Updated: Lake considers changing schools’ start times


MILLBURY — A switch in starting time for the Lake Local Schools could help students get more Zs.
The proposal, which has been studied by a group of parents and teachers over the past year, was discussed
at the February board of education meeting.
A community-wide meeting on the possible change is set for Monday at 7 p.m. in the high school
High school teacher Jeff Lake said that the committee studying the issue includes three staff members
from each building, plus two community members.
There have been studies that show older students do better in school with a later starting time.
“We’re exactly opposite,” Lake said.
If that recommendation is made, school times would be flipped, with younger students reporting to class
earlier and older students getting a later start time, he said. Currently, the high school starts at
7:45 a.m. and the elementary begins at 8:45 a.m.
The group has spent a year compiling research, which will be turned over to the administration and the
board, Lake said.
“We have some recommendations, but we’ve basically just compiled the data,” Lake said “I’ll say the
evidence seems compelling (to make a change).”
Superintendent Jim Witt told the board that the administration has purposely stayed out of the discussion
to allow the group to reach a recommendation without any influence.
“I don’t know what to expect,” he said.
Monica Leppelmeier, a board of education member with young children, said the sooner parents can be
notified of any changes, the better. She said child care situations, planned around school times, need
to be set months in advance.
“If we would do something, child care has to be a piece of the puzzle,” Witt said.
Other pieces to consider are athletics and jobs.
Perrysburg High School start times were recently moved, in part because of research showing a connection
between sleep and high-performing districts.
In other business, the board approved a new policy allowing crowdfunding.
Lake Elementary Principal Mandy Wilburn approached the board last year about raising money for a veterans
wall through a GoFundMe account. The board and administration were not opposed to it, but did not have a
policy in place.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Officially hired Josh Andrews as head football coach.
• Recognized the speech and debate club, led by teacher Anna Stewart, for its competition success this
• Thanked Meijer, represented by Assistant Manager Al Grabowski, for the $1,750 donation toward the
school’s holiday shopping program.
• Approved eight calamity days.
• Went into an executive session to discuss employment, dismissal, discipline and compensation regarding
employees. No action was taken.
Acommunity-widemeetingonthepossiblechangeissetforMonday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. 

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