Parents protest later school start times

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The Davenport School Board held a public discussion today to talk about potential new changes to school start times.

Talk of the proposed change comes after the board decided last night to change their school year from 180 school days a year to 1,080 students attendance hours.

School administrators felt the change in school times would make snow days easier to handle as well as benefit the students' sleep cycle.

Davenport Superintendent, Dr. Arthur Tate, said studies have shown that teenagers who start school later get more sleep, allowing them to to be more attentive in school.

Parents at the meeting Tuesday night disagreed.

Melissa Andrews is a mother in the Davenport School District and said the later start time would also mean a later day, forcing kids to decide between extracurricular activities and having a part time job.

"With the change, the kids are going to [think] 'oh, do I either wanna go to a job [and] earn some money, or do school activities?' Well guess what's going to lose out? School activities. Kids aren't going to participate, they're going to want to go to their jobs," said Andrews.

Parents are also worried about the logistical issue that a later start time would have on their morning and afternoon commutes.

Teresa Bracker is also a mother in the Davenport School District and said it's already a problem getting the kids back and forth from school every day.

"I currently live by Sudlow Junior High and Washington Elementary. That is a logistical nightmare when school gets out. And now according to the proposed changes they're both going to start and end at the same time? It's not going to happen," said Bracker.

Superintendent Tate said he expects to hear from upset families.

"No one likes change," Tate said. "Anyone who comes to a public forum is going to be here to talk about the fact they don't like change. And we need to hear about that, we need to see how it will affect them."

The public discussion will continue Wednesday, March 26, in the Central High School Auditorium from 6-7:30 p.m.