ISD 761 announces new start times for 2023


Designed by: Crystal Garza

OHS students will not be following this current schedule starting the 2023 academic school year.

Crystal Garza, Writer

ISD 761 announced in February that the current start hours for Owatonna’s public schools would stop in June 2023, when the academic year comes to a close. During the 2023–2024 academic year, new start times for Owatonna High School will be as follows: classes will begin at 8:20a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m.

Beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, Owatonna students will be able to attend the new high school, which will be located at 1455 18th Street SE. 700 more students will be able to take advantage of the bus service as a result of the school’s south end location. The Owatonna Bus Company initially contacted the school board and warned them that they would be put in a tough situation as a result of this. Now they are in need of extra routes and buses.

There are many individuals who pay for busing despite living less than a mile from the school, according to OHS Principal Mr. Kory Kath. 

Mr. Kath said, “There will be some limits as to how many people can get those contracts, depending how many new students ride the bus to the high school.” 

OHS students will not notice a significant difference because their times only vary by 10 minutes, however middle school and elementary kids must adjust to a 20 minute time variation.

 In accommodations to the high school start times Sleep studies show that younger students who start at an early time do not have a negative impact. Later start times show that teenage students who start their day later increase their academic performance, attendance and overall health. Not to mention that everyone tends to enjoy a little extra sleep in the morning. For the time being there has been no announcements for a time change in sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities meaning they won’t be affected by the high school’s start and end times when considering their transportation needs.

Apart from students who use the bus for transportation needs, students like junior Valanchie Garcia find the new start times beneficial.

 Garcia said, “Living almost 25 minutes away from town, I hope with school starting later I will have a bit more time to get ready and still  be able to get to school on time.” 

Be that as it may, students who ride the bus say they will just enjoy having the extra minutes of sleep before heading out to wait for the bus. 

Some of the incoming freshmen and sophomores who won’t be able to drive to the high school next year have a slightly different perception of these times.

 Freshman Chole Myer said, “I aim to have my morning routine stay the same but I don’t want to get in the habit of thinking I have more time in the morning and end up missing the bus.” 

The next step was to speak with parents after gaining the bus company’s approval of the start and stop times to guarantee that student transportation will work properly. The school board will be sure to pay attention and make an effort to meet the needs of the parents and students.