Hilliard City Schools to institute new school start times

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Hilliard city schools will institute new start times for middle and elementary students for the 2017-2018 school year.

The decision was made after a Centers for Disease Control study found most students were starting school too early and not getting the recommended amount of sleep. According to the CDC, children aged 6 to 12-years-old need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep. Teens aged 13 to 18-years-old need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep.

Noah Adams is a freshman in Hilliard city schools. He says he remembers struggling to stay awake in school.

“Like I would fall asleep during lunch,” said Adams. The teen says extracurricular activities and homework kept him awake.

“You have to go to bed at 1 in the morning to get all your homework done,” he said.

“He would get late from games 10 o'clock at night and then a lot of times he would have some homework to finish,” said Karie Piccino, Noah’s mom. “So, it was just a tough challenge juggling everything at night.”

That's why Hilliard schools pushed back the start times for middle and elementary kids. Starting in the fall, middle schoolers will start class at 8 a.m., 30 minutes later than the current schedule. Elementary students will begin around 9 a.m. depending on the school, 15 minutes later than the current schedule.

“I personally find it as an inconvenience,” said Kelley Wells, a mom of three. Wells has two kids in high school and one in middle school. She says the new schedule will interfere with her kids transport system.

“Next year, it’s going to be where I drop my high schooler off first and then I’ll go wait in the weaver parking lot for 20 minutes until the first bell rings,” said Wells.

Instead, Wells says it’s the high schoolers who need more time to sleep in.“ Because they are staying up a lot later studying,” she said. “The elementary students got pushed back and I don't really understand why.”

Either way, parents seem to agree: the more sleep for the students, the better their grades.

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