Students in Eau Claire Public Schools may get the chance to start school later. That is if the Eau Claire Area School Board approves the decision. Monday the Board will vote on a timeline for the research and implementation of the possible change. FOX 25-48’s Abigail Hantke has more.
Students in Eau Claire Schools may be waking up a little later come the 2017-18 school year. As the Eau Claire School Board discusses pushing back school start times. Richard Spindler, Eau Claire School Board President, says, “The research shows it’s most beneficial for adolescents from like 8:30 am to 10 am start times for them.”
Currently, Eau Claire Elementary Schools start around 8:20, while the middle schools and high schools begin around 7:40 a.m. The proposed change is getting mixed reviews from parents. Parent Susan Peterson said, “If it was pushed back that would help because it would allow more time for sleep because sometimes if we are in competitive soccer, we don’t get home until 9/10 at night.”
Fellow Parent, Ray Iesalnieks added, “I guess I disagree with that statement, starting earlier just based on the realities of having a real job after high school, business doesn’t start at 10 o’clock in the morning.” Monday, the board will vote on a timeline for the process, setting a schedule for research, to help students should start and end classes later.
Spindler says if later start times are approved, it could end up costing the district between two and seven hundred fifty thousand dollars. The biggest portion of that being in bus transportation. Spindler continued, “If you put a lot of restrictions on the busing, then it costs them more to get the buses moved around on different routes and perhaps even getting other buses and the more leeway you give them, like the farther times they’re apart like from elementary to high school, that gives them more leeway and they have cost them that much different to do it than they are now.”
Spindler adds there will be issues to address like after school programs and athletics or students who have jobs, but he’s positive they can work them out with parents. Spindler concluded, “It’s just can we plan for that adjustment and address concerns and move forward and I think after a few years it’ll be fine.”
In Eau Claire, Abigail Hantke, FOX 25-48. News at Nine.
If start times are approved, the school for the 2017-18 school year, the Board is hoping to make their final decision Novemeber 21st to implement the start time changes.