Wayzata District Parent Testifies for Later School Start Times
Several years ago, the Wayzata School District made the decision to start high school at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday at the state Capitol, a Wayzata parent testified about the impact an early start time had for her daughter back when she had to start class at 7:30 in the morning.
“I can tell you she was very difficult to wake up,” said Beth Albright. “She tells me she was very sleepy for her classes, especially the early ones in the morning. Just more irritable. Trouble coping. It just felt like she was slogging through each day. Just kind of in survival mode, waiting for the next break in school where she could get caught up on sleep again.”
Alrbight testified before the Senate Education Policy Committee. She said when Wayzata High School changed their start time to 8:20 a.m. back in 2015, her daughter got more sleep and had more energy.
The proposed legislation would prevent middle and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 a.m. and would prevent elementary student bus pick-ups before 7 a.m.
However, critics of the bill say the decision of an earlier school start time should be up to local school boards.
“In Robbinsdale, we have begun to look at the issue and the topic,” said Patsy Green, a Robbinsdale School Board member. “And I personally, on a higher level, could support early start times, but would prefer to have the ability to engage our own students and families of all ages in the conversation. We need to survey our community and have the necessary conversations to fully understand where our own community stands, and this is a divisive topic.”
Tuesday’s hearing was simply for informational purposes, and lawmakers said no action would be taken immediately.
If the bill is passed, the new early school start time would take effect in the 2021-2022 school year.