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Virginia Beach City Schools vote unanimously to change high school start time

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the classroom start time for high schools in the district.

High schools will now start after 7:20 a.m., but the new times will not take effect until September 2020.

Now, the board will take the time to gather feedback and develop options for the new start times for the next few months. During summer 2019, the school board will review and approve recommend start times to be implemented for the 2020-21 school year.

"There is significant amount of medical research around student health and well-being that suggests that adolescent students need more sleep at night," said Daniel Keever, the senior executive director of high schools.

High school students told News 3 sleep can be a bit of a luxury, especially after sports games and practices on school nights. Sometimes, the students don't get to spend as much time on homework as they want, either.

The decision to change the start times could impact other city schools as well.

"There are a number of iterations that really need to be investigated," Keever said. "If the goal of the school board through approving the resolution is for adolescent students to start later, that would put us in a position for high school students probably needing to start after 8:30."

The decision will have impacts on school buses and after-school activities.

However, parents and students said the decision has pros and cons.

"I think a later start time would be beneficial with the fatigue part of it. But then it cuts out if he's the age he wants to get a job... it cuts out the time he can be employed after school," said Virginia Hayes, the mom of a high schooler and two middle schoolers.