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WCSD June Start-Time Community Forum Video Available

At the request of the WCSD Board of Education during its November 2, 2017, meeting, WCSD began to explore, study, and problem-solve around the complex issue of potential changes to school start times. Since the first district-wide start time study group meeting on January 31 and under the guidance of Larry Wahl, the district’s coordinator of strategic initiatives, elementary and secondary work groups met throughout the spring to research this issue, gather community feedback and discuss possible next steps. These study groups looked at possible implications to district transportation, athletics, childcare, our academic program, and elementary activity period. In addition, Superintendent Carmen Gumina personally interviewed more than 950 middle and high school students to get their thoughts on potential changes to school start times.

The district held a second community forum on June 5. During the June 7 board of education meeting, Mr. Wahl provided the board with a progress update, including how that forum went, and a recommendation from the work groups to the board. Based on feedback from community stakeholders and given what we have learned about adolescent sleep needs, the start time study groups recommended that the board of education consider changing our district’s school start times to approximately 8:45 for secondary schools and 7:45 for elementary schools.

If the board decides to move forward with this recommendation, the district would take at least one full year to prepare. WCSD remains committed to maintaining and enhancing its high quality academic, athletic, and extracurricular programming and ensuring optimal use of before- and after-school time. The district would also use benchmark points during that year-long preparation time and have a formal review of how everything is going after one, three, and five years.

The board will thoughtfully review this recommendation and make a decision by fall 2018 as to what next steps will be.

Thanks to more than 200 community members and those 950-plus students who have taken the time to become engaged in this critical study that impacts our One Webster community. If you were unable to attend the June community forum, please take some time to view the video below.

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