools.

Once the school board is formally presented the two options, they will then go back to the public for input.

ASD has more than 48,000 students and more than 6,000 employees.

The district has had

. ASD says studies show that if high school students started later it would result in better attendance rates, higher graduation rates, reduced tardiness, less depression, less caffeine use and fewer car crashes.

"We're finding that a very significant number of our students in grades 7-12 are walking around [on] 6 hours sleep,” said Shannon Bingham, a consultant hired by ASD to look at the impacts of school start times.

ASD says it's heard from numerous parents with elementary school students who say sliding the younger students to an earlier start time would greatly increase the amount parents have to pay for after school childcare.

“This was something that would affect a lot of people fairly profoundly,” Bingham said.

Once the school board has the two options, the public will again have time to let ASD know what it thinks.