Guilford Decides to Change School Start Times

The first bell will ring 15 minutes later for Guilford high school students, 10 minutes later for middle schoolers and five minutes later for elementary students next year.

The district debated this change to start times for years, and has faced some controversy over it, but ultimately decided the shift will benefit their students.

“It didn’t really make any sense about 10 minutes. There’s going to really be no difference when I go to school,” said Baldwin Middle School student Caeleb Grieder.

This week the Board of Education decided to make it official and start the school day later. The move is something the town has debated since 2014, citing research claiming students who sleep more and start school later performed better in the classroom.

Before the change was official, many parents worried it was the wrong thing to do.

“I really question whether those 15 minutes are really going to offer our kids the benefit that these studies suggest,” one parent said during one of several meetings to discuss the school start time issue.

Dozens of parents showed up to a Guilford Board of Education meeting Wednesday to speak about the potential impact of a plan to change the start and end times of the school day.

But parents that spoke with NBC Connecticut Wednesday night said they were open to the change.

“All the studies that I’ve seen show that a good night’s sleep is really important to learning. So we’re thrilled that this is a step in the right direction,” said parent Paul Anastas.

To facilitate the later start while keeping classroom time close to the same, the kids at the high school level with have the time between classes shortened by one minute each period.

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