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Later Fairfax Bell Would Sink Swimmers, Some Say

Start times might change for all Fairfax students. Giving students more sleep time makes them less anxious and more productive, research says.
Start times might change for all Fairfax students. Giving students more sleep time makes them less anxious and more productive, research says. (By Michael Temchine For The Washington Post)

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Among his concerns are tweaking schedules or practice locations so that field hockey teams are not playing in the dark, for example, and making sure that enough buses are available to get students to practices or games.

A few sports, including swimming, rely on facilities operated by the county, and schedule changes must be balanced with heavy community use. The Fairfax County Park Authority has issued a statement that it will work with the School Board "to achieve the best possible outcomes" if schedule changes are approved.

But Lisa A. Leake, head of the Save Our Sport group and a Fairfax teacher, said the group would not support the proposal without a guarantee of pool time.

Fairfax school officials have scheduled seven town hall meetings on the proposal at schools the week of Feb. 22. They are also designing electronic surveys for parents, students, staff members and others.

Fairfax schools Chief Operating Officer Dean Tistadt has asked the School Board to make a decision by March so he can have enough time to prepare for the potential shift. The board could decide to approve or reject the plan then, or it could vote to delay action or study the matter further.

In any case, the board "won't make a decision until it has an opportunity to hear from the public" and to see "what the real trade-offs are," said School Board member Brad Center (Lee).

Staff writer Paul Tenorio contributed to this report.


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