old saybrook

Old Saybrook Board of Ed Votes to Push Back High School Start Time

The Old Saybrook Board of Education has voted to delay the high school's start time a half hour.

In a letter from the school district, officials said the school day at Old Saybrook High School will now start at 8 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m.

The decision was made based on recommendations from the School Start Time Committee. They suggested the start of the school day be delayed based on research on the mental health, physical wellbeing and general success of students maneuvering through their teenage years.

The Board of Ed voted on the change during a special meeting Thursday night. You can watch the meeting here.

Dr. Craig Canapari, a sleep specialist from the Yale Pediatric Specialty Center, presented facts about the positive impact of delaying the school day. The delay will positively impact teens' mental and physical health as well as potential links to academics and athletic performance, according to Canapari.

School officials said they provided opportunities for questions at the Board meeting on Jan. 11, when the time change was initially proposed. There was also a public meeting open to all parents and guardians on May 23.

A survey was put out to families and students last fall about the proposed change. Here are the results:

  • Approximately 66% of total respondents across the district supported this change in start times.
  • 64% of high school students supported the change.
  • 68% of high school parents supported the change.
  • 50% of high school staff supported the change.

The bus company will adjust their transportation schedules and school administrators will adjust daily schedules to coincide with the change, according to the school district.

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