- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - A schedule change at a Maryland school system has received mixed reaction from students and parents.

High schools in the Montgomery County Public School system will now start classes 20 minutes later- at 7:45 a.m., the Washington Post (https://wapo.st/1N82cAj ) reported. Middle schools will shift their schedules by 20 minutes for an 8:15 a.m. start time, and elementary schools will move their start times 10 minutes later, with some as late as 9:25 a.m.

The schedule change has allowed some high school students to get more sleep. Seventeen-year-old Luc Cassagnol said he is now more awake for his early classes and called the change “a huge improvement.”

But some parents said the schedule change has been tougher on younger students and their families. Some said they’ve had to upend work schedules and enroll younger students in child care programs in the morning because of the shift.

The School Board voted this year in favor of the change after a 2012 petition called for later start times for high schools. The petition cited research linking sleep deficiencies to depression, being overweight, being involved in car accidents and having lower academic performances.

Mandi Mader, a Montgomery parent who started the 2012 petition, said students still need more sleep, but the schedule change is a step in the right direction. “The science says they need more, but this is a start,” she said.

Mader added she hopes the school board will continue working on the schedule so high schools can start later and elementary schools earlier.


Information from: The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com

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