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Survey says parents support later start time

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Woodbury,Minnesota 55125 http://www.woodburybulletin.com/sites/all/themes/woodburybulletin_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Woodbury Bulletin
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Survey says parents support later start time
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Responding to a survey on school start times, 69 percent of 1,100 parents in School District 833 said high schools should start later in the day.

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The answers were split as to when the day should start, either at 8 a.m. or at 8:30 a.m.

Before responding to the survey, there was a brief summary of research by the University of Minnesota indicating adolescents have natural sleep cycles, due to the chemical melatonin, which make them sleepy around 11 p.m. and wakeful at 8 a.m.

Park and Woodbury high schools currently start at 7:30 a.m.

About 75 percent of those surveyed said they support a schedule that reflects the research findings with 51 percent saying elementary schools should begin in the early slot.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they live in Woodbury and 25 percent live in Cottage Grove.

Thirty percent of responders said they were parents of elementary-age children with the remainder having students in secondary schools.

A school start and end time task force is in the process of researching the issue and will report to the school board at a workshop on Jan. 8.

Meetings to get feedback from residents will be held Monday, Jan. 12 at Park High School and Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Woodbury High School.

A school board decision is expected Jan. 22.

Any changes, if adopted, would go into effect for the 2009-2010 school year along with changes in walking distances from school that were approved earlier this year.

Students in grades kindergarten through eight living more than a mile from school will be bused. Students in grades nine to 12 will be bused if they live more than 1.5 miles from school.

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Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600
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