Onalaska School Board to consider later high school start time, makeup day plans

The future for students in the Onalaska School District could include later start times.

The District’s School Board tonight talked about a potential start time change for high schoolers. Currently, the Onalaska High School begins classes each morning at 7:30.

During the discussion, board members pointed to research and studies that show high school students benefit both academically and physically with a later start time.

“We’re very early in the process. This is the first time in the recent past that we’ve sat down and asked the question of if it’s something we want to consider and how we would proceed,” said Onalaska School Board Member Tim Smaby.

Board members are approaching the subject cautiously though, considering potential complications with schedules and required class times.

Discussion also turned towards make-up days because of recent weather closures. The Superintendent says they don’t need to make-up any time at this point, but they want to have a plan in place for the future.

“We’re just going to have that conversation about how many hours the kids have already gone to school, what’s built into our calendar and what the Department of Public Instruction says in terms of hours of education. And then how we want to move forward from there,” said Onalaska School District Superintendent Fran Finco.

The District’s Superintendent also says they need to think about different options before making a recommendation next Monday.

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