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School District Considering Start Time Changes 

Bend-La Pine Schools will survey the public starting April 9

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In the wake of recent studies that show adolescents' sleep patterns change and trend toward a later bedtime, district officials are considering changing start times for Bend-La Pine Schools.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, "Biological sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence—meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00pm."

Currently, elementary students at Bend-La Pine Schools start at 9am, while middle school and high school students need to be in their chairs by 7:45am. The district is considering three options: The Flip Model would have elementary students starting at 7:45am and the middle and high school aged kids at 9am.; a Slide Model would have elementary students starting earlier and high school and middle school students starting at later, undetermined times; while the Current Model would maintain current start times.

Bend-La Pine Deputy Superintendent Jay Mathisen told KTVZ that current research says if adolescents start school later than 7:45, there are benefits for kids. St. Charles Sleep Center Medical Director Dr. David Dedrick told KTVZ a later start time is vitally important to teen health.

However, later start times do come with consequences. For example, flipping times could leave elementary students waiting in the dark for the bus. High school kids could face challenges with later finish times getting to sports and other after school events. An across-the-board later start time would mean hiring more bus drivers to get everyone to school on time.

The district will conduct an online survey from April 9 to May 31 to let the community weigh in on the issue, said BLPS Communications Specialist Alandra Johnson. That survey will be available on the district website, https://www.bend.k12.or.us.





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