All five SMSD high schools take on new late start policy but say buses will run normal schedule

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Some Shawnee Mission high school students are sleeping in Thursday morning.

All five high schools are adopting a later start time to give teachers a chance to meet and discuss what's going on in their classrooms.

For students, Thursday might be the new favorite day of the week with the new late start policy. Instead of starting at 7:40 a.m. classes will start at 8:50 a.m.

Here's how the new schedule looks:

• Monday, Tuesday, Friday: traditional 7 period days, class starts at 7:40 a.m.
• Wednesday: Odd Block Day, class starts at 7:40 a.m.
• Thursday: Even Block Day, class starts at 8:50 a.m.

The head of communication for the district, Leigh Anne Neal says the district has been working to give teachers what it calls learning communities. Basically, it's a group of educators that meets regularly, shares experiences and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and academic performance of students.

The district says even though classes won't start until 8:50 a.m., the high school campuses will open at normal time. The district says standard bus schedules will still be in effect. The students who arrive early will have areas to study, work on class projects, or eat breakfast, but teachers will not be available to students.

The district also says the late start day might be a good time to knock out a doctor or dentist appointment.

Shawnee Mission High Schools join others in the metro to start late on day a week for similar reasons. Lee's Summit starts late on Wednesdays.

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