POLL: Start School Day Later? Docs: Yes. Parents: Meh.


The CDC wants school districts to consider starting later for the health of their sleep-deprived students.

Schools in 19 states have implemented later start times.

Texas Education Agency's Lauren Callahan says it's really up to school boards and those district officials.

“How school districts schedule their days and schedule their school calendars is completely local decision,” said Callahan. “School districts are required to 75,600 minutes during their school year for student instruction. But beyond that requirement from the State Legislature, how and when they schedule those minutes is largely up to them.”

Texas Classroom Teachers Association's Holly Eaton considers the logistics like commutes, transportation and traffic patterns.

“It’s so localized as to what works for some communities and schools and what works for others,” said Eaton.

Pros include improvement in attendance and school performance. Kelsey Seybold's Dr. Puneet Patni sees both sides of the health benefits and the logistics of it all.

“When the schedules and bus schedules and everybody’s lives are aligned with a certain way, it’s difficult to change it,” said Patni.

Liberty ISD’s Benecia Bendele said some students are still asleep and the first meal of the day isn't until lunchhttp://www.libertyisd.net/.

“Students are not awake at that time. If we want to get the most productivity of them, we need to start the school day later,” said Bendele. “It’s very evident when kids get here, because we open our doors at 7:15. They’re walking in like zombies.”

She said starting later benefits their dual credit program with Lee College. They'll take the matter to the school board next month.

The parents we spoke with were split saying there's so many factors…like reorganizing bus routes, parents who need childcare, increased traffic, scheduling conflicts with extracurricular activities…to take into consideration.


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