There’s nothing random about how your local school system picks its class starting time.
When the first class bell rings is something that differs for each of Butler and Warren County’s school districts, as it’s a local decision by school officials.
But some area schools – most recently and notably Mason Schools in southern Warren County – are moving toward delaying start times for its middle and high school in at least partial response to a string of health studies showing it benefits teenagers brain development.
Changing class times – even by as little as 30 minutes – has a domino effect on numerous variables including busing, after-school activities and parents’ child-care options.
Some area schools and their start time status include:
Hamilton Freshman School and Hamilton High School – prior the 2015-2016 school year – began at 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 respectively but now the freshman school starts at 7:40 a.m. and the high school at 7:55 a.m.
Lakota Schools, which is the largest district in Butler County, starts its Lakota East and Lakota West high schools at 8:05 a.m. and its Lakota East and Lakota West Freshman schools at 7:15 a.m.
Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota Schools, said “there’s a lot we have to factor into any decision about start times for our high schools – and all our schools, for that matter. Sleep is one of course, but so are transportation schedules, childcare arrangements for our families and after-school activities – just to name a few.”
“In the interest of personalized learning, we are exploring options at our high schools for the coming year that will allow more student choice and schedule flexibility for when they start and end their day at the high schools,” said Fuller.
Talawanda High School starts at 7:14 a.m. School officials said discussions with school parents about pushing back the first bell have occurred in recent years.
Mason Schools are considering moving its 7:15 a.m. start times for middle and high school students back to 7:45 a.m. next school year.