Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) and Central Middle School (CMS) will start from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes later next year if the school board approves the recommendations of a district task force in January.
The school board is accepting comments on the EP school start time plan through Jan. 15 on its website. Research that the task force used in making its recommendation also is available on that site.
If recommendations are approved, CMS would start at 9:25 a.m. and end at 4:07 p.m. EPHS would begin at 8:35 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. under the recommendations.
Currently, CMS starts at 7:50 a.m. and the high school at 7:50 a.m. CMS will expand from grades 7 and 8 this year to grades 6, 7 and 8 in 2021-22.
Conversely, the district’s elementary schools would start anywhere from about 55 minutes to 85 minutes earlier than in the current school year.
Here are recommended start times for 2021-22:
Oak Point 7:45-2:15
Eagle Heights 7:45-2:15
Cedar Ridge 8:00-2:30
Forest Hills 8:00-2:30
Prairie View 8:40-3:10
Eden Lake 8:40-3:10
The Start and End Task Force worked for six months before making the recommendations to the school board at its Dec. 14 meeting. The task force heard from district parents and staff, as well as experts and research that show a relationship between later start times and reduced tardiness, reduced absenteeism, and improved grades and graduation rates.
Three online public sessions are planned in January:
January 7, 6 p.m.
January 8, 1 p.m.
January 12, 6 p.m.
An online meeting link will be posted on the website before the meetings.
If approved, the changes will align with school days at most Lake Conference school districts and will result in annual transportation savings of $130,000, plus a one-time savings of $200,000, according to a post on the district’s website.