Anne Arundel County Students Get to Sleep In a Little Longer

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)– Get ready to sleep in! Starting next school year Anne Arundel high schools will start 13 minutes later and elementary and middle school students 15 minutes later. This goes into effect after leaders voted to start classes later every single day.

The move is getting high marks from parents and kids.

“It’s a lot especially for days when I don’t go to sleep until 11 after doing home work and extra curricular activities and helping my brother, it’s a lot to get up in the morning that early and get the day flowing,” said Anne Arundel County student Talaeya Chambers.

The national organization, Start School Later says this model works. Cities like Minneapolis are examples of that success. Doctors says teens are better off when they wake up later.

“They cannot get the sleep that they need based on when they have to wake up,” said Dr. Jennifer Accardo, a sleep disorder expert.

Anne Arundel county had been considering later start times at its schools for more than a year. The biggest road block had to do with transportation.

The school system told WJZ switching bus schedules for just high school would have had a chaotic ripple effect of other schools.

“So you can’t just move one level of your school start and dismissal times without requiring many more busses and that’s really been the issue for us, is the cost of those buses,” said Bob Mosier of Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

At $618,000, this was the cheapest option for the County, a decision some parents say makes sense for their kids.

“Mostly when she gets home she is extremely wiped out. So by the time she finished home work, clubs, extra curricular activities,” said one parent.

With this new plan eight schools will let out after 4 p.m. The board had concerns with that, so they will reconvene next May to figure out an earlier dismissal time for those schools.

High schools will now start at 7:30 and all other schools will start 15 minutes later than start times now.

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