The Los Alamos School Board reviewed options at its Tuesday evening meeting for changing school start times under their Strategic Plan focus areas:
- Student well-being;
- Student learning; and
- Teacher and staff well-being and excellence.
After much discussion, the board approved a motion for no change next year to start and end times. The Board decision also encourages “the high school to explore the implementation of alternative schedules that allow for flexible start times.”
Let’s all thank the School Board for listening carefully to staff, students, parents and members of the community. They followed a transparent process that encouraged open dialogue and debate about how best to assure that students are fully alert and ready to learn while at school. This was a research-based and data-driven decision. We are fortunate to have a high-performing School Board in Los Alamos.
I am proud of our students for their over-the-top participation in this very challenging decision. During the last five days, the School Board and I received 101 email messages from students with thoughtful and creative arguments about sleep and scheduling. Last night’s Board meeting also included over a dozen student speakers delivering their messages with passion, maturity, and clarity. The high school and mid school students showed all of us how to debate a controversial issue and listen to contrasting opinions while respecting others with widely differing viewpoints. This could be a model for the whole country.
I am also proud of our LAPS staff for actively participating in the feedback sessions, submitting written comments, and encouraging student participation. And finally, I thank the parents and greater Los Alamos community for their ongoing support and involvement in the education of our youth – before, during, and after school.