Prince William County School Board considering pushing back high school start time

High school students in Prince William County might get a little extra sleep starting next year.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick reports that the Prince William County School Board is considering pushing back the start of the high school day at least one hour or more starting in the fall of 2022.

Alnwick says talks about moving the start of the school day back began in 2019 but were sidetracked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the options, Alnwick says, has middle and high school starting no later than 8:30 a.m. with elementary school taking the early morning spot. Another model would have all of the schools starting at 8:30 a.m. in the morning or later.

"In spite of the pandemic and all of the changes that we were making and all of the things that we had to accommodate, we still did a review of the research and certainly we know that delaying school start times for students ten and up is beneficial to their health and well-being," said outgoing Prince William County School Superintendent Steve Walts.

Alnwick says changes to the school start times would create disruptions that would need to be considered including athletic event times, parent and teacher schedules, transportation costs and child care and afterschool needs.

Also, if you start elementary schools later, Alnwick says, some of the students won't get out until 4:00 p.m. and some wouldn't get home until 5:00 p.m.