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Trustee proposes later start time for Rancho Santa Fe School

By Karen Billing

Rancho Santa Fe School District trustee Todd Frank would like to explore the possibility of starting every day at 9:15 a.m., as the school does every Monday, instead of at 8 a.m., which he said can be difficult for his family.

RSF School District has one of the longest school days in the county with a schedule of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m, compared to neighboring Del Mar Union School District, which runs 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the Solana Beach School District, where the times vary by school (for example, Solana Santa Fe is 8:35 a.m, to 2:38 p.m., Solana Pacific in Carmel Valley is 8:45 a.m. to 2:53 p.m.).

Frank said a school day can be even longer when optional programs like band are factored in — band practice starts at 7 a.m.

Trustee Tyler Seltzer said the late start mornings are nice but they should consider the start times of schools that the district’s students are feeding into. Torrey Pines High School, for example, starts at 7:45 a.m. He wondered what affect it would have on students to get used to starting at 9:15 a.m. and then have to be up much earlier at Torrey Pines.

RSF School District Superintendent Lindy Delaney said it is also a concern that shortened days often mean cutting curriculum. Delaney said she would look into Frank’s suggestions and come back with a report and discussion at an upcoming board meeting.