Middle school students in the Edina School District will get to sleep in late while students at five elementary schools will have to get up earlier after the school board Monday night approved new start times for the 2018-2019 school year.
The board voted 5-2 to approve the plan that swaps the start times for five elementary schools with the district’s two middle schools.
Under the measure, students at Concord, Creek Valley, Cornelia, Highlands and Countryside elementary schools will begin their day at 7:50 a.m. and be released at 2:25 p.m.
The schools serve students in kindergarten through grade five.
Valley View and South View middle schools, serving students in grades six through eight, will start at 9:20 a.m. and dismiss at 4:05 p.m.
Start times at Edina High School (8:30 a.m.), and Normandale Elementary School (8:40 a.m.) will remain unchanged, as will the start time for students attending Our Lady of Grace Catholic School (8:35 a.m.), who are transported with Normandale students.
The decision to swap start times for the seven schools comes after 18 months of study that included several community conversations and listening sessions, extensive research and multiple school board discussions.
In the end, the decision addressed “the overall health, academic and developmental needs of the majority of the students of the school district,” said Superintendent John Schultz.
Schultz said several details, including transportation, have to be worked out in order to implement the changes for next fall.
“We are aware that no transportation schedule will meet the needs of every family, but strongly believe the one proposed is the best option for our school district.”
The district also will have to deal with changes to before- and after-school child care, activities and programs.
Some changes may also be necessary with middle and high school athletics and activities.
“We will be communicating with impacted students, staff and families over the course of the next several weeks and months in an effort to ensure a smooth transition to September 2018,” Schultz said.