UPDATE: Kanawha County school officials approve new start times for many schools
Kanawha County Schools officials plan to change start times for many schools across the district.
Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring announced the district's intent to pursue the changes after a Board of Education meeting Thursday.
Board of Education members have been reviewing sleep studies that indicate teenagers could benefit from starting their school day later rather than their current schedule.
"It's been proven that high school students who get that extra amount of sleep do a lot better and perform a lot better academically," Kanawha County Board of Education member Ric Cavender told WSAZ earlier this month.
Under the new plan, start times would be 8:30 a.m. for high-schoolers, 8 a.m. for middle school students and 7:30 a.m. for elementary students.
School officials say later start times result in better attendance and test scores, especially for high school students. They say they expect the ripple effect to be significant.
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Several parents have urged Kanawha County Schools to bring back two-hour delays due to the extremely cold weather this week.
On Friday, Kanawha Schools were on a rare two-hour delay. According to the spokesperson for KCS, the superintendent's decision to delay was an exception to the usual policy against delays.
KCS decided to do away with delays a few years ago. On Tuesday, Superintendent Ron Duerring told WSAZ several parents are against pushing back the schedule. The Board of Education will continue to evaluate the delay policy for the next academic year.
WSAZ is learning that start times at Kanawha County Schools might change next year, no matter what kind of weather.
Board of Education members are reviewing sleep studies that indicate teenagers could benefit from starting their school day later than what they are currently.
"It's been proven that high school students who get that extra amount of sleep do a lot better and perform a lot better academically," Kanawha County Board of Education member Ric Cavender told WSAZ.
Cavender is all for pushing back high school start times. He says the BOE will start discussing their plan of action at their next meetings.
According to Kanawha County Schools, most of the high schools start between 7:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.
Parents and students are encouraged to reach out to the BOE with thoughts or concerns about changing the start time.