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District looks at changing school start times
by Tribune Staff
Dec 11, 2011 | 1769 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The time that students go to school and return home in Washoe County may be changing for the 2012-2013 school year.

The district has been reviewing the start and end times at the elementary, middle and high school levels for the past year. School start and end times are referred to as “bell schedules” and the idea to improve the district’s bell schedule originally emerged as a way to save on transportation costs. During the research process, it became clear that the more important impact would be on student achievement, attendance and safety, the district reported in a release last week.

Last spring a plan was launched to gather input from district staff, parents and community members through a survey and school-based meetings.

Results from a survey taken in the spring showed favor for moving the middle school start time to later in the day and adding 30 minutes to most elementary school schedules. A bell schedule committee has been researching some remaining issues to be resolved before any change could be implemented.

Sparks Middle School Principal Kevin Carroll, who is also a member of the committee studying the bell schedule, says middle school students could benefit from the changes.

“Research shows that middle school and high school adolescent minds perform best later in the morning,” said Tami Berg, vice president of Legislative Services for the Nevada Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and a bell schedule committee member. “While there are pros and cons to any bell schedule change, the benefit for the students outweighs the negative concerns in my opinion as a parent.”

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