Parkway PTO Officer Lambastes Early Student Day
Start time changes for bus runs still riles parent.
A parent and PTO president at Parkway North High School told school board members Wednesday they should re-consider what she described as the early start times for school days.
Jeanne Sander, a Maryland Heights resident, sounded angry about the changes in school start times from this past September, when buses needed more travel time between the three runs morning and afternoon, for students in high, middle, and elementary schools.
"This board basically ignored many of the comments," Sander said, about the board's decision. "You didn't even table it," she said.
High schools went from 8 a.m. start to 7:35 a.m.
Sander is not the only one to complain over the earlier start times.
A national petition, with some Parkway students on board, describes the lack of sleep and overall fatigue that earlier school start times cause for teens.
Sander said it was primarily high school earlier start times that concerned her, because parents have less control over when a teen might go to bed.
"A middle school parent has much more control over when your kid goes to bed," she said. She indicated a parent controls the activities of a younger child more easily perhaps.
Whereas older teens may have music, performances, jobs working at Dierbergs until midnight, activitites that push homework into the wee hours and mean little sleep.
"I think this is something the board needs to look at again," Sander said. Officials said they would respond to Sander in writing.
The National Sleep Foundation says teens need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night.
"Schools that have set later bell times find that students do not go to bed later, but get one hour more of sleep per school night, which means five hours more per week," according to the website.
District officials said scheduling one set of buses for all grades was the key factor.
Jeanne Sander gave her email address in the high school website newsletter as email@example.com