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How next year’s calendar changes will affect new students

Laura Dacy , Editor-in-chief

With the start of the school year comes the sound of alarm clocks ringing and students dragging themselves out of bed in order to make it to school by 7:25 a.m. However, next year, students will be able to enjoy those precious moments of sleep a little longer.

Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, District 214 is pushing back the start times of school to 8:20 a.m. with the final bell ringing at 3:09 p.m. While the later start times are beneficial for students, they have also expressed concern over lunch periods being shortened to 30 minutes.

Additionally those involved in activities would be getting home much later. In order to combat this concern, the district has decided to implement a 7:30 p.m. cap on all activities during the school week.

While activities usually wrap up around 6 p.m. with the current schedule, there is no restriction or time limit on when extracurriculars need to end. This will change at the start of the 2017 school year. The purpose of the later school start times is to ensure that students are getting enough sleep and are better prepared throughout the school day. Having activities go late into the night would defeat that purpose.

“[Starting next year]  the cap [will be] at 7:30 at night,” Assistant Principal Lisa Darocha said, “but exceptions can be made by the approval of the Assistant Principal of Student Activities.”

While trying to ensure that students have enough time to spend at home, it is understood that there may be times when the 7:30 p.m. cap on extracurriculars can not be enforced.

“What we are going to do at our meeting in September is start talking about what potentially is an exception,” Darocha said. “[For example] sometimes when you are in a play, tech week is way past that 7:30 p.m. time frame…so those are things that we have to talk about.”

The goal of the calendar changes is to ensure that students are more rested, as well as have time to spend on activities not including school work.

“We need to promote more of that whole student, whole staff member. Being able to have your work or practice, but have that balance of being at home,” Darocha said, “I think it’s a way to be able to provide the balance for everybody, including the staff.”

While there are still details to work oout and kinks to fix, the administration believes that the calander changes that will be implemented next year will lead to better student participation and success during the school day.