Students at Minnesota's largest high school will get to sleep later

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Students at Wayzata High School will get to sleep in later next year – a move several other districts in Minnesota have made in recent years to allow teenagers to get more sleep.

The school board voted unanimously Monday night to push back start times at the high school by nearly an hour – from 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m., Lakeshore Weekly News says. Before this change, Wayzata High School had one of the earliest start times in the west metro, reports note.

The thought is starting the school day later will help students get more sleep, which means they'll generally get better grades and will be healthier, among other things. (Read the district's report on the benefits of changing start times here.)

With this new three-tier scheduling plan, middle school students will begin their day at 9:10 a.m., according to the meeting agenda.

But this change will shift start times much earlier for a few elementary schools. Five of the district's eight elementary schools will begin at 7:45 a.m., while the other three will start at 8:30 a.m.

That has some parents of elementary school students a little upset, saying the district is putting the wellbeing of older students above younger kids, KARE 11 says. A group of parents brought signs to Monday's meeting that read: "All kids need to sleep" and "A person is a person. No matter how small," the Star Tribune says.

Their concerns range from earlier start times affecting family time to the financial and logistical burden it could put on families with two working parents – many of whom say they picked where they lived based on school start times, Lakeshore Weekly News notes.

Shifting school start times comes while the district is going through many changes in order to accommodate growing enrollment numbers, including construction of a new elementary school and adding onto Wayzata High School, which is already the largest high school in the state.

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