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Later start times improve achievement in classroom, according to some studies

PMG FILE PHOTO - Because of transportation concerns, such as school buses, the start time between the two grade levels in the Newberg School District must be 45 minutes apart.

After listening to some feedback from the community and doing research on the subject, the Newberg School District is considering multiple options for changes to its start times.

"Over the past two years, the school board has received input from the community, asking to consider research that shows a later start time for middle school and high school students improves achievement and health," district communications coordinator Gregg Koskela wrote in a message to the community. "In September, the board established a committee to study a potential change to start times and make a proposal to the board. This is potentially for the 2021-2022 school year."

The district's committee surveyed more than 1,600 parents in the districts and took a look at subjects such as transportation for students. In January, the committee came out with a recommendation of a 9 a.m. start time for Newberg High School and the district's middle schools, and an 8:15 a.m. start time for area elementary schools. The school days now start for middle and high school students at 7:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. for elementary-age kids.

"Superintendent Morelock, listening carefully to input from our school administrators, presented two options for modification in addition to the board's ad hoc committee's recommendation of a 9 a.m. start for secondary and an 8:15 a.m. start to elementary," Koskela wrote. "Two options have been added to the proposal from the start time committee, and additional input from our community is welcome on these three options."

The three options include 7:45 a.m. for elementary and 8:30 for middle and high school; 8 a.m. for elementary and 8:45 a.m. for middle high school; and 8:15 a.m. for elementary to go along with 9 a.m. for middle and high school.

Because of transportation concerns, such as school buses, the start time between the two levels must be 45 minutes apart. Those interested in providing additional feedback on the matter can email Koskela at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is not clear when a decision might be made regarding a change to school start times, but the three presented options are likely to be considered by Superintendent Morelock and the board.

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