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Published May 29, 2012, 10:16 PM

Moorhead School Board votes to change school start times despite opposition

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Despite opposition from dozens of parents, the Moorhead School Board voted tonight to change the start and stop times for elementary and middle school students. Those impacted most directly are students at Horizon Middle School.

Despite opposition from dozens of parents, the Moorhead School Board voted tonight to change the start and stop times for elementary and middle school students. Those impacted most directly are students at Horizon Middle School.

Starting next year, students at Horizon Middle School won't start school until 9:05, a change of 1 hour and 20 minutes compared with this year. It's all in an effort to adjust start and stop times to align with sleep and education research, as well as to save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in bus costs.

Ruth DuChene – Parent: “You are either going to cause people to have to arrange daycare of something, I just don't think this was a very well thought out plan by you guys.”

It was one after the other, parent after parent speaking out against the new start times.

Shannon Swenson – Parent: “We're not talking about social, emotional, economical, a lot of the issues that are going to happen to these families, none of that is addressed.”

Despite all the clapping and nobody speaking in favor of the time changes, the board wasted no time voting unanimously to adopt the new start times for this fall. Elementary school changes to 7:55 to 2:40, Middle School to 9:05 to 3:50, and High School stays at 8:25 to 3:30.

Cynthia Fagerlie - Board Vice Chair: “I do believe this will help the majority of our students, I understand that it will not help all of our students.”

Some of those consequences include moving many middle school team practices to the morning. After school extracurriculars could do the same. Several board members did reiterate the need to consistently re-evaluate the time change next year to see how families and students have been affected.

Lisa Erickson - Board Chair: “By golly, we are team Moorhead and we have to work together and we are going to work with your students, but we have to move forward.”

Ultimately, by changing the times, the district reduces busses by six and a half routes a day. This will result in a projected annual savings of about $325,000.

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