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Nov 16, 2016 5:37 PM

Portsmouth School District considers starting schools at later time

NH1 News

PORTSMOUTH — Does your teenager get enough sleep at night? That's a question many parents ask. Schools around the country are starting classes later so students get another hour to sleep in.

The Oyster River School District was the first in New Hampshire to do so, deciding several weeks ago to go to a later start time.

READ: Elementary, older students could share school bus after Oyster River gets later start time

Portsmouth middle and high school students start at 7:30 in the morning.

Seventy percent of teens are considered sleep deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation. They get less than seven hours of sleep a night, and pediatricians recommend children get a minimum of eight hours of sleep nightly.

“You used to believe that sleep is when the brain was sleeping but research shows the hours of sleep is when the brain is active,” said Steve Zadravec, Superintendent of Portsmouth Schools.

Zadravec supports starting the middle and high school day an hour later so teens can get another hour of sleep. It's a trend that's taking place across the country.

Currently, Portsmouth Middle and High School students start at 7:30 a.m.

This proposal calls for High School starting at 8:25 a.m. and Middle School at 8:30 a.m. New Franklin would start at 8:20 a.m. and Little Harbour and Dondero Elementary Schools would start at 8:40 a.m.

That would mean bringing on five more buses which would cost taxpayers an additional $250,000 dollars.

The Portsmouth School Board plans to vote on the proposal at its November 29th meeting.

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