Perrysburg, Maumee schools to adjust start timesWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
The internal clocks of adolescents tell them it’s unnatural to be awake and learning at early morning hours and Perrysburg Schools is listening.
Starting this school year, middle school and high school classes in the district will start 20 minutes later and elementary classes will start 15 minutes later.
Start times will switch to 8 a.m. from 7:40 a.m. at the high school, to 7:45 a.m. from 7:25 a.m. at the junior high, and to 9 a.m. from 8:45 a.m. at the elementary schools.
Kadee Anstadt, director of teaching and learning for Perrysburg Schools, said the main reason for the shift is to better serve the learning needs of students.
“It’s really about the adolescents,” Anstadt said. “Younger kids would do just fine. They are up early watching cartoons at 6 a.m. But financially we can’t run the buses that way.”
Anstadt said it’s a misperception teenagers stay up late because they need less sleep.
“That’s how their bodies are wired. They need that eight hours, but I don’t think many are getting it,” Anstadt said. “We know the later they start, the better they’re going to be. There’s a lot of research that backs that up.”
Anstadt said the district has been discussing the change for years.
“I think every superintendent recognizes that we’ve got to maximize the time we have with kids,” Anstadt said. “We want it to be the most effective time we can and it’s not going to be when we’re yanking kids out of bed way before their sleep patterns.”
Anstadt said students are excited about the change.
“I was at the high school the day they announced it and they were crazy about it. They were so excited,” Anstadt said. “It’s like being able to hit the snooze button twice. That’s a pretty big deal.”
Parents have also reacted positively to the change, said Superintendent Tom Hosler in a news release.
“The Board of Education has been studying this and all the brain research shows that a later start time — especially at the secondary level — will improve student learning,” Hosler said. “This is a step in the right direction.”
Although Anstadt said the later start times may affect some working parents who drop off their kids at school, she said the times are still early enough that most should not have an issue. Parents also have the option of sending their kids on the bus or carpooling, she said.
The district has worked with St. Rose and other nonpublic schools to which it buses students to revise transportation schedules. St. Rose adjusted its start times to match Perrysburg. Penta Career Center start times will not change.
Revising the bus schedule has been a logistical challenge, but things are coming together, Anstadt said.
“They worked and worked and worked that bus schedule until they figured it out,” Anstadt said.
District Transportation Supervisor Ellen Moser said the change should not cost more than $3,000 and may end up not costing the district any additional funds, depending on how routes work out, according to a news release.
Anstadt said the change is in line with the district’s ongoing goal of finding ways to better serve its students.
“We’re just constantly looking for ways to help the students have a better day and we think starting later will help everyone,” Anstadt said. “First days are always a little challenging, but we’re hoping it works out just fine.”
For more information, visit www.perrysburg.k12.oh.us.
Maumee start times
Maumee City Schools has adjusted start times for its elementary and middle schools in order to accommodate bus schedules after the consolidation of the district’s four elementary schools into three.
Union Elementary School was closed at the end of last school year. Of the three remaining elementary schools, two will serve kindergarten through third grade and the other will serve fourth- and fifth-graders, said Nancy Sayre, communications specialist for the district.
The school day at Fairfield and Fort Miami elementary schools will run 8:55 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. while the school day at Wayne Trail Elementary will run 9:10 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Last year, the school day at all four elementary schools ran 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The school day at Maumee Middle School will run 8:15 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.
“We have had to tweak each within 10 minutes,” Sayre said. “We’re a small enough district that the same bus route runs to different schools.”
The 7:45 a.m. to 2:32 p.m. school day at the high school is unchanged from last year.