education

Andover School Committee Approves Later Start Times

The Andover school district started looking at start times in 2018, with a focus on the biological changes in teenager's sleeping patterns

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School will be starting later next year in Andover, Massachusetts, after a vote Thursday night.

Some parents objected to a controversial proposal to change school start times, but the Andover School Committee voted in favor of the delay.

High school will continue to start at 8:15 a.m., with middle school now set to start at the same time. Elementary school will shift from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.

"Throughout the pandemic, we heard from many students, staff and families, expressing concerns about student well-being and mental health," Andover School Committee Chairperson Susan McCready said in a statement. "We share in these concerns and today's vote affirms our extensive efforts that puts the focus on students first in Andover Public School policies and operations."

The Andover school district started looking at start times in 2018, with a focus on the biological changes in teenager's sleeping patterns.

The Andover School Committee is proposing to pushes the middle and high school start time to 8:15 a.m. and the elementary school from 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The proposal “attempts to balance the scientifically proven benefits of later start times for middle and high school students with the goal of minimizing schedule impacts on elementary families," according to the district's website.

Many of the elementary school parents say moving the school day back doesn’t make sense and is unfair.

“They’re essentially taking the burden from the teenagers and putting it on the backs of the elementary school kids and they’re putting it on the backs of us working class parents.” said Nick Stellakis, the parent of a student at an Andover elementary school.

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