Lincolnshire school to start later in 2017 so kids can sleep more

  • Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 officials have approved starting classes at Wright Junior High later in the day to let kids sleep more. The change will begin in fall 2017.

      Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 officials have approved starting classes at Wright Junior High later in the day to let kids sleep more. The change will begin in fall 2017. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

  • Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 board President Gary Gordon supports the plan to begin Wright Junior High classes 40 minutes later starting in fall 2017.

    Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 board President Gary Gordon supports the plan to begin Wright Junior High classes 40 minutes later starting in fall 2017. Courtesy of District 103

 
 
Updated 12/16/2016 5:12 PM

Classes at Lincolnshire's Wright Junior High School will begin 40 minutes later than they do now starting in fall 2017, officials decided this week.

The start of the school day is being pushed to 8:30 a.m. in an effort to give students more time to sleep. The decision came after more than a year of private and public discussions involving Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103 staffers, parents and students.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The end of the school day at Wright, which serves fifth- through eighth-graders, also will be delayed 40 minutes to 3:35 p.m.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are among the health authorities that have advocated starting middle school and high school classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to ensure students get enough sleep.

Experts have said school districts that have pushed start times later have seen an improvement in student performance. Later start times also have led to fewer car accidents involving teenagers in those communities, experts have reported.

"The medical evidence is overwhelming," District 103 school board President Gary Gordon said.

Additionally, the district's Sprague School will start at 8:15 a.m. next fall, instead of the current 9 a.m. Sprague, which serves preschoolers through second-graders, will let out each day at 2:45 p.m. instead of 3:30 p.m.

The change at Sprague was needed to accommodate bus schedules, officials said. An 8:15 a.m. start is "medically appropriate" for those younger kids, Gordon said.

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The schedule at Half Day School, which has third- and fourth-grade classes, won't change. Classes there will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m., as they do now.

The board unanimously approved the change Tuesday.

The panel had considered changing start times for the current school year during discussions in 2015, but opted to delay any change because of financial concerns and busing issues.

Changing start times was a primary goal in a strategic plan called Vision 2020 that the school board adopted last year.

Stevenson High School District 125, Barrington Area Unit District 220, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Naperville Unit District 203 are among the suburban districts that have either made or are considering similar start-time changes.

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