CLINTON — When Clinton School District students head to their first day of classes Aug. 23, they’ll be doing so at slightly different times.
Clinton School District Superintendent Gary DeLacy has proceeded with a plan created earlier this year to alter the start times for both elementary and secondary students. The superintendent laid out a plan for elementary students to run on an earlier schedule, from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., while middle and high school students are set to run on a later schedule, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.
DeLacy said he and a host of other district administrators have studied “several national resources” showing that a change in start times for not only elementary students, but also secondary students, is in order for the district.
“We’ve kind of decided that this is what’s best for the education of our kids,” DeLacy said Wednesday. “We’re at the point where we’re just going to see how this year goes, but I think it could be good to see how these changes go.”
Using resources such as the American Academy of Sleep, DeLacy said it was determined that younger children benefit from the earlier start times, while secondary students benefit from getting more sleep.
In a blog post earlier in the year, DeLacy explained that, “Although the perfect school schedule does not exist, I do feel that the overall consensus in these conversations is to move our elementary school starting times earlier and move the secondary school starting time close to the recommended time of 8:30 a.m.”
Also at the elementary level, DeLacy said that he was seeing a “huge push” from his teachers to move their start times up. Some of the teachers were seeing students in the district’s Early Risers program in their buildings for as long as two hours before school even started, ultimately swaying the discussion in favor of the changes.
At the March board meeting, the superintendent reiterated that the changes put the district’s students at the forefront.
“We’ve gotten to a point where, fundamentally, we’ve got to look at how our kids will be affected,” DeLacy said. “We feel like, from a student performance standpoint, these changes are the right ones to make right now.”