MILLBURN, NJ — After receiving feedback from the Millburn community regarding school start times, the school district has begun moving forward on the process of exploring different start times.
At Monday's Millburn Board of Education (BOE) meeting, the board unveiled four options up for consideration. Option one is an 8:30 a.m./3:10 p.m. schedule at the middle and high school, with a 7:50 a.m./2:15 p.m. schedule at the elementary schools.
Option two is an 8:15 a.m./2:55 p.m. schedule at the middle and high school, with an 8:55 a.m./3:20 p.m. or 7:35 a.m./2:00 p.m. schedule at the elementary schools.
Option three is the same as the current schedule at the middle and high school, with one delayed day per week, with a possible 9:40 a.m./2:35 p.m.schedule and a 7:35 a.m./2:00 p.m. schedule at the elementary schools. The elementary schools could also potentially have a delayed opening day in the schedule as well.
Option four is to continue with the regular schedule as is, making no changes to the timing.
Whatever the case, it is clear from internal data that sleep is an issue for Millburn students. Just 2.1 percent of students in the district currently report getting nine or more hours of sleep, according to a survey taken for the district by challenge success. Additionally, 62.7 percent of students in the district cite lack of sleep as a main stressor in their school day.
Each option has plusses and minuses. Option one, among multiple things, would address the research on the benefits of adolescent sleep, but may also impact student athletes in the district, who may have to miss class for practices and games.
Option two would impact less time for afterschool activities, but would give students less sleep time. And option three would be the easiest to implement, but would cost more for bussing.
Dr. Christine Burton, Millburn Superintendent, spoke with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills about the importance of going public to the community with information about the proposed options available to them.
"[It's] very important, and we know that any district that has endeavored in this start time, you really want to be able to do your homework, you want to be able to engage with your stakeholders," Burton said. "What are the options that might be viable? Benefits, challenges, any associated costs? But our next step is, let's put this out into the community. We want to hear your feedback on these potential options."