Start time changes get positive reviews in Barrington schools

  • Barrington Area Unit District 220's shift in start times last year received mostly positive reviews from parents, students and teachers, according to recently released survey results.

      Barrington Area Unit District 220's shift in start times last year received mostly positive reviews from parents, students and teachers, according to recently released survey results. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • Despite positive results from a survey on new start times at Barrington Area Unit District 220, board member Angela Wilcox said she's heard concerns from the parents of elementary students whose start was moved up an hour to 8 a.m.

    Despite positive results from a survey on new start times at Barrington Area Unit District 220, board member Angela Wilcox said she's heard concerns from the parents of elementary students whose start was moved up an hour to 8 a.m.

 
 

Barrington Area Unit District 220's shift in start times last year received mostly positive reviews from parents, students and teachers, according to the results of a recently released survey.

The district received 2,005 responses to the start time survey conducted in May. Baseline information for the survey was gathered toward the end of the 2016-17 academic year, allowing for a comparison to the first year of the new start times in 2017-18.

"One year of data on this is probably too early to make a real sweeping judgment on it," said District 220 Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning John Bruesch. "But I will say, overall, the data looks really good."

District 220 serves about 8,900 students in kindergarten through high school in 12 buildings. In 2017-18, high school and middle school students were shifted to later start times, with the younger children beginning earlier, in a move that officials hoped would boost academic performance and student well-being.

Bruesch said only students from middle and high school were polled for the survey. The survey showed 66 percent of students said changing the start times has been an overall benefit and 73 percent indicated the move helped academic achievement.

The survey indicated 65 percent of parents and 62 percent of teachers believe the change has been an overall benefit. As for improved academic achievement, 69 percent of parents and 57 percent of the staff found that to be the case.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

High school and middle school students reported getting more sleep, with about 22 percent of students saying they slept the optimal 8 to 9 hours a night last year, up from 15 percent in 2016-17. Five percent of student drivers reported nodding off on their way to Barrington High School, half as many as the previous year.

"It certainly is one we'll keep an eye on in the years to come," Bruesch said, "but it certainly is trending in the right direction."

Barrington High moved its start time from 7:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and District 220's two middle schools shifted to 9 a.m. from 7:55 a.m.

Despite the upbeat survey results, board member Angela Wilcox said she's heard concerns from the parents of elementary students whose start was moved up an hour to 8 a.m.

"I've had a lot of parents come to me saying that their elementary kids are starting at 8, but they have band or orchestra at 7. This isn't what our plan was, so that upsets me," she said.

0 Comments
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.