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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School Board has decided to speed up the implementation of a change in school start times designed to address the sleep needs of older students.

On a unanimous vote last night, the board approved a resolution to make the change at the beginning of the next school year rather than wait for the fall of 2022. School Board member Karen MacLaughlin brought forward the proposal and noted the original staff recommendation called for the later start times to begin with the 2021 school year and that was changed last November without an opportunity for additional public input. She also pointed to the later start time currently used for distance learning at the middle and high school levels as one of the few silver linings of the pandemic.

The district administration was directed to develop a transportation plan for the next school year to reflect the change. In the fall, the bell for the start of the school day will sound at 8:20 for the older students and 9:25 AM at the elementary schools. Under distance learning, the middle and high school instructional day has been starting at 8:25 AM.

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