Swanton Local Schools considering later start times

Swanton Local Schools officials are considering a later start to the school day, it was announced at Wednesday’s Board of Education.

Swanton high school and middle school students currently start the earliest of any district in Fulton County. Swanton High School starts at 7:40 a.m., while Wauseon and Evergreen start at 8 a.m., Delta at 8:10 a.m., and Archbold at 8:15 a.m. Perrysburg recently changed and now starts high school at 8:30 a.m.

Earliest bus pick ups in Swanton are currently around 6:30 a.m.

No change has yet been approved, but a proposal for Swanton would have the high school hours of 8:15 a.m. to 3:05 p.m., middle school hours 8:15 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., and elementary hours from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Superintendent Chris Lake laid out several reasons for proposing the change. Health, safety, and academic performance were cited. He said later start times correlate with improved mental and physical health, academic achievement is increased and there is a reduction in behavioral issues.

He also cited the Centers for Disease Control, which said teens who do not get enough sleep have higher risk of being overweight, suffering from symptoms of depression, and performing poorly in school.

Also, it was mentioned at the meeting that having the schools all start at about the same time would require the purchase of 6-7 new buses.

The board is expected to vote on start times at either their November or December meeting.

More details in the Sept. 24 Swanton Enterprise.