NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk School Board is expected to discuss the possibility of pushing back start times for students at a meeting Wednesday night.
The board said in a resolution earlier this year it is hoping to have start times for high schoolers of no earlier than 8:30 a.m. High school students currently start school at 7:25 a.m.
Education consulting firm Cooperative Strategies is slated to brief the board on school start time research during a regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.
The firm will be presenting data to the school board, which indicates later school start times could improve student academic performance and overall health.
For example, students felt well-rested and less depressed when starting 25 minutes later. Starting one hour later also raised standardized test scores.
Later start times also show a 9 percent increase in graduation rates.
According to the firm’s report, later start times could present challenges when it comes to before or after school care and after school activities like athletics.
The firm’s report recommends exploring later start times as an option for elementary and high schools but also prepare a community survey and hold community meetings.
Norfolk is the second school district in Hampton Roads to consider the idea of later start times. Virginia Beach’s board voted unanimously in late-November to change school start times.
Virginia Beach Superintendent Aaron Spence is expected to present options for later start times to the school board before it goes for a vote in September 2019.
The Norfolk board is looking to hear from parents and students before considering a vote on any changes. The board’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 7p.m.