Fairfax Co. schools, parents weigh value of sleep

School bus stop signs are being ignored, and lawmakers say the safety of students is compromised by drivers who don\'t stop. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – An idea that puts students’ health first might have to take a back seat yet again if an area school system deems it too complicated to implement.

High school currently begins at 7:20 a.m. in Fairfax County, but that might soon change. Administrators are considering pushing the start time back — as other local counties have — to give students a few more hours of sleep.

Some have balked at the idea, however, as it would require retooling the entire infrastructure around school hours, such as after-school activities and bus schedules.

The idea was considered in Fairfax County in 2009, but was rejected by the school board. The county superintendent will report to the board in June on how Arlington and Loudoun counties have successfully implemented later school start times. Families also will be able to weigh in.

Terry Eiserman, a high school teacher in Arlington County where start times were moved back several years ago, told WTOP earlier in April she has noticed a big difference in her students with the later start times.

“My first period kids come in more alert, more likely to be perky,” she said.

Learn more about parents reaction in this report.

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WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow Kristi and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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