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School Districts Surveying Families on School Start Times

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School district staff will report on April 25th the results of a community survey on school start times. (File Photo)

Distract staff will report on April 25 to the board of trustees for the Alameda Unified School District the results of a survey on later school start times.

The school district initiated the survey in response to a community petition to consider the matter, which was in turn was prompted by a 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that middle and high schools start school no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Some 650 people signed the petition.

“Period 1” at Encinal Junior and Senior High School and at Alameda High School generally starts at 8 a.m., although both schools have a 7 a.m. start-time “Period 0.”

Susan Davis, senior manager, community affairs for the school district, told Action Alameda News that 105 students at Encinal High School are taking zero periods this year and 182 at students at Alameda High School are taking zero periods.

She also said that “staff are reviewing medical research and case studies of districts that have changed to later start times. Staff are also calling representatives of those districts to get details on how they engaged their communities, implemented the later start times, and evaluated the effects.”

However, the 2014 policy statement, “School Start Times for Adolescents,” from the pediatric association cautioned, “it should also be emphasized that delaying school start times alone is less likely to have a significant effect without concomitant attention to other contributing and potentially remediable factors, such as excessive demands on students’ time because of homework, extracurricular activities, after-school employment, social networking, and electronic media use.”

Davis said that school district staff will seek further direction from the board at the April 25th presentation.

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