Should Ann Arbor change school start times? New survey asks parents
Ann Arbor Public Schools parents are being asked to weigh-in on whether the district should change high school start times.
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
The email from the district states a change in start times at the high schools also would affect the start and end times at the elementary and middle schools.
"We encourage all parents to share their viewpoint on this potential change," Margolis wrote.
The survey will be available for parents' feedback until Tuesday.
A multi-faceted committee of district employees and community members was established in the fall to research high school start times, the benefits and drawbacks and to explore the possibility of changing the secondary start time in Ann Arbor.
In December, administrators presented an initial report from the committee to the Board of Education that revealed committee members did not find any compelling evidence in favor of pushing back the school day for Ann Arbor teens.
The committee was charged with analyzing how a later start time could affect transportation, athletic schedules and childcare arrangements. It was the committee's recommendation to launch a parent survey.
Some national studies have found that teenagers are predisposed to sleeping between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. because of how and when teens produce melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that, according to studies, make teens naturally night owls.
But there are conflicting studies, especially about how start times affect test scores, school officials said.
High school start times in Ann Arbor currently are around 7:40 a.m.
At the December board meeting, trustees gave the administration the OK to proceed with a parent survey. But largely, board members expressed they did not want to spend too much time on the topic right now, especially if the benefits of a later start time were not overwhelming, they said.