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Middle school start time: Time for a change


Our middle school principal robocalled all the school's families last week. She reminded us that there is no campus supervision for kids who arrive before 9 a.m. for the 9:30 school start. Kids who arrive at 8:30 a.m. have to go to the school courtyard or she said they may get a detention.

So clearly there is a problem with kids being dropped off early by their parents. The problem is obvious: Middle school starts ridiculously late, especially for working parents who start work at 8 or 8:30 a.m. and need to drop off their kids on the way.

School start times at all levels are screwed up in so many ways, but this is another example of why the whole system needs to be re-evaluated. So many studies have proven that the 7:30 a.m. high school start is too early for teenagers who need more sleep to properly function. And this problem at our middle school is likely going on throughout South Florida, where there is not enough staff to supervise an energetic group of pre-teens who are primed for the day.

How about it, administrators? Take a new look at school start times, for the benefit not only of kids but their whole families.

Photo: Shauna Bittle/Chicago Tribune

Categories: Lois Solomon (211)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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