Park City Board of Education votes to not change start times for 2018-2019 school year
There will be no changes to school start times in the Park City School District next school year.
The Park City Board of Education voted on March 20 to rescind a motion from last June to implement new start times for the 2018-2019 school year.
The Board also approved appointing a Start Times Board Advisory Committee, which will look into details involved in changing start times. The committee, which will be comprised of stakeholders, will present a report to the Board at the end of 2018.
At the meeting, Andrew Caplan, president of the Board, said that a change could be disruptive since many students have already planned their schedules for next year with the current bell schedule in mind, and parents have made arrangements for after- and before-school programs.
Other Board members agreed, stating that it would be best to include start time conversations in master planning discussions, which will be taking place throughout the rest of the calendar year.
The Board has discussed the possibility of delaying start times at the schools for several years, since parents, health professionals and community members have expressed concern about the negative impacts early start times can have on student health. Currently, Park City High School starts at 7:35 a.m.
Caplan said that the Board looked into the feasibility of delayed start times last year, and there were concerns about increased traffic on S.R. 248. He also said that there were no great solutions presented to the Board by its consultant on changing start times, and a public survey showed little support for the idea. “That also kind of tied our hands, that none of (the solutions) were acceptable,” he said. “We’re all kind of disappointed that we couldn’t figure out something that would work for this fall.”
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Compensation is the largest issue left on the table after a contract governing most every other aspect of teachers’ employment was negotiated earlier in June.