According to Mali Doles, who has a daughter that would benefit from the changes, this has been a battle with the school district for years.
“Students are already used to it, why would we make them go back to the early times, and we’ve waited decades. I mean decades for this change to happen. Why out it off,” said Doles.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced students into distance learning, Doles said students were able to get more sleep, proving further that the later start times were necessary.
Doles said she was confused and frustrated by the decision when the board voted to push implementation back to the 2022-2023 school year. That’s when the petition was created.
“A lot of parents were saying that their kids are really benefiting from the sleep that they’re getting this year, and they’d really like to see it continue,” said Doles.
168 people have signed the petition, which is available on Facebook. Comments dating back to December 7, from students and parents demanding the changes begin now.
Dr. Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir has four children, three directly impacted by the later start times and she said she’s seen a drastic change in her children from pre-COVID to distance learning.
“Other neighbors up in the cities have done this successfully, and there are multiple examples of the benefits of this across the country and we should be making evidence-based decisions on behalf of our children,” she said.
One Mayo High School senior said since he’s been distance learning he has also seen a major difference in himself.
“I’m definitely a lot more energized,” said Ignacio Michelena.
He said he also noticed a large improvement in his class’ attendance, even if it is just virtually.
“Quite a few of my classes that start at eight twenty-five, around 95 percent of the kids are there right on time,” he said.
Mali, Michelena, and Thorsteinsdottir said they know that the school board can see the benefits of starting school later, which is why they agreed to approve the changes. All they’re hoping for is that the board will implement them now.