Mounds View School Board postpones decision on start times

The Mounds View School Board has decided to postpone a decision on changing start times in the school district. The board will take time to gather additional information and a decision is expected to be made this spring.

Through feedback, the school board has confirmed that the community supports later start times for the high school.

“We remain convinced of the benefits that later start times provide teenagers, so we remain committed to the task to establish later start times for our students,” Amy Jones, board chair, said at the Jan. 10 meeting.

Currently, both Mounds View High School and Irondale High School begin at 7:25 a.m. The board has committed to establishing new start times that would range from 8-9:30 a.m.

When developing start time options, administration had designed staggered start times to allow for transportation efficiency. Geography is a factor for the district, and to efficiently route the bus system, the larger high school routes must be picked up first, followed by middle school, then elementary school neighborhood routes.

Through feedback, community members expressed concerns of lack of options for the district’s grade schools.

Due to these concerns and other concerns, the school board decided to take more time to provide additional options.

Jones said that parameters will be revisited and administration will work with the district’s transportation consultant to determine if additional options would be possible.

The board will then seek feedback from the community on the additional options.

“Taking this time for extra work will ultimately increase the chances that the upcoming changes that we make are supported and understood by as many people as possible, while realizing again that no solution will be perfect for all families,” Jones said.

The board had planned on making a final decision in February with implementation this fall. With the postponed decision, Jones said that a final decision will be made in the spring and implementation will now go into effect in fall 2018.

Parents, students, and community members can keep up with start time updates at www.MoundsViewSchools.com/starttimes.

Contact Sarah Burghardt at [email protected]