LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — School start times have become a hot topic amongst Clark County School District parents. While some studies show that a later start time would benefit high school students, some families aren’t on board with the change.
“It’s too early — I don’t get enough sleep at night,” said Christopher Ibarra, a freshman at a Las Vegas valley high school. “Sometimes I need naps after school.”
It’s a sentiment shared by some at a Thursday school board meeting where the proposed later start time at CCSD schools was the topic of discussion. Several options were brought to light.
One option would shift all students’ start times by an hour, the earliest being at 8:00 a.m. for high school students.
Another option would see all elementary schools begin at 8:00 a.m. and high school sessions start at 10:00 a.m. As a result, those students would be released by 4:00 p.m.
A third option would bring high school and some middle schools to order at 8:00 a.m., while elementary schools would convene at 9:30 a.m. This option, officials say, would cost the most financially in the long run.
Parents, who alongside their children are affected by the potential change, say they have some stake in which option is eventually chosen.
“I don’t like the idea of them not getting home until 4:00 p.m. and then they have to run out the door an hour later,” said Kristi Andrade, a parent of a CCSD student. “I wouldn’t want [a student] starting any later than 8:00 a.m. for middle school or high school.”
“A lot of parents have to start working early, so you are giving high schoolers an extra hour — in the morning to do God knows what,” said Scott Feiwell, another district parent. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
The change wouldn’t just affect the schedules of students and parents, but potentially bus drivers. Schedule alterations could see some bus services cut as a result.
Some officials from CCSD, including Dr. Jesus F. Jara, Clark County School District superintendent, disagree with the proposed changes, with the opposition suggesting that schedule alterations should be left to each school district to decide.
“This is something that would cause a negative impact on our children, our staff, and our community,” said Jara. “It’s not something that CCSD is supporting.”
If the revised plan is approved, a public hearing will be held before final approval is given. Upon approval, new start times could take effect by the start of the school year in 2024. Officials say, if the changes were made, the movement would be gradual, rather than all at once.
The potential scheduling changes will be discussed at a Thursday meeting.