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Board Motion to Change Start Times Within the West Kings Family of Schools

At our April 5, 2017, Regular Board Meeting, the Board approved a motion to change start times within the West Kings Family of Schools, effective September 2018.

Implementation plans will be developed over the coming months and will be communicated in the 2017–18 school year.

This process began with Successful Schools for Successful Students, a long-range planning exercise for Central Kings Rural High School and West Kings District High School and their feeder schools, in 2011.  This study identified 11 scenarios, with the school start times for the West Kings Family of Schools being the final scenario remaining to be addressed. At the April 4, 2012 Regular Board Meeting, the Board approved the following recommendation,  “the school board undertake additional study of research in support of the educational rationale to switch the start times for West Kings District High School and feeder schools including an examination of the transportation implications of making the change.”

In October 2015, the Education Committee recommended to the Board that based on current research on adolescent development, a process be initiated to determine if a later start time for West Kings District High School could be achieved.  The Board approved this recommendation at the November 2015 Regular Board meeting.

The Board held a board work session in January 2016 with Dr. Stan Kutcher, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and the Director of World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Mental Health Policy and Training at Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre, to hear his research on adolescents’ sleep and school start times.  A follow-up work session was held in February to provide an additional opportunity for Board members to discuss and review this research.

In May 2016 a board work session was held to discuss and review the West Kings Family of Schools Transportation Plan.  A recommendation was made at the June 2016 Operations Committee, “that a process be undertaken by the Board to share information and receive feedback from school community members in the West Kings Family of Schools regarding the rationale and proposal for changes to school start times.”  The Board approved this motion at the June 15, 2016 Regular Board Meeting.

Public Consultation Sessions with school community members, as well as an online survey, were conducted in January and February 2017.  Feedback gathered was shared with Board members.  Board members considered academic research, feedback received, the transportation plan, along with input from experts in youth mental health in the decision-making process. 

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