Lewis-Palmer D-38 considering changing school start times - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Lewis-Palmer D-38 considering changing school start times

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Lewis-Palmer School District 38 is tackling a very controversial topic, changing their school start times.

School Board members discussed the idea as well as results from a recent district wide survey at their work session on Tuesday night.

"We want to make sure that what we ultimately do is going to increase the standard of education for students," Matthew Clawson, the School Board President of District 38 said.

Lewis Palmer, the next district to consider new start times after a handful in Colorado have already made these changes based on past studies. 

"I am really excited that the district is considering this, being a professional, I know that the studies around the nation and even in our state have proven that delayed starts for even our eldest students pays off with better attendance, less tardies and higher achievement," Phyllis Robinette, a teacher at Palmer Lake Elementary School said.

In a recent district wide survey, 53 percent of elementary school parents disapprove of starting school an hour and 15 minutes earlier to 7:30 a.m.

While about 62 percent of middle school parents actually approve pushing the start time back an hour and a half to 8:55 a.m.  

A similar story for the high school parents, 66 percent also approved pushing the start times back an hour to 8:40 a.m. 

"The high school kids, they're hard to get out of bed because they go to bed so late so I think it would make sense but there are a lot of studies and I think it needs to be thought of a lot," Derek Araje, a parent said.

Concerns for child care and student athletics both brought up to board members. But some parents say, they might have bigger issues to worry about first. 

"I just don't think the school district is going to make that decision before they ask the taxpayers for money for new schools, because it's a very controversial topic, earlier or later starts and they don't want to anger half the population and not get their money passed," Araje said.

Board members agreed that this has as much of an impact as building a new school. 

"Change of this magnitude, we want to do our due diligence," Clawson said.

One thing was clear after Tuesday night's meeting, it's going to take a lot more community feedback before the board can even bring this to a vote. 

If anything moves forward, they say it could take a year and a half or more to implement these changes.

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