Wayzata approves later high school, middle school start times

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Students and parents in Wayzata will likely need to change their morning schedules after the school board unanimously approved a plan Monday night to push the high school start time to 8:20 a.m. and middle schools to 9:10 a.m.

The changes aim to give teenagers another hour to sleep; however, the youngest students will have the earliest start. Five of the elementary schools will start at 7:45 a.m. while the other three start at 8:30 a.m. Superintendent Chace Anderson has backed the plan since parents were notified in August, and said the change was prompted by several studies suggesting teens are not getting enough sleep.

Wayzata is Minnesota’s largest high school and currently starts at 7:30 a.m., which is among the earliest of other high schools in the area:

Wayzata: 7:30 a.m.
Eden Prairie: 7:50 a.m.
Minnetonka: 8:00 a.m.
Edina: 8:25 a.m.

High school parents haven’t opposed the change quite like their elementary counterparts, who have expressed concerns over their work schedules and their children waiting for early buses. Others argue all kids need sleep, not just the older ones.

After hearing hours of testimony from about 15 parents who were mostly against the change, the board still voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. The new start times will take effect next school year.

See the detailed proposal at http://www.wayzata.k12.mn.us/STARTTIMES