Worst idea ever award goes to FCPS since they think 40 extra minutes of sleep iis gonna make adifference
Date: October 24, 2014 09:33AM
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Fairfax County board approves later school start times
Friday - 10/24/2014, 12:30am ET
By Michelle Basch
Supporters of the start-time proposal made their priorities clear. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Alarm clocks will be going off later for many high school students around here, starting next school year.
On Thursday night, after years of discussion and debate, the Fairfax County School Board voted to move high school start times from the current 7:20 a.m. to between 8 and 8:10 a.m.
Middle schools will start at 7:30 a.m.; elementary school start times will remain about the same.
"Sleep deprivation among our teens is a public health crisis," said board member Sandy Evans.
The change will cost the school district about $5 million in the first year. "Are there costs of implementing this change? Yes. More buses, more busdrivers. Are those costs worth it? Absolutely," board member Patty Reed said.
Kathy Smith was the only member of the board to vote against the plan: "I have to be a voice, and there's a lot of people out there who don't want this change," she said.
"It's definitely going to change my lifestyle," said 14-year-old Liam Armstrong, a freshman at West Potomac High. "I think it's better that you can have that little extra time. It means a lot."
Melanie Pincus is a 16-year-old sophomore at McLean High. "People fall asleep in class all the time. It's very common. Hopefully that won't be happening as much next year with these later times," she said.
Parent Kathy King said she often fights to get her son, a seventh grader, out of bed.
"(I) pull the covers off and [say] 'Let's go, let's go.' So, I think it's good. So if they get more sleep, it's all good."
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