What time should school start? The Anchorage School district wants to hear from parents
Ask a parent what time school should start and you'll get an earful. Currently, Anchorage high school students start their days at 7:30 a.m., middle school students at 8:15 a.m., and elementary school students at 9 a.m. But, some studies show a later start times for older students would be better for their brains and high school students should be able to sleep later and given a later start time.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and several other national organizations have recommended that middle and high school start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
The flip side of that argument is that older kids sometimes babysit younger siblings so they need to start school earlier, to get out earlier. Additionally it would cost parents thousands of dollars more a year for additional after-school childcare or daycare since an earlier start time would mean the younger kids would be out earlier.
So, what do you think? The Anchorage School district wants to know. In a few weeks expect to see questions about what works best on both social media and traditional platforms.
"This is of high interest, we know what the research is, it's actually very positive towards changing start times, having older students go to school later," said Dr. Deena Bishop the superintendent for the Anchorage School District. "Right now we have our older students going first. Really we're going to engage with a company that does crowd sourcing because it's a significant impact to our community when we change start times, because we have half our kids in secondary but the other half are in elementary and to move secondary because of the funding of our busing, and everything that goes into what we can afford, we would have to adjust other students times. And so whether that's traffic, babysitting, daycare, school, all the arrangement that half our families might have, we would adjust. So we would engagement with the community on a large scale and we're looking at a company to assist us."