Friday, March 09, 2001

Campbell Co. parents asked about starting school later

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ALEXANDRIA — Campbell County Schools is considering changing its starting times next fall.

        The district is asking parents for input on delaying the schools' start times, in response to a community forum last fall where the changes were recommended to make the schools more “family friendly,” said district spokesman Chris Gramke.

        Campbell County's middle and high school students now start their day at 7:30 a.m., dismissing at 2:10 p.m. Elementary schools start at 8:30 a.m., dismissing at 3:10 p.m.

        National research has shown that teen-agers need more sleep, prompting school districts to look at later start times for high schools.

        Surveys were sent to more than 4,100 families, asking parents to rank three options:

        • Delay all start times by 30 minutes, starting middle and high school students at 8 a.m. and elementary students at 9 a.m.

        • Flip the times and start 30 minutes later, with the elementary schools opening at 8 a.m. and the middle and high schools at 9 a.m.

        • Make no changes and keep the current schedule.

        The surveys are due back to the district this afternoon. District officials plan to have the results tallied by Monday.

        If the response is overwhelmingly against change, district officials said they will drop the idea this year, Mr. Gramke said.

        A change to the start times would also affect every private school in the county. The private schools contract with the district to use public school buses.


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