Hesperia Unified secondary school students may be starting school later in the next school year.


District officials hope the change will mean better and more productive middle school and high school students.


"Over the last few years, there have been numerous studies conducted regarding sleep deprivation in teens and the effects this has on them physically and mentally," Jovy Yankaskas, the district's Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, said Tuesday. "There were many positive results from the studies where schools have delayed the start times: Students attended more often, arrived on time more often, ate breakfast more regularly, completed more work during school time, were more alert and efficient, visited the school nurse fewer times, had fewer behavioral problems, earned better grades, etc."


The district surveyed parents by phone, and 70 percent of the more than 6,000 parents surveyed supported shifting starting school for secondary students back by 30 minutes when the new school year begins in August.


Yankaskas presented the survey information and rationale for the change to the school board at their Monday night meeting. The board will vote on the issue at their May 2 meeting.


"The time change for comprehensive high schools will be from a 7:04 a.m. start to a 7:34 a.m. start time, 7:10 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. for continuation high schools and from 8 to 8:30 for middle schools," she said. "Ending times would be extended as well by one half hour."


The next regular meeting of the HUSD school board will be held on May 2 at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.