The Central Bucks School District is looking into changing high school start times to better match the sleep patterns of teens.
Those in the Central Bucks community have until Monday (April 22) to fill out an online survey that will determine how the community feels about such a change.
The survey went live on April 8 and on April 9, 5,300 people had already participated in it.
“We have an active community that is definitely engaged and refines that survey, which is good because it’s going to give us a good starting point to start doing some of the homework on what are community is asking of us,” Superintendent John Kopcki said during the Central Bucks School Board meeting held last Tuesday night. “And if there’s one thing Kopicki wants the community to know, it’s this: It’s a starting point.
“By no means is anything going to happen for the 2019-20 school year,” he said. “If and when we decide to do anything, we’re looking at the 2020-21 school year.”
Kopicki said it takes that long to gather the information and talk to the community, put a committee together and have focus groups. “I’m very encouraged that our community has responded so strongly.”
The survey is being conducted by consultant, Hanover Research, who told Kopicki that it is one of the strongest responses they’ve ever seen. The responses will be anonymous.
About a year ago, the district began to discuss the possibility of migrating to later start times in the secondary school schedule.
“The school board and administration are committed to exploring this matter fully in order to determine if it’s right for our community, our students, and our schools,” Kopicki wrote in a letter to parents and the community posted to the district’s website.
“While we have gathered a great deal of research on the topic to help inform our recommendations, the next steps will be guided based on important feedback from all of you,” he wrote.
Start times in Central Bucks are currently 7:25 a.m. at the high schools, 7:30 a.m. at the middle schools, and between 8:35 and 9:05 a.m. at the elementary schools.