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La Cañada High will try letting teens sleep in a bit

La Cañada High will try letting teens sleep in a bit
For the upcoming school year, classes will start at 8:30 a.m. at La Cañada High. (Raul Roa / La Cañada Valley Sun)

La Cañada High School students will be able to take back their mornings starting this fall, after the city's school board voted unanimously to shift the campus' start time from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30.

The decision to try the schedule change for one year was made last month in a special meeting to let board members review data from a survey of district parents and students. Responses indicated overwhelming support for pushing back the schedule to allow teens more brain-nourishing sleep, according to board member Brent Kuszyk.

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"There's definitely support for this," said Kuszyk, whose daughter Ali is an incoming freshman. "My daughter's very happy. A lot of the kids are."

The special meeting was an opportunity for the board to consider how the shift will affect parents, teachers and students, especially student-athletes who already miss class time to travel to away games.

The district made an agreement with the La Cañada Teachers Assn. to help student-athletes who miss class time. Buses transporting athletes to other schools for games also may be able to leave a bit later, said Governing Board President Dan Jeffries.

"We also asked if we could flag student-athletes at registration so as to minimize fifth-period missed class time," Jeffries said via email. "That may have some limitations since other schedule issues are involved, but we will look at it."

The May 30 decision came on the same day that SB 328 — a proposal by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) that would mandate California middle and high schools begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. — passed the Senate, moving on to the state Assembly.

Cardine writes for Times Community News.

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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