students will be able to get a little more sleep come fall, thanks to an announcement made Monday that the school start time will move a full 30 minutes later, from 7:55 to 8:25 a.m., starting in the 2011-12 school year.
Gunn Principal Katya Villalobos sent out a letter to the Gunn community on Monday announcing the decision, citing the health of students among the most pressing reasons for the change.
"We are doing this for many reasons," Villalobos said in the letter. "Chief among them, we feel a later start will be beneficial for the health and well-being of our students. Many schools that have moved to a later start time have discovered that their communities have found it to be an overwhelmingly positive change."
Since the issue began being explored, many families have expressed concern over a number of matters that a later school start time could affect, such as athletic practices that will run later in the evening, and whether too many extra-curricular students and athletes will go hungry when they have to remain on campus that much later.
Villalobos addressed those concerns in the letter, stating that Assistant Principal Tom Jacoubowsky will evaluate the effects of a later start time on athletic schedules, and that school administration will brainstorm ideas to make food more available to students, including adding additional vending machines on campus.
"We know there will be some logistical issues and frictional inconveniences
involved with a later start in some areas, which we will work through," Villalobos said.