Fairfax County decided Thursday to establish a goal of pushing back start times for high schoolers to after 8 a.m. so teenagers can get more sleep.
The School Board voted 10 to 2 Thursday night to ask Superintendent Jack D. Dale to report back in June on how other school systems, including Arlington’s and Loudoun’s, have succeeded in creating later-starting school days.
The board’s action was the first step in a process expected to go on for perhaps a year and explore a variety of options.
Most high schools in Fairfax start at 7:20 a.m., with bleary-eyed students getting picked up by their school buses as early as 5:45 a.m. In Arlington, the high school start time is nearly an hour later, and in Loudoun most high schools begin at 9 a.m.
“It’s important for the physical and mental health of our adolescent students,” said School Board member Sandy Evans (Mason), who sponsored the resolution and was a co-founder of the advocacy group Sleep, which led previous efforts to shift start times.