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Highline schools switch to later start time, consolidated busing

KOMO News photo

BURIEN, Wash. - As students head back to class, Highline School District is one of the latest making the change to a later start time - and new busing arrangements for middle- and high-school students.

More than 4,600 Highline high school students will get to sleep in a little longer. The first bell will sound at 8 a.m. every morning - 30 minutes later than before. It's a big change for the district - and they're urging patience.

Some studies have shown that high school students tend to perform better academically with a later start time.

"The first couple of days there's going to be bugs in the system because this is an all-new format for the district. We know we have to make some adjustments here and there," said Scott Logan, chief operations officer for Highline schools.

Along with the later start time comes a consolidation on Highline buses from just three grade levels riding together to now six.

"The middle and high school will now ride together on the same buses, so it allows an opportunity to shorten bus rides for students," Logan said.

Some parents are concerned about younger teens riding with older ones - but the district says bus their bus drivers have gone through additional training to deal with the new mix of students.

Seating arrangements are already set: middle schoolers up front and high schoolers in the back. To mitigate any potential issues the districts will have extra buses on standby.

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