HUDSON -- Parents, students, teachers, business owners and more filled the room as the first district school start time advisory committee met Feb. 4.

The about 60-member committee will meet monthly to review research, hear from the wider community and, eventually, recommend to the School Board if and how start times should be changed.

“I feel privileged to be working with a group of folks with the amount of experience in this room and obviously a lot of passion for our kids in Hudson,” Assistant Director of Community Relations Tracy Habisch-Ahlin told this group..

The committee comprises members of various stakeholder groups, including parents of K-12 levels, middle and high school students, district staff, business owners, mental health professionals, St. Patrick and Trinity schools and more. Many in the room Tuesday night fell into more than one of those categories.

“We’re really trying to make sure we were including everyone impacted,” Habisch-Ahlin said.

The participants were selected randomly more than 80 applicants. Every student who applied was selected, Habisch-Ahlin said.

The group will determine its structure, Habisch-Ahlin said. The first meeting focused on determining some of those pieces, including defining consensus, communication ideas and what information the committee would like to see to help its decision.

The process is open to community members, and there will be opportunities for public forums.

Student well-being

The issue came to the district’s attention last spring, when a group of parents brought forward concerns about how to support students’ well-being and learning environment. They asked if the school would consider a conversation about starting school later.

“And here we are,” Habsich-Ahlin said.

Current Hudson school hours are 7:28 a.m. to 2:51 p.m. for the high school, 7:42 a.m. to 2:57 p.m. for the middle school and 8:50 a.m. or 9 a.m. to 3:43 p.m. or 3:53 p.m. for the elementary schools.

The parochial elementary schools hours are 8:35 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bus pick-up and drop-off is also a factor. The earliest bus pick-up time for the high school and middle school is 6:22 a.m, with the latest drop-off time at 3:49 p.m. The earliest pick-up time for the elementary schools is 7:35 a.m., with the latest drop-off time at 4:55 p.m.

The committee is set to meet through the end of the school year, but could go longer if needed. Any recommendation to the board would be for the 2021-2022 school year at the earliest.

The next meeting is scheduled 6:30 p.m. for March 12.

Start times

Hudson

  • Elementary - 8:35-9 a.m.
  • Middle School - 7:42 a.m.
  • High School - 7:28 a.m.

New Richmond

  • Elementary - 8:40 a.m.
  • Middle School - 7:35 a.m.
  • High School - 7:35 a.m.

River Falls

  • Elementary - 8:40 a.m.
  • Middle School - 7:45 a.m.
  • High School - 7:35 a.m.

Stillwater

  • Elementary - 8:40-8:45 a.m.
  • Middle School - 7:50 a.m.
  • High School - 7:40 a.m.