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Critics also say that a later end to the high school day could also give teens less time for after-school sports and extracurricular activities, and prevent them from performing household duties or watching after younger siblings during late-afternoon hours.

Ms. Young said there has been little disruption in her county, despite early concerns that came primarily from athletic coaches who thought a later schedule would cut into time for sports and discourage student participation.

“That just really hasn’t materialized as a problem,” she said. “We rarely get complaints.”

Fairfax County School Board member Ted Velkoff said he is open to discussing later start times but said there are other factors at play in students’ lack of rest, including poor sleep habits at home and traffic patterns and school boundaries that force longer commutes.

He said that while high school students need more rest, the community should weigh the issue carefully before deciding how to achieve that goal.

“There is no dispute over the science. Everyone agrees that kids need to get enough sleep,” Mr. Velkoff said. “But the community has to decide if there’s going to be enough benefit from the change to be worth the disruption.”