Administration ‘Very Confident’ in the Possible Return of Late Start Fridays

An empty early morning at Golden Valley

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An empty early morning at Golden Valley

Golden Valley has implemented a new late start policy at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. The policy gives the school one late start every first Friday of every month.

While students are appreciative when a late start comes around, many are confused and upset as to why Golden Valley has only one a month while other schools in the district have one every week.
“Late starts being taken away really upset me,” Golden Valley Senior, Natasha Pebley, expressed, “ it was something I always looked forward to last year. And it makes me even more upset how I don’t have it anymore when other schools still do.”

Mr. Frias is a strong supporter of late starts and a passionate believer in the benefits they bring. He expresses he is “just as upset” as the students about this loss. “I was the principal who brought late start Fridays. I think we get a lot of work done and students can use them for various reasons like homework, sleep, preparing for a test, socializing, and a bunch of good things.”

I was the principal who brought late start Fridays.

— Mr. Frias, GVHS Principal

Golden Valley’s principal, Mr. Frias, explains the implementation of the new policy. “The difference between this year and last is we can’t teach before 8:30, so we need to teach on Fridays to make up for those instructional minutes.” Every school has a minimum amount of instructional minutes they need to achieve. Golden Valley’s schedule requires teaching on Fridays in order to achieve this requirement.

Other schools have maintained their weekly late starts because they achieve these minutes in other ways. These schools have new schedules including block schedules and later dismissal, which allow for more instructional time.

Under the obligation of a union contract, Golden Valley’s instructional periods are required to be identical to the year prior. “We tried to vote a new calendar in but it didn’t pass, so we needed to get rid of late start Fridays in order to make up those minutes,” Mr. Frias explained.

Students also agree that bringing late starts back would have numerous benefits. Haylie Adame, a junior at Golden Valley, expresses that with late starts “more kids come to school and everyone just feels more awake and rested. It’s a nice refresher! I really hope they get brought back next year.”

Likewise, Mr. Frias is eager to bring late starts back next school year and is “very confident” in that possibility. Their department has monthly meetings and has so far narrowed from nine to three possible schedules for next year. All of these remaining possible schedules include weekly late starts.