A new workgroup will examine feedback on starting and ending times for Oregon School District schools.

With a new elementary school opening next fall, district officials introduced a plan this month to unify start times across the district. But the prospect of extending the school day and starting school earlier for some elementary schools met criticism from some parents and staff.

The district presented eight options at three listening sessions in December. The new workgroup, comprising parents, teachers, school staff, board members and administrators, will have a goal to present its report to the board by Feb. 24.

OSD superintendent Brian Busler told the Observer last week it “makes good sense” not to rush things.

“We have some time in our timeline that we can have a small work group and spend some more time looking at the points,” he said. “It’s something we’ve historically done when there’s an issue of concern, and we’re always interested in the feedback parents give us.”

The issue of changing start times is always difficult, Busler said, noting that the district’s last change was in 2000, when Rome Corners Intermediate School opened.

“There’s a reason school districts don’t change school start times very often, and it’s often connected to when a new school is opened,” he said. “At the end of the day, all the relevant facts will get on the table, and I know the group will come up with a good report and a good recommendation for the board.”

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.