CLINTON — A change in start times is on the way for Clinton students beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
Clinton Superintendent Gary DeLacy said this week that 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.
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.
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.
“At the end of the day, it’s really about what’s best for our kids,” DeLacy said. “It’s been shown that elementary students are awake and ready to learn earlier in the day, so that’s something that we’ve definitely taken into account. That’s kind of the consensus that we came to.”
DeLacy said the decision came after “a number of discussions with administrators, teachers, some parents, and other stakeholders,” through a process of weighing the pros and cons of the potential time shifts.
A “huge push” from the elementary teachers, some who 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.
“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.”