Parents of students in Fairfax County Public schools have pushed for later high school start times for well over a decade. High schools in Fairfax begin very early, 7:30 am, which runs counter to adolescents’ biological clock. [read_more] From an email message sent yesterday to FCPS parents,
In August, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement that recommended later start times so that school schedules would be aligned with the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents. Other research indicates sleep-deprived students have shortened attention spans, slower reaction time, lower test scores, poorer grades, increased rates of depression, and higher risk of car crashes.
The School Board’s approval of the new start times schedule for the 2015-16 school year will allow families and employees almost a full calendar year to adjust to the change.“We believe it is best to give our families and employees plenty of time to adjust to a change of this magnitude,” said Superintendent Karen Garza. “Between now and next September, we will work with intention to finalize bell schedules and to make needed adjustments to ensure that this is a smooth transition for our stakeholders and our community.”
The change will require the addition of 27 buses at a cost of $4.9 million.