School start times among parents' concerns

<p>Parents speaking at a community forum this week at Shawano Community High School say the district should change its school start times.</p><p>Classes at the middle and high schools start at 7:30 a.m. and let out at 2:30 p.m. Elementary school students start at 8:15 a.m. and are dismissed at 3:15 p.m.</p><p>The parents recommended that the elementary schools should be in session first.</p><p>One parent pointed out that studies show the earlier the start time for teenagers, the harder it is for them to focus in school. Attention, memory retention, decision making and creativity can be impacted, he said.</p><p>Whichever group starts earlier, another parent, who supported the switch, was concerned students have to be out at the bus stop by 6 a.m.</p><p>"I don't think a 12-year-old should have to get up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for school," the parent said.</p><p>Superintendent Todd Carlson explained the district does double bus runs to reduce the number of buses used to transport students. He estimated at least six more buses would be needed if the district went to single runs before and after school.</p>

By Lee Pulaski
Later beginning suggested for older Shawano district students
<p>"The thought behind it was to have older siblings at home when the younger ones get home instead of the younger ones arriving first and perhaps having latchkey child at home without supervision," Carlson said. "That's the thought behind the schedule we currently have."</p><p>Other suggestions parents made for the district include the following:</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Having School Board members' emails available on the website for easier access by parents and taxpayers.</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Adding Advanced Placement courses at SCHS.</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Taking steps to curb bullying at Shawano Community Middle School.</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Renovating the ventilation system at the middle school to better control the heat in the building. One parent noted that some students fall asleep in class even in the winter months.</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Doing more research on the Common Core curriculum adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, as parents are concerned children could be held back.</p><p>&#226;?&#162; Increasing communication between the schools and parents. One parent suggested utilizing a public relations firm to get more information out about what is happening in the schools.</p><p>The forum Monday was the first in a series of three scheduled by the district to gather community feedback on how the schools are doing. Two more are planned for May 22 -- one during the day and another in the evening. Times and locations have not been finalized.</p>
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