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Rochester Public Schools leaders considering moving back school start times

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Should the start of the school day for Rochester students be pushed back? That was just one of a host of topics covered at the first Rochester Public Schools Board meeting since the big referendum passage last week.

It was a busy night, with the meeting lasting more than 3 hours, but the main topic was the proposal to start the school day 30 minutes or even nearly an hour later than it does now.

There’s an ever increasing number of studies correlating student sleep time with student performance in school.

This information has lead the board to consider starting school at a later time to provide students a chance to earn valuable minutes of sleep before heading to class.

“There’s a lot of research that’s been out there for several years that your high school especially and middle school need more sleep and having them start earlier doesn’t allow them to do that. So that’s really what’s driving this is to try to find a way to give them a later start time so they can get a little more sleep,” said Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz.

Tuesday night’s discussions were lead by a large committee and involved several different viewpoints from board members on the topic, but they were just scratching the surface of what it might look like if the start time moved back to 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., instead of 7:40 a.m.

The proposal would include an 8 a.m. start time for elementary school students, who currently start classes at 9:15 a.m.

District leaders are looking for community and staff input before moving forward with any schedule change.

The board approved the Ice Arena rental at Graham Arena for the hockey teams to be able to practice and play there. That’ll cost the district more than $184,000 for the school year.

Holden Krusemark

Holden Krusemark

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