Tell Us: Later School Start for Teens Worth $5.6 Million?

Administrators support a later start for Fairfax high schools. What do you think?

Administrators support a later start for Fairfax high schools. Patch file.
Administrators support a later start for Fairfax high schools. Patch file.
Your teens may be sleeping in longer beginning in 2015.

Fairfax County schools superintendent Karen Garza has endorsed a plan pushing high school start times back at least 40 minutes. 

The plan, which also impacts middle school start times, would cost more than $5,580,000, according to The Washington Post.

Supporters note later start times give teens much-needed sleep, improving health and school performance.

Start times received public hearings across the county in May and June. But it's an issue that has been debated for years.

What do you think? Is the later start time worth it? Tell us in the comments section below.

Ann M Gallagher July 17, 2014 at 01:17 PM
I am surprised the student athletes and their parents are not fighting for a later, healthier, safer start time. NIH documents a "Chronic Lack of Sleep is Associated With Increased Sports Injuries in Adolescent Athletes" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25028798
Diane Scibilia July 17, 2014 at 01:52 PM
Not sure where all of this money is coming from with the FCPS budget so strapped for cash. This discussion has been coming up for so many years. It has been dismissed so many times. It is my belief that the vast majority of parents, students and employees are against this change ( as they have been in the past). With high schools starting later, it will take students longer to get to school as they will be traveling during the height of rush hour. I always felt it was my responsibility as a parent to make sure my kids got enough sleep. The FCPS survey on this subject was quite slanted. There was no option to keep things as they are.
Sondra Selway July 18, 2014 at 07:49 AM
Posting as a private voice lesson teacher whose schedule will be very negatively impacted by this change, I am still in favor of high school (and middle school) students going to school later. In my opinion while 40 minutes is an improvement....it should be even later than this. It is NOT healthy for teens to have to go to school so early in the morning. Due to their home work load if they want high grades or even average grades, they are going to be up late at night. They are all living with sleep deprivation - a condition that I have - and this is not acceptable - a serious health issue, and one that will likely have life long adverse affects on their brains. I have been teaching for 40 years. It's very sad to see the state of students now compared to those I taught 40 years ago.
Sonja Moore July 18, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Finally Fairfax County is doing what other Virginia counties have done for years. It seems the smart thing to do is switch elementary and high school start times and leave middle school the same. The sad thing is my daughter or grand daughter will not be able to take advantage of the later start times, since it has taken the county so many years to even consider later start times.
Dolores July 19, 2014 at 09:55 PM
You can't put a price on the health and well-being of a child. I hope the district makes the change - it will be money very well spent. Our district changed to a later start time last year and my boys did get more sleep with a later start time. They maintained the same bed time as before the change and were more alert and happier once they were able to get enough sleep. Make the change, your kids are worth it.


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