Latest schools pitch: Let high schoolers sleep longer 

The struggle for high school students to arrive at The City’s public schools on time has prompted some Board of Education members to propose changing the school day to begin one hour later.

Currently, most public high schools ring the first bell around
8 a.m. and end around 3 p.m.

But Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer is pushing the idea of starting high school classes an hour later at 9 a.m. and also ending them an hour later to accommodate sleepy-headed teenagers.

Fewer said at Tuesday’s board meeting that it’s important for younger students to wake up early, since studies show learning is best stimulated first thing in the morning. However, high schoolers learn better later in the morning, she said.

The idea came after an impassioned speech Fewer delivered about the struggles the San Francisco Unified School District is facing in implementing drastic budget cuts equitably districtwide.

Fewer suggested a number of ideas to deal with the deficit in ways she hoped would help spare students from a degraded education. One idea involved cutting transportation for kids needing rides to school, which led to discussions about changing school-bell hours.

The school district said Wednesday the idea of changing bell hours “warrants further exploration,” but that “at this point, there’s no actual plan in place” to do so.

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