Wake could change school hours

March 12, 2009 4:10:07 AM PDT
Time is precious even to Raleigh 3rd grader Phoenix Greene. He doesn't want to get up for school any earlier than he has to."If we start any earlier, then I would have to go to bed really early and every kid in the school would not like that," he explained.

His mom isn't wild about the idea either.

"My major concern would be him standing at the bus stop at 6:30 in the morning," said Roberta Greene.

It's a concern that could become a reality if Wake school leaders decide to start school a few minutes earlier. By starting the school day five minutes earlier, that would create an extra 15 hours during the school year. Starting 10 minutes earlier would create an extra 30 hours during the school year that teachers could use to meet with one another.

They meet to share what works in their classroom and with certain students and what doesn't. Those meetings would take place by letting schools out early one day a week or adding more half days to the school year.

School Board Member Patti Head says those meetings are crucial, but she has concerns.

"The very issues of starting school early, particularly since we're already discussing the fact that some of our high school students don't really fully wake up as early as they're in school now, research tells us they'd do better with a later start than an earlier start," she said.

And there could be childcare issues.

"For stay-at-home moms it would be fine. I think for folks who work, it's going to put more challenge on them getting there," offered parent Tracy Wheeler.

For Phoenix Greene the choice is easy.

"I'd rather go another day than go a bit earlier," he said.

Parents can weigh in at the next school board meeting. A final vote is expected by the end of the month.


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