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Hilliard Changing School Start Times; State Considers Changing School Year

Feb 8, 2017

Changes in when public schools start their day are coming to one local district.

And state lawmakers are considering changing the start of the school year. Jim Letizia reports.   

Hilliard school district officials say some elementary and middle schools will begin classes at later time periods next school year. The move follows a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control showing most U.S. schools start too early, and fewer than one in five middle and high schools begin at 8:30 am or later - the time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The academy found students get too little sleep, resulting in poorer academic performance. A study by a Hilliard schools task force determined sixth grade and middle school start times will move back to 8 am, with dismissal at 2:45 pm. The district is also pushing back start times at Alton Darby, Norwich and Scioto Darby Elementary schools by 15 minutes to 9:20 am. The changes will cost the district an extra 130 thousand dollars a year. Meanwhile, the Ohio Senate is considering a bill that would push the start of the school *year* back until after Labor Day.  Supporters say starting the school year in mid-August conflicts with county fairs, and puts students in classrooms without air-conditioning during hot summer weather. Critics say the measure would force kids to sit through classes in mid-June, costing many districts more money.