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Middle and high schools students in Newberg and Dundee will start class at new times in the fall

Following along with studies that show improved classroom performance and learning outcomes, the Newberg School District is moving its start times for students to later in the fall.

The board of directors approved new start times at a recent meeting, moving the elementary school start time to 8 a.m. and the middle and high school start time to 8:45 a.m.PMG FILE PHOTO - Following along with studies that show improved classroom performance and learning outcomes, the Newberg School District is moving its start times later beginning in the fall.

"Last August, the board established a committee to look at the idea of later start times," district communications coordinator Gregg Koskela said. "We had a lot of feedback from parents over the last couple of years that later start times are much better for students from a learning perspective. We put together a committee of staff, students and administrators to look at this, and the board approved a plan earlier this month."

The district received more than 1,600 responses to a survey about start times and crafted some of its early proposals based on that. After ironing out the logistics of a change for both elementary and secondary students, the board approved the final proposal.

There are benefits and drawbacks to the changes, Koskela said, but the district believes the changes will be beneficial on the whole for students' learning experiences.

"The glass half full approach is everyone got something they wanted, because elementary didn't want to start earlier than 8 a.m., and the glass half empty is both sides have something in there that they didn't want," Koskela said. "That's just part of the compromise in figuring this out. The big thing we're hearing from staff and families is figuring out timing for extracurricular activities and sports. Also, under the old schedule, older siblings would be home first and were able to provide child care to younger siblings. That's not the case with this new format."

For more information on the changes, visit www.Newberg.k12.or.us.


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