- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - School officials in South Bend are considering a proposal to push back start times by an hour so intermediate and high school students would be in school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The goal is to lessen tardiness within South Bend Community School Corp. by giving students an extra hour of sleep, according to district officials. But some parents are worried that a later start time only will encourage students to stay up later at night.

Superintendent Carole Schmidt planned to ask the school board to approve the proposal during a meeting next Monday, but she said Friday that the board likely will vote on it next month because of questions from members, such as how later state times would affect athletic and extracurricular activities.

Despite some concerns from parents, most feedback has been positive, Schmidt told the South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/1dXLwMr ).

Cleome Barber, a junior at Adams High School, is among students who are in favor of later start times.

“I’m an IB (international  baccalaureate) student,” she said. “So I have lots of homework, lots of tests, and I really need as much sleep as I can get. And I know that I can function better later rather than earlier.”

Later start times may be necessary on a scientific level, according to experts, who say chemical wiring in adolescents’ brains typically doesn’t allow them to fall asleep before 11 p.m.

Terry Grembowicz, president of the South Bend teachers union, has asked the board and administration to move up the potential implementation of the plan to the 2016-17 school year, allowing union officials to begin in a “mandatory discussion.”

The 600 or so students at Glen Falls High School in upstate New York have missed a total of 3,000 fewer days since it switched to a later start time two years ago.


Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com

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