A change to the morning school start time is under consideration at Gunn High School, but an official stressed that no decision has been made.
Gunn students currently begin their day at 7:55 a.m., but some parents, students and teen sleep advocates have pushed for a later start time.
Palo Alto High School moved its start time from 7:50 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. last fall and simultaneously adopted major changes to the school schedule -- moving from a traditional seven-periods-a-day schedule to a "block schedule," in which classes meet every other day but for twice as long. (Paly previously had had a "block schedule" two days a week, and now has the block schedule every day except Mondays.)
The Paly change -- which some in the Gunn community have urged that Gunn emulate -- came after lengthy study by a "bell schedule task force" convened by former Principal Jacquie McEvoy.
Gunn operates on what it calls a "modified" block schedule, adopted more than a decade ago, in which students have six classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and five classes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Classes meet for longer than the traditional 50 minutes.
Assistant Principal Tom Jacoubowsky said Gunn has been "very happy" with the "modified" schedule and is not considering adopting the Paly block schedule.
But he said Gunn is "kicking around ideas" about changes to the morning start time.
"It's something we're exploring," he said.
"We have to take a bunch of factors into account -- including traffic on Arastradero Road.
"Nothing has been decided yet -- and that's a key thing -- but we're definitely exploring it."
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