Schools Recently Advancing Start Times, etc.

June 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

“This advance of the school day is in direct conflict with a putative pubertal/adolescent phase delay.”—Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine, Director of Chronobiology and Sleep Research at Bradley Hospital, Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, College of the Holy Cross, Christine Acebo, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine, Orna Tzischinsky, Ph.D., Emek Yezreel College, Emek Yezreel, Israel, Sleep  Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, Ronald Seifier, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University. (Carskadon, Wolfson, Acebo, Tzischinsky, & Seifer, Adolescent sleep patterns, circadian timing, and sleepiness at a transition to early school days (Dec. 15, 1998) 21 Sleep 8, p. 872.)

ALABAMA — Demopolis High School in the Demopolis City Schools District will advance its start time by 3 minutes to 7:47 a.m. as part of a plan to add 6 minutes to the school day. Demopolis Middle School begins morning classes at 7:50 a.m. (Smith, DHS school day now 6 minutes longer (Aug. 2, 2011) demopolistimes.com.)

ALASKA — Until the state senate passed Bill 182 providing additional transportation funding, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District was considering transitioning from one- to two-tiered busing for 2012-2013 in order to address a $750,000 budget shortfall. The proposed schedule would have advanced Ninilchik (K-12), from 8:45 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., Homer High, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., and Homer Middle, from 8:35 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. Elementary schools, including Chapman (K-8), were to have delayed start times. (Chapman (K-8), from 8:40 a.m. to 9 a.m.; Paul Banks (PS-2), from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.; West Homer (3-6), from 8:25 a.m. to 8:55 a.m.; McNeil Canyon (K-6), from 7:50 a.m. to 9 a.m.) (Editorial, Savings by changing school bus system shouldn’t be ignored (May 2, 2012) HomerNews.com [ironically, this editorial ignores economists’ start time research, discussed by the Brookings Inst. here]; Jackinsky, Area school times may change to reduce transportation costs (Feb. 22, 2012) HomerNews.com.)

ARIZONA — In June 2013, the Coolidge Unified School District #21 school board voted to advance the middle school start times by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. and the high school start times by 10 minutes to 7:30 a.m. The elementary school start time was delayed by 5 minutes to 8:25 a.m. (Gal, Compromise in bell schedule approved for 2013-14 (Jun. 19, 2013) Coolidge Examiner.)

On December 13, 2011, the governing board for the Lake Havasu Unified School District voted unanimously to advance the start time of Thunderbolt Middle School from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. beginning in August 2012. This places Thunderbolt on the same schedule as the other seven schools in the district. The new schedule will allow for student medical appointments to be scheduled after school and will also allow school staff to arrive on time for district meetings. Seventy percent of parents favored the change. (Leatherman, Board approves measures for 2012-2013 school year (Dec. 14, 2011) Today’s News-Herald.) Notably, the 2006 National Sleep Foundation poll showed 90% of parents believed their teenage children were getting enough sleep. (Sleep In America Poll: Summary of Findings (2006) Nat. Sleep Foundation, p. 26.) The same poll found only 1 in 5 adolescents obtained the recommended amount of sleep (9 hours or more) on school nights. (Id., p. 7.)

Sahuarita High School will advance start times from 8:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. in order to reduce missed class time for student-athletes and to accommodate afternoon career education classes. Walden High School, which opened in 2011, also begins morning classes at 8:20 a.m. Zero period classes at Sahuarita will begin at 7:19 a.m. Walden High does not offer zero period classes. (Franchine, Classes start, end earlier for high schools (Jul. 19, 2011) Sahuarita Sun.)

CALIFORNIA — Adelanto High School in the Victor Valley Union High School District will advance its start time from an unstated later time to 7 a.m. for 2014-2015. District spokesperson Barbara Morrow Williams stated that school start times are determined by the “transportation requirements of each site, including mandated transportation arrangements for special-needs students.” Victor Valley High School and University Prepatory also start at 7 a.m. The opening bell at the Cobalt Institute of Math and Science rings at 7:42 a.m., and the Goodwill Education Center begins morning classes at 8 a.m. Zero period at Silverado High School starts at 6:58 a.m., first period at 8 a.m. Hook Junior High School and Lakeview Middle School both begin at 9 a.m. (Self, Changes coming to Adelanto High School (Jul. 21, 2014) Daily Press.)

On July 30, 2013, the Lake Elsinore School District issued a press release reporting the bell schedule will change to meet state Common Core Standards. David A. Brown Middle School and Elsinore Middle School will advance start times to 7:30 a.m., representing 5 and 10 minutes advances, respectively. The district’s three high schools will delay the start of the school day by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. Canyon Lake Middle School will delay its start time by 6 minutes to 7:46 a.m. Terra Cotta Middle School’s start time will remain unchanged at 7:40 a.m. District elementary schools begin at 8 a.m.

Torrey Pines High School advanced a late start day from 8:55 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. in order to offer an “extended lunch” period as reward for increased statewide achievement scores. The school principal explained the earlier start was necessary to meet minimum instructional time requirements. One student commented the 75 minute advance was less a “reward” than a “substitution.” (Sutton, Education Matters: Sleeping through lunch (Nov. 3, 2011) Del Mar Times.)

In 2010, Canyon Crest Academy advanced start times from 8:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. in order to address traffic congestion at the later hour. The time was advanced rather than delayed to accommodate sports schedules. (Sutton, Education Matters: Sleeping through lunch (Nov. 3, 2011) Del Mar Times.)

CANADA — As part of a cost-saving review of 25 schools, Orchard Park Secondary School and four other public and Catholic schools will have their 2012-2013 start times altered. Orchard Park will advance its start time by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. Teachers, students, and parents voiced their opposition at a June 6, 2012 public meeting. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board reported the change will save $150,000 per year and see the use of 12 fewer buses. Two other high schools, Waterdown and Saltfleet, advanced to 8 a.m. start times last fall. The board stated the change cannot be turned back and that everyone will get used to it. Tenth graders Hailey Dymond and Sandra Mpofu presented a petition signed by 500 of about 1,100 students. The students cited changes to academic performance, breakfast disruption, an increase in stress, increase in obesity, and possibly, an increase in suicides. McMaster Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Raymond Gottschalk, who runs a sleep disorder clinic in Hamilton, advised that “the 30-minute change will have a huge impact on students’ academic performance and their morale at school. He said it is well documented and that some boards that have implemented later bell times have seen improvements in students. ‘This is really counter-productive. It’s a very ill-advised recommendation.’ ” (Nolan, Alarm being sounded on early bell times (Jun. 7, 2012) The Spectator.)

CONNECTICUT — In November 2013, Ridgefield Public Schools considered a plan to send middle schoolers to class on the present high school schedule; i.e., at 7:25 a.m. rather than 8 a.m., a 35 minute advance. High schoolers were to start on the middle school schedule, at 8 a.m. rather than 7:25 a.m., a 35 minute delay. In December 2013, however, the matter was dropped following a survey showing overwhelming disapproval of the proposal from parents, teachers, and students. (Coulter, Survey: Most oppose school time change (Dec. 13, 2013) The Ridgefield Press; Coulter, Start times: Middle schools as the earliest? (Nov. 15, 2013) The Ridgefield Press.) As discussed, supra, after 50,000 children changed start times in Minneapolis and Edina, 92% of parents approved of the change. (Later Start Times for High School Students, supra, Univ. Minn.) Like their parents, students may also initially oppose later school scheduling, but in each jurisdiction implementing later start times, surveyed students have overwhelmingly approved the new schedule. (See, § IV.A.) As discussed, supra (see, § IV), teachers are well known opponents of later school scheduling. Obviously, the plan was fundamentally flawed insofar as middle school students also benefit from later school scheduling. (See, e.g., Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance (Dec. 2012) 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, p. 981; Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early? (Summer 2012) 12 Education Next 3.) The proposed 8 a.m. high school start time was still 30 minutes earlier than the earliest start time suggested by any sleep expert for middle or high school students (see, Appendix, Start Time Recommendations, etc.), and one hour earlier than suggested for these students by Brookings Instutite economists. (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7; see, Cortes, Bricker, & Rohlfs, The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools (2012) 12 B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 1, Art. 27, pp. 1-34 [students beginning classes at 8 a.m. show marked deficiencies in first period courses and were more likely to be absent from first period courses relative to other periods].)

To save $905,000 in transportation expenses, Bridgeport Public Schools will delay most district elementary and middle school start times by 10 minutes to 8:50 a.m. in 2013-2014, but according to the proposed bell schedule, High Horizon, Multicultural, and Park City Magnet middle schools will advance start times by 5 minutes to 8:35 a.m. Five parochial schools will also advance start times: Kolbe Cathedral High School, 8 a.m. to 7:25 a.m., St. Ann School (K-8), 7:40 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; St. Andrew School (PK-8), 7:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., St. Augustine School (PK-8), 8 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., and St. Raphael School (PK-8), 7:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. (Lambeck, Bell will ring 10 minutes later for some city schools (May 29, 2013) ctpost.com; Lambeck, District flirts with changing school bus times (Apr. 29, 2013) ctpost.com.)

Beginning November 26, 2012, Windham Public Schools will advance the high school start time by 15 minutes to 7:15 a.m. in order to address a transportation conflict caused by starting the middle and high school too close in time. Parent Mark Phelps recently complained to the Board of Education that some high school students were getting on the buses before 6 a.m. The early start for teenagers will not help them learn, Phelps said. The district website reflects a 7:45 a.m. middle school start time and an 8:30 a.m. start time for W.B. Sweeney Elementary School. (Kefalas, Windham High School to start earlier (Oct. 14, 2012) Norwich Bull. [Kefalas' contention that middle and high schools start at the same time contradicted by information at district website].)

The North Haven Public Schools school board has voted to advance the middle school start time by 25 minutes to 7:33 a.m., in order to save as much as $60,000 in transportation expenses. Aligning middle and high school schedules will reduce the time middle school students traveling by bus must wait at school before the first bell. The bus company, M&J Bus, advised board members that transporting middle schoolers with their older peers has been shown to improve the behavior of the younger students. Elementary schools begin at 8:30 a.m. (DeMatteo, North Haven school board revamps busing schedule (Jun. 14, 2012) Post-Chronicle.)

Bernard Josefberg, the superintendent of Easton, Redding & Region 9 Public School Districts, has proposed advancing the start time of John Read Middle School (JRMS), while delaying the start time of Redding Elementary School (RES). The 2011-2012 JRMS start time is 9 a.m., RES begins at 8:10 a.m. In a letter to parents, Dr. Josefberg offered the following basis for the proposal: “In brief, such a change would align the start times in the Redding and Easton school districts. Doing so would improve opportunities for faculty communication, collaboration and coordination, as well as create possibilities for more shared after school programming for the youth of both communities.” At a March 8, 2012 public forum, all two dozen parent speakers opposed the proposed change, instead encouraging the district leadership to delay the Joel Barlow High School start time (7:30 a.m. for 2011-2012) based upon studies showing teens need to sleep the latest. (Winters, Forum on School Start Time Change (Mar. 8, 2012) Redding’s Hamlet Club.)

In order to save $500,000 in busing costs, reduce traffic congestion and early dismissals for student-athletes, and to limit fees paid to substitute teachers when teacher-coaches leave early for athletic contests, the Fairfield Public Schools Board of Education advanced high school start times from 7:50 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Anne Pasco, President of the Fairfield Education Association, said the extra 20 minutes given to Warde High students, who started school at 7:50 a.m., and extra 10 minutes for Ludlowe Highstudents, who started at 7:40 a.m., was an inequity between the schools and didn’t mean students used that extra time to sleep. “When those students go to bed is not within the control of the board, and, as they get older, is not within the control of parents,” Pasco said. “$500,000 is a lot of money to allocate to give a child an opportunity if he wants 10 minutes more of sleep a day or 20 minutes.” Bruce Monte, a former school board member, spoke in support of leaving the high school start times in place, adding that more sleep had a “positive effect on academic performance, athletic performance, obesity and depression, among other things.” (Brophy, Board of Ed Approves $148.5m Budget for 2011-12 (Jan. 26, 2011) Fairfield Patch; Lang, Proposed Fairfield schools budget calls for 4.9 percent spending increase (Jan. 20, 2011) CTPost.) Joseph Salata and psychiatrist Jeffrey Deitz wrote op-ed pieces suggesting students would be better served by later start times. (Salata, Early school hours put kids at risk (Dec. 2, 2011) Fairfield Citizen; Deitz, Schools Start Too Soon for Good Health (Aug. 27, 2010) New Canaan Daily Voice.)

DELAWARE — The Milford School District will advance the 2012-2013 start time of Milford Middle School by 5 minutes to 7:30 a.m. while delaying start times at Milford Central Academy and Milford High School by 50 minutes to 8:25 a.m. Many of the school teachers and staff believe that the hours would benefit the students by allowing them to be more awake. Defending that students would do better in their education, School Board official Gary Wolfe said, “Little kids are up early, older kids not so much.” Elementary schools will start at 7:30 a.m. or 7:45 a.m. (Goss, Milford school board sets new hours at all 7 schools (Jul. 10, 2012) MilfordBeacon.com; Gloss, School Board Reviews New Start Times (Jun. 29, 2012) Milfordlive.com.)

FLORIDA — In 2009, Pasco County Schools advanced start times for Gulf Middle School students from 8:37 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. in order to save busing costs. When the school day began after 8 a.m., about 42 percent of students missed more than 10 days of school. Following the change, 71 percent of Gulf students miss more than 10 days of classes. Of those, 24 percent missed more than 20 days. The numbers have improved since the school began utilizing a guidance counselor, social worker, current and former teachers, and others to address each student’s attendance difficulties individually. As of November 2011, the district school hours webpage showed all other middle schools starting at 8:40 a.m., except Raymond B. Stewart Middle (8:35 a.m.), Pasco Middle and River Ridge Middle (both 7:30 a.m.). The 2013-2014 school hours page shows that Bayonet Point Middle and Hudson Middle have also advanced the morning bell to 7:30 a.m. Thomas E. Weightman and Dr. John Long begin at 8:30 a.m. Gulf Middle now begins at 7:45 a.m. In July 2011 it was reported the district was considering delaying high school start times. Most district high schools begin at 7:30 a.m. (Solochek, Nine Pasco County schools may face new starting times (Jul. 2, 2013) Tampa Bay Times; Solochek, Pasco schools fight widespread absenteeism among students (Nov. 13, 2011) tampabay.com.)

On June 24, 2013, the Lake County Schools School Board voted against a proposal to address a $16 million budget shortfall by combining 2013-2014 middle and high school bus schedules, and aligning start times at some schools. The high school start time was to have been advanced by 15 minutes to 7:15 a.m., and the middle school start time advanced from 9:10 a.m. to 7:35 a.m. School Board member Tod Howard was alone in favor of changing start times and warned that by refusing to cut transportation costs board members were instead supporting possible classroom cuts. “By voting this down we are voting for other unforeseen cuts that may be just as painful and just as difficult[.]” The matter was tabled until the next school year. Superintendent Susan Moxley told board members she wants staffers to tweak existing bus routes to try to come up with $1.4 million in savings. The board cut bus service to students residing within 2 miles of school, saving about $650,000. Elementary schools begin at 8:30 a.m. (Lake County votes to stop bus service for students who live near school (Jun. 24, 2013) wftv.com; Rodriguez, Lake School Board votes against changing school start times, moves to cut courtesy busing (Jun. 24, 2013) Orlando Sentinel; Rodriguez, Lake School Board looks deeper to fill $16 million budget hole (Jun. 9, 2013) Orlando Sentinel.)

A June 8, 2013 article appearing in “the roar,” the West Shore Jr./Sr. High School student paper, reports that Principal Rick Fleming has proposed advancing the school start time by one hour to 7:45 a.m. Apparently the proposal stems from a concern that the loss of district transportation means more students will be driving. All other high schools in the Brevard Public Schools District begin at 8:45 a.m. Therefore, to reduce traffic congestion during the 8 o’clock hour and increase student safety, Fleming suggests an earlier start time. Middle schools begin at 8:45 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. Elementary schools begin at 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., or 9 a.m. (Martin, Early school start proposal widens eyes (Jun. 8, 2013) the roar.) Under Fleming’s plan, students will be driving while melatonin pressures them to sleep. (Later Start Times for High School Students (Jun. 2002) Univ. Minn.) Multiple studies associate early school schedules with increased crash rates among adolescents, the leading cause of death in this population. (See, § III.D., supra.) In addition, academic performance, particularly for disadvantaged students, will be substantially undermined. (See, § III.A., supra.)

In order to save approximately $888,000 in transportation expenses, Hernando County School Board Superintendent Bryan Blavatt proposed the board synchronize bell schedules. On July 31, 2012, the board voted unanimously to approve a new schedule which would advance start times for high schools: Central, 7:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.; Hernando, 7:31 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.; Nature Coast, 8:05 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.; Weeki Wachee, 9:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Sprinsteador High will retain its 7:15 a.m. start time. Fox Chapel Middle School will advance its start time by 15 minutes to 7:30 a.m. Three other middle schools will retain existing start times: Parrott, 7:30 a.m.; Powell, 7:30 a.m.; and, West Hernando, 9:15 a.m. K-8 schools will all begin at 9:15 a.m., advancing start times at Challenger, from 9:25 a.m., Floyd, from 9:35 a.m., and delaying start times at Explorer, from 8:40 a.m., and Winding Waters, from 8:35 a.m. Most elementary school schedules will be delayed so that all begin at 9:15 a.m. Endeavor Alternative School will advance from 7:50 a.m. to 7:35 a.m. According to Blavatt, “In the past we took the easy way out and made modifications, but still kept the same basic schedule. This method is more scientific and allows us to maximize the use of our buses.” The new schedule is expected to keep young children from traveling in darkness while freeing older children for work or athletics after school. One parent asked if the board had considered research showing that teenagers perform better with later start times. Another parent with a daughter at Weeki Wachee High School (advancing from 9:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.) was “visibly upset by the move and worried for her child’s safety. [¶] She said U.S. 19, where the school is located, is dangerous in the early morning hours. She said there are no sidewalks, no lights and that people routinely travel 80 mph down the road.” (Valentine, To save money, Hernando makes last-minute changes in school times (Aug. 2, 2012) Tampa Bay Times; Major changes coming to school start times in Hernando (Aug. 1, 2012) Bay News 9; Schmucker, Superintendent urges synchronizing school bells (Jul. 26, 2012) Hernando Today.)

GEORGIA — Following its designation as a “low achieving school,” Robert W. Groves High School in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System lengthened the school year by two weeks and lengthened the school day by 20 minutes, adding 5 minutes to the end of the day and starting school at 7:30 a.m.; i.e., 15 minutes earlier than in 2010-2011. (Tyus-Shaw, Earlier School Start for Groves High (Jun. 30, 2011) WSAV.com.) For 2012-2013, all other district high schools will also advance to 7:30 a.m.; middle schools to 7:45 a.m.; K-8 schools will start at 8:30 a.m.; elementary start times will range from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. “Although the school board approved the bell times the majority of parents prefer, members said they plan to push for a change for the next school year. ‘If we’re trying to boost academic achievement, we’re starting schools at the wrong time,’ said school board member Shawn Kachmar. ‘… I really think this decision should be made on what’s best for academic outcomes, not convenience.’ Superintendent Thomas Lockamy [, Ed.D.], whose proposal for starting younger students early and older student later has been shot down by parents time and time again, agreed with Kachmar. ‘Despite research that an early start improves outcomes for children of poverty, it isn’t popular because so many people want their children to go to specialty schools,’ Lockamy said. [¶] But School Board President Joe Buck reminded the board that a late morning start and late afternoon release time for high school students may not only create child care costs for local families who can’t afford them, it might also make it difficult for high school students to manage jobs and homework after school. [¶] And he pointed out that local colleges don’t have any trouble filling their early morning classes with recent high school graduates, so they shouldn’t have any trouble getting high schoolers into theirs. [¶] ‘It may just be that when you tell them what they have to do, they will do what they are supposed to do,’ Buck said.” On January 9, 2013, the board voted 5-4 to adhere to early morning scheduling for middle and high school students for the 2013-2014. The Savannah Morning News published an editorial challenging the wisdom of the board’s decision in light of “overwhelming research that concludes older students would do better academically if they began their school days later.” (Editorial, School start times: Board botches it (Jan. 11, 2013) Savannah Morning News; Editorial, School starting times: Snoozing and losing (Dec. 30, 2012) Savannah Morning News; Few, Savannah-Chatham school bells ringing earlier (Jul. 16, 2012) Savannah Morning News; Ley, New Bell Schedule Approved for the Savannah Chatham School District (Jul. 11, 2012) WSAV3.)

On June 4, 2012, Carrollton City Schools announced via its district news page that 2012-2013 elementary and middle school (grades 4-5) start times will be delayed, while junior high (grades 6-8) and high school start times will advance by 30 and 35 minutes, respectively, to 7:45 a.m. The change is intended to “positively impact academics” by reducing class time lost to participation in extracurricular activities. According to superintendent Kent Edwards, Ph.D., “In the end, the decisions weren’t difficult to make. The new schedule is instructionally driven and will support student performance the most.” The available evidence suggests the new schedules will undermine, rather than enhance, academic achievement, particularly for disadvantaged students. (See, e.g., Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early?, supra, 12 Education Next 3; Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7; Carrell, Maghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents (Aug. 2011) 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, pp. 62-81.)

In order to accommodate transportation requirements for the opening of a new school, the City Schools of Decatur school board adopted a schedule advancing start times for Decatur High School from 8:35 a.m. to 8 a.m. for 2011-2012. Decatur High School Principal Lauri McCain had had requested a 7:45 a.m. start time and one board member proposed an 8:45 a.m. start. Parents cited the board to studies showing teens do not test well if they awaken too early and perform better academically with later start times. On February 7, 2012, a start time committee made three recommendations to the school board: start the schools between 8:15 and 8:45 a.m.; start the high school and middle school within 15 minutes of each other; explore the sharing of buses for the two schools. (Ellis, Committee Recommends Changes In Decatur School Start Times (Feb. 7, 2012) Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch; Loupe, Decatur High School Principal Defends Earlier Start Time (Apr. 12, 2011) Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch; Valdes, Decatur Schools Bell Schedule to be Discussed at Board Meeting Tuesday (May 10, 2011) Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch; John Ahmann’s Plan For Tonight’s School Board Meeting (Jun. 14, 2011) Decatur Metro; City Schools of Decatur, School Hours [the plan resulted in later middle school start times].)

ILLINOIS — In order to add instructional time to the school day, Giles School and Leigh School in the Norridge School District 80, both K-8 schools, will advance 2014-2015 start times for all students by 25 minutes to 8:15 a.m. Classes at Ridgewood High School begin at 8 a.m. (Hayes, Norridge District 80 to debut longer school day this fall (Jul. 22, 2014) Norridge-Harwood Heights News.)

Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 is considering advancing high school start times by 25 minutes to 7:30 a.m. in order to save transportation expenses. Alternatively, the district is considering delaying some elementary school start times by 15 minutes to 8:15 a.m. and advancing others by 30 minutes to 7:30 a.m. No changes are anticipated before 2014-2015. (Sanders, Collinsville schools look at boundary and start time changes (May 6, 2013) Suburban J.)

Consolidated School District 230 is considering a plan to advance high school start times by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. for 2103/2014. According to Superintendent James Gay, students would use the first half hour to “build stronger relationships with teachers, learn coping strategies and develop critical skills necessary for life after high school.” (Sullivan, School could start 30 minutes earlier for D230 students (Mar. 4, 2013) Chicago Tribune.)

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 is considering moving from a two-tiered busing system to a three-tiered system, thereby saving up to $350,000 in annual transportation expenses in 2013-2014. High school classes would advance 10-15 minutes from the present 7:45 a.m. start time. Elementary school start times would be delayed 35 or 40 minutes to 8:50 a.m. or 8:55 a.m. Middle school classes would apparently retain a 7:25 a.m. start time. (Chadra, UPDATE: Idea of Adjusting to a New School Start Time Next Year Has Some Parents on Edge (Jan. 14, 2013) Elmhurst Patch.)

Community Consolidated School District 15 has posted a memorandum at its website advising that the 2013-2014 junior high school schedule will advance four days weekly by 10 minutes from the present 7:50 a.m. start time. (A chart posted at the district website shows an advance of 5 rather than 10 minutes.) On Wednesdays, classes will begin 40 minutes later. The district notes that the new schedule “maintains the amount of student instructional time, while increasing faculty professional development time[.]”

On May 10, 2012, Oswego Community Unit School District 308 posted a notice at its website indicating the board approved a schedule advancing the high school start time by 10 minutes to 7:20 a.m. for 2012-2013. The 8 a.m. middle school start time will not change. The notice states the change was made due to “recent school boundary changes and proposed reductions to school transportation funding by the state[.]”

The District 7 school board will advance the start times of two middle schools and Edwardsville High School by 15 minutes to 8 a.m. and 7:20 a.m., respectively. The district expects to save as much as $3 million in transportation costs. (Donald, Blame it on the buses: Kids will start the school day earlier in Edwardsville (Jun. 23, 2011) BND.com.)

Ball-Chatham Community Schools will adjust middle school start times in order to improve transportation efficiency. Glenwood Intermediate School will advance the morning bell from 8:10 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. (Reavy, Class times, bus schedules change in Ball-Chatham (Aug. 18, 2011) State J. Register.)

Beginning in the fall of 2011, Plainfield School District 202 will advance start times for Plainfield East and South High Schools from 8:10 a.m. to 7:05 a.m. in order to save busing costs. School district spokesman Thomas Hernandez said the move saved the district close to $1 million. “But for students, the change was jarring.” Plainfield East football player Cullen Rompa does his best to “maintain good grades and stave off fatigue. [¶] ‘I remember being awake a lot during first period and now it is a struggle. When they first (changed) the time, it was intense. It was very hard to do anything.’” Mary Ticknor, superintendent of Lemont High School District 210, where classes begin at 8 a.m., advises that changing to a later start time isn’t as easy as it sounds. “There are additional things to consider[.] How would a later start impact scheduling for after-school activities? Would it be feasible for students to work after school, or if getting home later after school would affect any family commitments our students may have, such as taking care of their younger siblings.” But Rompa thinks starting school later would not affect athletics much. “It would make practice go to 7 or 7:30 but the sleep you get in the morning would make up for going later in the day[.] Sleep would be more important.” (Akouris, A tired debate: When should school day start? (Oct. 18, 2013) The Herald Sun; Mullins, What You Need to Know Before the Kids Go Back (Aug. 2, 2011) Plainfield Patch; Manchir, D-202 families preparing for earlier school start times (Aug. 17, 2011) TribLocal.)

INDIANA — Elkhart Community Schools is considering three new bell schedules to save transportation costs in 2013-2014. The first option would advance secondary school start times to 7:30 a.m., a 5 minute advance for the district’s three middle schools, a 20 (Memorial) or 25 minute (Central) advance for high school students. Elementary schools would be delayed from 8:15 a.m. or 8:20 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. A second option would also advance high school start times to 7:30 a.m., but delay middle school start times to 9 a.m. Elementary schools would begin at 7:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m., and 9 a.m. A third plan would delay high school start times to 9 a.m., advance middle school start times to 7:30 a.m., and retain the second option start schedule for elementary students. Doug Hasler, executive director of support services, said that the current system is what “ ‘people have become familiar with and certainly change will cause some discomfort and some confusion for some people,’ but we think the changes will be better for schools and families in the long run.” On May 7, 2013, the board voted unanimously to implement a variation of the first option, advancing middle and high schools start times to 7:30 a.m., while delaying elementary school start times to 8:45 a.m. (Ziegler, Elkhart schools making changes to save money (May 7, 2013) Fox28; WNDU Staff, Major changes in Elkhart district schools for 2013-14 school year (May 7, 2013) WNDU; Weaver-Stoesz, New Elkhart schools start,/end times under consideration (Apr. 17, 2013) The Elkart Truth.)

As part of an apparent effort to improve transportation efficiency, Kokomo School Corporation will advance 2012-2013 start times for middle and high school students by 10 minutes, meaning Kokomo High School will begin at 7:30 a.m., Maple Crest and Central Middle Schools at 8:10 a.m. (New start times for 2012-2013 school year (Jun. 12, 2012) kokomoperspective.com.)

On March 14, 2012, the Greencastle Community Schools school board approved a measure moving up the start time at all schools by 10 minutes, four days a week, increasing weekly instructional time by 40 minutes. For 2012-2013, Tuesday through Friday, the high school will begin morning classes at 7:50 a.m., the middle school at 8 a.m., and the elementary schools at 8:10 a.m. (Jernagan, Greencastle adds 10 minutes to school day for 2012-13 (Mar. 16, 2012) Banner Graphic.)

The Marion Independent School District has announced new start times for 2012-2013, advancing the start time of Vernon Middle School from 8:05 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. (Munson, MISD may move Emerson students to Kirkwood facility (Feb. 17, 2012) Marion Times [Marion High School will “keep M Bl[o]ck starting at 7:45 a.m. and all other classes starting at 8:20 a.m.”].)

Warren Central High School Principal Rich Shepler announced 2011-2012 start times will advance from 7:35 a.m. to 7:20 a.m. in “response to our need to increase student achievement. [¶] We wanted to utilize every minute of the day to give our kids more of an opportunity — especially kids struggling to pass (standardized tests).” Teacher’s union president Dan Henn questioned the wisdom of the earlier start time, noting research indicates that older students perform better when school starts later in the morning. (McCleery, Warren Central students to return to class Monday — and with earlier start time (Jul. 28, 2011) INDYSTAR.COM.)

As part of the East Allen County Schools redesign plan, transportation was overhauled resulting in high school start times advancing 15 minutes, to 7:45 a.m., with the exception of Woodlan High which advanced 10 minutes, to 7:50 a.m. (Hissong, With Big Changes, EACS Back to School (Aug. 17, 2011) wane.com.)

KANSAS — Wichita Public Schools advanced the start times for one high school and four middle schools to 7 a.m. in order to address budget cuts. Rick Pappas, M.Ed., of Wichita State University noted, “Obviously they didn’t get enough sleep if they’re getting up that early.” Pappas also observed that children without enough sleep could “have a harder time focusing on school work and are more prone to experience anxiety and depression.” (White, Students face early morning start times (Aug. 17, 2011) KWCH 12 Eyewitness News.)

As part of a plan to lengthen the school day and shorten the calendar, Emporia Public Schools has advanced Emporia High School start times to 7:40 a.m. four days per week, and delayed classes until 9:30 a.m. one day. Previously, Emporia High School students began at 8 a.m. three days weekly, and 8:10 a.m. twice weekly. (Emporia Public Schools, 2011-2012 Start & Dismissal Times  [middle school start times have been delayed]; Springer, School board votes on calendar for 2012-13 (Apr. 14, 2011) The Emporia Gazette; Giffin, Changes in bus routes, scheduling planned for 2012-13 school year (Aug. 25, 2011) The Emporia Gazette.)

LOUSIANA — Iberville Parish Schools Superintendent Ed Cancienne, Ph.D., has proposed advancing 2012-2013 high school start times by one hour to 7:30 a.m. due to coaches’ concerns that athletes are missing afternoon classes and extracurricular activities. School board member Nancy Broussard commented, “One of the advantages of having the high school kids coming in later is because there’s some research that suggests it works better, academically, for high school students. It coincides with the natural sleep cycles of teenagers and enables them to learn better if they come in later.” On the other hand, board member Brian Willis stated, “Honestly, I think it’s great we’re doing this. It might not work, but let’s try it.” (Assoc. Press, Iberville school chief suggests new starting times (May 15, 2012) dailycomet.com.)

MAINE — Effective October 11, 2011, Winthrop Middle School and Winthrop High School will advance start times by 10 minutes, to 7:40 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., respectively. The Winthrop Public Schools superintendent explained the change was made to ensure Winthrop primary school students students are picked up on time and able to eat breakfast at school. (Adams, Winthrop students to start catching bus earlier (Oct. 10, 2011) Kennebec J.)

MARYLAND — St. Peter’s School, a private Pre-K through 8th grade Catholic school, will advance its 2014-2015 start time from 9:10 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Charles County Public Schools had previously provided a dedicated bus run for St. Peter’s School students, but will save $500,000 by eliminating the route. The public school district offered to bus St. Peter’s School students on its high school bus routes, but that would have required the private school to begin at 7:30 a.m. Fifteen percent of parent’s responding to a survey opposed the earlier start time. St. Peter’s School Principal J.R. West reported the school could not afford to lose so many students. Eighty-nine percent of parents preferred an 8:15 a.m. start time. West is working to find alternative transportation for students who need it. Charles County Public Schools has seven high schools, six begin at 7:25 a.m. or 7:30 a.m., one school, North Point High School, starts at 8:05 a.m. (Phillips, St. Peter’s School rolls with bus schedule changes (Jul. 22, 2014) SoMdNews.)

Mandi Mader, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., a clinical social worker who treats adolescents, began an online petition on October 15, 2012 pushing for a delay to 8:15 a.m. or later from the present Montgomery County Public Schools 7:25 a.m. high school start time. On October 24, 2012, after the petition had garnered more than 5,000 signatures, Superintendent Joshua Starr advised that the school board will probably take up the issue soon. Mader’s petition is the first act of the Montgomery County Chapter of the national advocacy group Start School Later. On December 11, 2012, Superintendent Joshua Starr said that he will form a work group to study later start times at public high schools. “… Starr made the unexpected announcement at a county Board of Education meeting after parents delivered two thick binders containing 950 pages and more than 10,000 signatures supporting later high school start times.” Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at the National Children’s Medical Center, advised the school board, “Insufficient sleep is linked to poor academic performance, increased rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and alcohol and substance abuse.” Dr. Owens prepared a powerpoint presentation for Maryland school officials (here in pdf). On October 1, 2013, Superintendent Starr announced that he will recommend the district adopt an 8:15 a.m. high school start time and advance the middle school start time by 10 minutes to 7:45 a.m. The board is scheduled to take up the issue at a meeting on October 8, 2013, with a presentation by the Bell Times Workgroup. The group began meeting in January 2013, examining research on teen sleep and school hours in other communities. No changes are anticipated before the 2015-2016 school year. (Basch, Later bell time proposed for Montgomery County students (Dec. 17, 2013) WTOP; Thornton, School Super: Move High School Start Times Back by 50 Minutes (Oct. 1, 2013) Potomac Patch; St. George, Montgomery County school leaders to discuss later start times for high schools (Sept. 12, 2013) Wash. Post; Meron, House of Delegates to consider later school start time bill (Apr. 4, 2013) the black & white; Henrehan, Montgomery County Public Schools will review high school start times (Dec. 11, 2012) myFOXdc.com; St. George, Sleepy teens: Montgomery to study later high school start times (Dec. 11, 2012) Wash. Post; Cardoza, Later Start Time For Montgomery County High Schools Gains Traction (Dec. 10, 2012) WAMU 88.5; Edit. Board, Accommodating Montgomery teenagers (Dec. 8, 2012) Wash. Post; St. George, More sleep for teens? Montgomery petition signed by thousands (Nov. 2, 2012) Wash. Post; Rasicot, Not Everyone Thinks MCPS High Schools Should Start Later (Nov. 2, 2012) Bethesda Magazine; Gartner, Montgomery County to consider later start times for high schools (Oct. 24, 2012) The Examiner; Gartner, Montgomery parents push for later start times for high schools (Oct. 17, 2012) The Examiner; see also, Dasgupta & Arnold, Teen Walking to School Hit By Car, Dies From Injuries (Oct. 31, 2012) Germantown Patch; Fard, Two Montgomery County teens struck by car, hospitalized (Oct. 3, 2012) Wash. Post.)

For the 2012-2013 school year, Prince George’s County Public Schools added a 40-minute “enrichment and intervention period” to the middle school schedule, permitting students to get extra help if they need it. Greenbelt Middle School advanced its start time from 9 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The change was expected to save the district about $5 million by adding some middle school students to the high school bus schedule. For 2013-2014, again to save transportation expenses, middle school start times have been delayed to 9 a.m. or 9:15 a.m., except at Drew-Freeman Middle School, where the start time has been advanced from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. The bell schedule shows high schools start times range from 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; K-8 schools start times, 8:30—9 a.m.; elementary schools start times, 7:45 a.m.—9:15 a.m. (Ryan, Greenbelt Middle School parents divided on later start time (Jun. 20, 2013) WTOP; Anfenson-Comeau, Parents divided over new school hours at Greenbelt Middle (Jun. 19, 2013) Gazette.Net; Crawley, Letter to Parents (May 21, 2013) Prince George’s County Public Schools; Nunn, Prince George’s middle-schoolers to see longer hours this year (Aug. 20, 2012) Gazette.Net.)

The Carroll County Public School System announced that in order to save approximately $1.2 million in transportation costs for the 2012-2013 school year, Liberty, South Carroll and Century high schools will begin 15 minutes earlier, advancing start times to 7:30 a.m., consistent with other district high schools. Two middles schools, Oklahoma Road Middle and Sykesville Middle, will advance start times by 10 minutes, to 8:25 a.m. Superintendent Steve Guthrie advises that the change will be permanent. (George, Guthrie: Bell time changes are permanent; community reacts to schedule changes (Sept. 17, 2012) Carroll County Times; George, Carroll school system changes school start times for 2012-13 (Sept. 23, 2011) Carroll County Times; Bonk, Eldersburg, Mechanicsville Elementary See Greatest Change in New School Schedule (Sept. 23, 2011) EldersburgPatch; Carroll County Public Schools, 2012-2013 Bell Schedule.)

MASSACHUSETTS — After hearing from dozens of parents, for the second time in two years, the Natick Public Schools District School Committee is considering a delay in the present 7:30 a.m. high school start time. The committee is evaluating two possible plans, each of which involves advancing the present 7:50 a.m. middle school start time. One option would delay the start of the high school day to 8:32 a.m., while advancing the middle school start time to 7:32 a.m., and advancing the elementary school start time to 7:50 a.m. Another option would delay the high school start time to 8:15 a.m., advance the middle school start time to 7:45 a.m., and start all elementary schools at 8:45 a.m. The school hours webpage presently shows elementary school start times ranging from 8:15 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Previously, on August 14, 2012, the school committee voted to have administrators look into shifting the 7:30 a.m. high school start time about an hour later. Committee member David Margil stated, “Various studies over the years indicated physiologically kids at high school just aren’t at their best when (the school day) starts.” No change was made in 2012 and should the present school committee adjust school hours, the change would not be implemented before the 2015-2016 school year. (Benson, Natick committee to mull school start times over summer (Jun. 27, 2014) Metro-West Daily News; Benson, Administrators to look at later Natick High start time (Aug. 16, 2012) Metro-West Daily News.)

In 2008, a group of teachers and parents appointed by the Northampton Public Schools School Committee to explore a later start time for Northampton High School students recommended a one hour delay from the current 7:30 a.m. start time. In 2010, the principal presented a plan to begin classes at 8 a.m. Budget issues and “complex” scheduling problems have sidelined implementation of any new school schedule. On June 13, 2013, the school committee voted 7-2 to implement a high school start time between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. no later than September of 2014. In January 2014, Interim School Superintendent Regina Nash pledged to resolve the issue of a later start time at Northampton High School before a new schools chief is hired in July. Nash essentially proposes switching middle and high school schedules, advancing the JFK Middle School start time by 25 minutes to 7:30 a.m., and delaying the high school start time to 8 a.m. (Solow, Northampton interim School Superintendent Regina Nash rekindles later start time debate  (Jan. 8, 2014) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Editorial, Change the start time already (Apr. 24, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Herrell, Been there, done that (Apr. 17, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Editorial, Dithering on school start (Jan. 21, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Solow, Northampton School Committee delays vote on high school start time (Nov. 11, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Superintendent Blog, Brian Salzer named new Northampton school superintendent (Jul. 13, 2011) Northampton Public Schools; Solow, Issue Tracker: Slow going for advocates of later high school start time (May 9, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette; see also, Hanauer, Good evidence, but no action (Nov. 15, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette.)

Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, Nauset Regional Middle School advanced its start time from 9 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. There has been a substantial increase in tardiness and absenteeism among students since the change was made. (Fraser, Later start time lauded at Nauset High (Jan. 10, 2012) Cape Cod Times [high school start times have been delayed].)

MICHIGAN — In order to improve transportation efficiency, Huron Valley Schools has advanced the start times of Milford and Lakeland High Schools to 7:19 a.m.; middle schools advanced to 8:22 a.m. A district representative advises that for the 2010-2011 school year, the high schools began at 7:21 a.m., middle schools at 8:27 a.m. (Meier, Need to Know: Huron Valley School District Alters School Times (Jun. 29, 2011) White Lake Patch.)

The Port Huron Area School District will advance start time for its two high schools by two minutes, to 7:35 a.m., beginning October 24, 2011, in order to meet state requirements for instructional hours. The district’s 3 middle schools currently begin morning classes at 7:35 a.m. (Garcia, Port Huron Area School District adds time to instruction (Oct. 20, 2011) thetimesherald.com.)

MINNESOTA — Centennial School District 12 is considering a plan to advance the 2013-2014 high school start time from 8:25 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., 5 minutes earlier than the unsubstantiated and limited “optimal” start time range noted in the district’s adolescent sleep research; i.e., 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. No explanation for the change is offered, except that the shift is proposed as part of a plan to delay the middle school start time from 7:40 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. based upon the same research. The elementary school start time would advance by 5 minutes to 9:10 a.m.

In order to improve transportation efficiency, Robbinsdale Area Schools will advance the start time of Robbinsdale Middle School  by 5 minutes to 8 a.m. Plymouth Middle School will delay start times by 5 minutes to 8:10 a.m. Elementary school start times will be adjusted by 5 or 30 minutes, resulting in 8:50 a.m. and 9:25 a.m. start times. The high schools and alternative school will retain their respective 7:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. start times. (Patch Staff, Changes in School Start and End Times for Some Robbinsdale Area Schools (May 3, 2013) Golden Valley Patch.)

In April 2013, Spring Lake Park Schools announced projected school start times for 2013-2014, with the district middle school scheduled to advance morning classes by 10 minutes to 7:45 a.m. The district high school start time will be delayed by 35 minutes to 8:10 a.m. The district website notes the change was undertaken to benefit the welfare and achievement of high school students. Westwood Intermediate School is slated to begin classes at 8:35 a.m., elementary schools at 9:10 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. (Kaner, Preferred option of change in school start and end times (Apr. 24, 2013) ABC Newspapers; Study results in preferred option for 2013-14 school start and end times (Apr. 12, 2013) Spring Lake Park Schools.)

Kenneth Gutman, superintendent of the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, has issued a memorandum advising that beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, Sarah Banks Middle School will advance its start time from 7:30 a.m. to 7:22 a.m., while Pleasant Lake Elementary school will delay its start time from 8:07 a.m. to 8:57 a.m. “These changes will save about $50,000 in transportation costs, annually, as a result of requiring fewer buses to transport students and providing greater flexibility allowing for more efficient bus routes.” Bell schedules for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 reflect that all other schools will retain their previous start times: elementary schools, 8:07 a.m. or 8:57 a.m.; middle schools, 8:09 a.m.; high schools, 7:15 a.m.

Following objections from parents, on May 24, 2012, the South Washington County Schools school board decided against advancing the start times of its four middle schools to 7:35 a.m. in order to save $480,000 in busing costs. Three middle schools begin at 7:55 a.m., Cottage Grove Middle School begins at 7:50 a.m. The high school start time was delayed by one hour to 8:35 a.m. in 2009. Elementary schools begin at 8:10 a.m. or later, except Newport Elementary, which begins at 7:55 a.m. (Wente, District 833 School board opts for ‘Band-Aid approach’ to transportation issues (May 28, 2012) Woodbury Bull.; Janisch, Updated: School Board Votes Against Changing School Start Times (May 25, 2012) Woodbury Patch; Wente, Parents sound off on District 833 school start time plan (Apr. 27, 2012) S. Wash. County Bull.; Spooner, South Washington County parents bristle at proposed school start, end time changes (Apr. 24, 2012) S. Wash. County Bull.; Spooner, Woodbury schools would be in line for time change under district proposal (Apr. 17, 2012) Woodbury Bull.; Spooner, District 833 could bump up middle schools’ start time to trim bus costs (Feb. 10, 2012) S. Wash. County Bull.)

Beginning in 2012-2013, the Stillwater Area Public Schools District will advance middle school start times by 10 minutes, to 7:50 a.m., and high school start times by 5 minutes, to 7:40 a.m. The plan will save the district nearly $300,000 in transportation expenses by utilizing a three-tiered busing system. Middle and high school students will ride first tier buses, and with the exception of Valley Crossing Community School, elementary school children will ride on the second tier, beginning classes between 8:40 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Third tier buses will transport students from non-public and charter schools, including St. Croix Catholic School (preschool–8th grade), New Heights School (grades 7-12), St. Croix Preparatory Academy (K-12), Salem Lutheran School (preschool–8th grade), and Valley Crossing Community School, to begin morning classes between 9:15 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. The St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center, designed for at-risk secondary school students, will retain its 7:45 a.m. start time. (Hogendorf, Stillwater Area Schools Start Times Will Change Next Fall (Mar. 23, 2012) Stillwater Patch.)

The Winona Area Public Schools school board is considering advancing the current 9 a.m. start time at Winona Senior High School to reduce 5th period absences among student-athletes. Board member Steve Schild said he thought the decision to have the older students start after the elementary students was based on research suggesting that teens have a harder time getting going in the morning, and asked that the board look at all of the factors before making any major changes. Board member Michelle Langowski explained that she thought parents preferred to have older students home when elementary aged kids left for the bus because it was easier to find childcare after school than before. The high school principal stated that there was “some evidence that when older students have a later start time, and parents aren’t home to get them on the bus, they are more likely to skip school.” A study undertaken by an instructor at the school found no adverse impact on student-athletes’ academic performance, despite as many as 15.1 school periods missed to attend sports contests. The school board is considering flipping high school and elementary school start times. The board acknowledged that studies show teens perform better when they start later in the morning and get a bit more sleep. District elementary schools begin at 7:45 a.m., the middle school at 9 a.m. (Squires, Redistricting tops school board discussion (Feb. 29, 2012) Winona Post; Squires, Students miss class time for sports, GPAs still up (Dec. 7, 2011) Winona Post.)

Two Eden Prairie Schools, Central Middle School and Eden Prairie High School, will advance start times to 7:50 a.m. In 2010, middle school students began at 9 a.m., high school students began at 7:55 a.m. The school hours page reflects that the district’s six elementary schools (K-6) begin between 8:40 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. (Shaffer, Early to rise for CMS students this year (Aug. 31, 2011) Eden Prairie News.)

In order to save $220,000 in transportation costs, Lakeville Area Public Schools will start high school classes at 8:02 a.m. and some middle schools as early as 7:24 a.m. (Knoll, Lakeville Tweaks School Start Times to Save $220,000 (Jun. 14, 2011) kstp.com.) Information obtained in a call to the district, however, indicates the high school start times are not new and middle school start times advanced by one minute.

St. Paul Public Schools will advance the start times for most students in grades 6-12 to 7:30 a.m. in order to implement a tiered busing schedule and save $1.9 million in transportation costs. The difference from 2010-2011 ranges from 25 minutes to one hour and 50 minutes. In December 2013, following a recent study of South Washington County Schools one hour start time delay (to 8:35 a.m.), St. Paul Public Schools reported the district is carefully studying a delay in start times and developing several scenarios to consider. Jackie Turner, chief engagement officer for the district, stated, “We’re going to be thoughtful in our decision, we’re going to engage parents and the community, we’re not going to make a hasty decision[.]” Turner said district officials are “well aware” of the benefits a later start time would have for high school students, but such a change, even if approved, would be years away. (Post, Study: Exhausted teens benefit from later morning school starts (Dec. 6, 2013) MPR News [includes audio]; Vezner, St. Paul schools shake up the class day (Jun. 3, 2011) TwinCities.com; Sleep Experts Concerned About St. Paul Start Time Change (Jun. 3, 2011) CBS) [article appears to incorrectly reference the St. Paul School District rather than St. Paul Public Schools]; St. Paul Public Schools, 2011-2012 Bell Schedule [start times at River East Treatment K-12 will be delayed from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.]; see also, Lonetree, Start time changes paying off for South Washington County schools (Jan. 4, 2014) Star Tribune.)

MISSISSIPPI — In March 2013, the Hattiesburg Public School District announced that beginning in the fall, middle school start times will be advanced by one hour to 7:30 a.m. in order to free students for extracurricular activities. High school start times will be delayed to improve academic performance, suggesting administrators may be unaware that middle school students also benefit from later school start times. (Ciurczak, HHS, N.R. Burger start times to change (Mar. 6, 2013) Herald-Index.)

MISSOURI — On October 10, 2012, Columbia Public Schools held a workshop for parents, teachers and administrators to explore ways of implementing later start times for middle and high school students. The district is considering utilizing a three-tier busing system in place of the present two-tier system. For 2012-2013, Columbia high schools (grades 10-12) get underway at 7:45 a.m. and 7:50 a.m., junior high schools (grades 8-9) begin at 7:45 a.m. or 8 a.m., middle schools (grades 6-7) begin at 8 a.m., elementary schools begin at 8:50 a.m. When Battle High School opens in the fall of 2013, the middle schools and junior high schools will become intermediate schools for grades 6-8. Under the three-tier busing system, the first tier would arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. for 7:45 a.m. classes; second tier would arrive at 8:15 a.m. for 8:30 a.m. classes; and, the third tier would arrive at 8:45 a.m. for 9 a.m. classes. April Lynn has started a petition opposing an earlier middle school start time. The board minutes reflect that at a March 11, 2013, meeting, the board voted to adopt the proposed 2013-2014 bell schedule; i.e., to delay the high school start time to 9 a.m., to advance the middle school start time to 7:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., and to advance the elementary school start time to 8:20 a.m. As in most districts, bus riders may arrive earlier (and rise earlier) than many of their peers. (Balmas, Discussion continues on Columbia Public Schools start time (Feb. 12, 2013) KBIA; Oggioni, CPS Superintendent Proposes Later Start Time for High Schools (Feb. 11, 2013) KOMU.com; Nochim, Belcher has new proposal for Columbia school start times (Feb. 11, 2013) KBIA; Sykuta, Superintendent supports later start time (Feb. 6, 2013) Bearing News; Slavit, Columbia school officials debate start times (Jan. 16, 2013) connectmidmissouri.com; Martin, School board backs off plan for early high school start time (Jan. 15, 2013) Columbia Daily Tribune; Helmy, High schoolers, community members speak out against school start times in board plan (Jan. 15, 2013) KBIA; MILLION DOLLAR SAVINGS: May be real reason for ultra-early school start times (Jan. 13, 2013) The Columbia Heart Beat; Martin, Committee recommends changes to school start times (Jan. 9, 2013) Columbia Daily Tribune; Martin, District to survey parents on changing start times (Dec. 11, 2012) Columbia Daily Tribune; Silvey, Columbia Public Schools explores new start times, bus schedules (Oct. 11, 2012) Columbia Daily Tribune; Martin, Schools look at changing start times (Sept. 20, 2012) Columbia Daily Tribune.)

The Liberty Public School District has announced that beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, Liberty Junior High (grades 8-9) and Liberty Middle School (grades 6-7) will advance start times from 8:10 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. while high school (grades 10-12) start times will be delayed from 7:45 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. School leaders reported that the new school times reflect transportation issues and other logistics as well as brain research. According to Superintendent Mike Brewer, Ed.D., “We know what brain research says for some of our adolescents and teens. Much of the research would say we should be starting high school much later than we are.” Two middle schools may retain 7:20 a.m. start times. Elementary school start times will range from 7:45 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. (Rigdon, Liberty school start times to change in fall 2013 (Jul. 19, 2012) Liberty Tribune.) News of benefits to middle school students flowing from later start times has apparently not reached Missouri.

Kansas City Public Schools has “swapped” high school and elementary school start times; secondary students will begin classes at 7:25 a.m., elementary students at 8:35 a.m. (Oberholtz, Back-to-School Hotline open to help families (Aug. 8, 2011) KCTV5News.)

With bus schedules too close together, Parkway Schools students have been arriving late to class. On September 21, 2011, the Parkway Board of Education voted to advance high school schedules by 10 minutes, from 7:45 a.m. to 7:35 a.m. Parent Mark Dunlop observed, “teachers are saying, already, that kids are sleeping in class.” Some students cited case studies from other districts. Board member Bruce Major responded, “I can Google right now, and come up with research that will say just about anything. This isn’t an open debate.” Parkway Central High School Senior Alex Pinder collected more than 538 signatures on a petition opposing the change and asking that the school start be moved to the second tier, at 8:20 a.m. One parent stated, “Parkway has thrown our kids under the bus. Early start times lead to daytime sleepiness. We ask you to develop a plan that meets the real needs of students, not your financial constraints.” Middle school schedules have been delayed. (Shapiro, School schedule changes raise ire of Parkway parents (Sept. 26, 2011) stltoday.com; Calhoun, Dissent Doesn’t Defer Changes in Parkway Schools’ Start Times (Sept. 22, 2011) CBS St. Louis; Whitney & Biondo, Parkway School Students: Prepare To Wake Up 5-10 Minutes Earlier (Sept. 21, 2011) Chesterfield Patch; Biondo, School Bus Delays To Dictate 5-10 Minute Changes in Parkway School Day (Sept. 19, 2011) Chesterfield Patch; see, Start Times & Length of School Day (Nov. 1, 2010) Parkway School Dist. Task Force Rep.)

NEW JERSEY — Clifton Public Schools has advanced the 2013-2014 Clifton High School start time by 10 minutes to 7:29 a.m. The districts’ two middle schools begin at 8:07 a.m. according to the student handbook (here, p. 10), 7:45 a.m. according to the district handbook (here, p. 10). Most elementary schools begin at 8:50 a.m. (Antonacci, High schools’ early starts deprive students of crucial sleep (Sept. 3, 2013) New Jersey.com.)

Hillborough Township Public Schools is considering plans to (a) advance the middle school start time by 30 minutes to 8:42 a.m. to save $950,000 in transportation expenses; or, (b) advance the high school start time by 15 minutes to 7:15 a.m. and delay the start times at Auten Road Intermediate School by 20 minutes to 9:35 a.m. in order to save $1.7 million in transportation costs. Board member Thuy Anh Le “asked if school start times could change by ages of students. Younger kids usually are up and more alert early in the day, she said, where high schoolers — who tend to stay up later and have more extracurricular activities — tend to drag in the first part of the day.” Greg Gillette, chairman of the school board’s Operations Committee, responded that he agreed “in principle, but to start the high school day at 8:30 a.m., for instance, would throw it off schedule from other neighboring schools.” In addition, “with a later start, athletes, for instance, would lose too much class time at the end of the day in order to board a bus to travel to an away game.” (Robbins, HILLSBOROUGH: School start times may change (Jan. 30, 2013) Hillsborough Beacon.)

On November 19, 2012, the Cherry Hill Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to advance 2013-2014 middle and high school start times by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., respectively, despite “the impassioned plea of parents” opposing the change. They cite studies suggesting teens learn better with a good night’s sleep and worry that Cherry Hill students already are stressed out and sleep-deprived. The board approved the start time advance after contract negotiations with teachers resulted in the addition of 30 minutes to the school day. In a statement at its website, the district reports that the new schedule reflects its concern “about the impact on after-school activities, especially inter-scholastic sports at the high school level, if we added the time at the end of the day.” In addition, the district “considered the impact on students who have after-school jobs that help support their families and/or their college savings.” Retaining tiered busing was also a “key consideration.” Superintendent Maureen Reusche stated the township’s school system has a shorter day than “other high-quality districts in the state. If an opportunity [arises] to engage in quality instruction for a longer period of time, I’m going to pursue that. I don’t see how [starting earlier] is going to add more pressure on students.” In October 2013, after the 7:30 a.m. start time went into effect, student school board representative Lydia George-Koku stated, “Sleep deprivation has been described as a serious problem among all students at each grade level[.]” According to George-Koku, teachers and students feel like “collapsing” during class and by the end of the day they are “very drained.” Cherry Hill mother Sharon Ritz said she has noticed her son has been more tired than usual. Her son is in 11th grade at Cherry Hill High School East and sets two alarms to wake up on time. Susan Bastnagel, spokeswoman for the district, said the board and administration value feedback, but the change was made to provide increased opportunities for student learning. “The district believes strongly that additional instructional time is always beneficial,” Bastnagel said. But Cherry Hill resident Alan Stein, a scientist and father of three, said the district didn’t do its homework. “A change like this affects the community, the kids. It is worthy of a debate[.] Where is the evidence?” (Dunn, For some, earlier school days are cause for alarm (Oct. 3, 2013) Courier-Post; Littel, Student School Board Reps Raise Early Start Concerns (Sept. 30, 2013) Cherry Hills Patch; Riordan, Controversy over Cherry Hill’s new earlier school day (Nov. 30, 2012) philly.com; Dunn, New teachers contract approved in Cherry Hill (Nov. 19, 2012) Courier-Post; Walsh, Earlier classes to benefit Cherry Hill student-athletes (Nov. 18, 2012) Courier-Post.) Department Chair and Professor of History and Education at New York University, Jonathan Zimmerman, wrote an editorial challenging the wisdom of the decision, asking readers to consider, inter alia, “[H]ow much virtue is there in sending all our kids to school before they’re awake enough to learn, just so some of them can play more sports? What does that say about our character as citizens, taxpayers, and parents?” (Zimmerman, Class time, not nap time (Nov. 28, 2012) philly.com.)

As part of an apparent effort to lengthen the school day, the Morris Plains School District will advance the 2012-2013 start time for Borough School (grades 3-8) by 20 minutes to 8:05 a.m. Mountain Way School (preschool, K-2) start times will also advance by 20 minutes, to 8:20 a.m. Superintendent Ernest Palestis said that the district is now closer to the state average in terms of the length of school days. (Mennen, New Start Times and Bus Routes for Plains Schools (Jun. 28, 2012) Morris Township – Morris Plains Patch.)

The Business Administrator/Board Secretary for Pequannock Township Schools has proposed a plan to advance the start time of Pequannock Township High School from 7:50 a.m. to 7:35 a.m. in order to save up to $250,000 a year on transportation costs. The school board president gave the go ahead to explore implementation of the proposed plan “in a viable way.” (Janoski, Pequannock looking to alter school opening times to allow for bus tiering (Dec. 14, 2011) NorthJersey.com.)

Following its designation as a “persistently lowest-achieving” school, Camden High School added 95 minutes to the school day, advancing start times from 8:20 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Assistant superintendent of Camden City Public Schools, Andrea Gonzalez-Kirwin, commented, “The students had a hard time adjusting to going in early.“ Gonzalez-Kirwin believes the new schedule results in student tardiness because parents are dropping off the younger siblings first. (Vargas, A new (and longer) day: Camden High School adjusts to its new academic schedule (Oct. 2, 2011) philly.com.)

In the fall of 2011, in order to add 20 minutes of instruction to the school day, Pemberton Township Schools middle school start times were advanced to 7:35 a.m. and high school classes delayed to 8:20 a.m. During the 2010-2011 school year, middle schoolers began classes at 8:20 a.m., high school students began classes at 7:35 a.m. In the fall of 2012, the district advanced the high school start time by one hour to 7:20 a.m. due to transportation issues. According to Superintendent Michael Gorman, “It was a failed experiment[.]” (Dunn, For some, earlier school days are cause for alarm (Oct. 3, 2013) Courier-Post; Zimmaro, Pemberton’s school schedule angers parents (Sept. 19, 2011) phillyBurbs.com.)

Sparta Township Public Schools staggered middle and high school start times in order to reduce traffic caused by starting both schools at the same time. Sparta High School start times were advanced from 7:15 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. (District unveils plans to spend windfall (Jun. 29, 2011) The Sparta Independent [middle school start times were delayed]; Sparta Township Public Schools, District Schools [both the newspaper and the district website report 7:15 a.m. as the present high school start time, but a school representative indicates 7:10 a.m. is the current start time].)

NEW YORK — Pearl River Middle School in the Pearl River School District will advance its 2012-2013 start time by 15 minutes to 7:30 a.m. to create more time between the end of the classes and dismissal at the district’s elementary schools. The middle school buses are used at the elementary schools, so this makes it less likely that a delay at the middle school would leave elementary school students waiting. “The buses from the middle school pick up children at the elementary schools,” Pearl River Middle School Principal Maria Paese said. “When the buses ran late here, the elementary school kids were sitting around and waiting.” Classes at Pearl River High School begin at 7:34 a.m., elementary schools begin at 9 a.m. (Buncher, Pearl River Middle School Moves Up Start Time (Aug. 31, 2012) Pearl River Patch.)

The Comsewogue School District will advance 2012-2013 start times for JFK Middle School and Comsewogue High School by 10 minutes, to 7:36 a.m. and 7:10 a.m., respectively. Elementary schools will begin at 8:15 a.m. or 9 a.m. Start times were adjusted to address reconfiguration of classes for elementary school students under the Princeton Plan. (Glowatz, Comsewogue sets new school schedules (Jul. 25, 2012) Times Beacon Record.)

In order to accommodate an increase in the number of students being bussed for 2012-2013, Mineola School District Superintendent Michael Nagler has proposed three possible school schedules for the board to consider. One option would leave the high school start time at 7:26 a.m., while advancing the middle school start time from 7:55 a.m. to 7:49 a.m. (Forestano, School Start Time Changes On the Table in Mineola (Mar. 2, 2012) Mineola American; Walter, Start Times to Change Again for Mineola Schools (Feb. 17, 2012) Mineola Patch [another option would delay middle and high school start times].)

Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, the Webster Central School District will advance high school start times from 7:30 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. and middle school start times from 8:25 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. The district spotlight page (now expired) explained the reason for the change as follows: “This change is in response to national and state efforts to implement more rigorous academic standards through the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS provide guidance to schools across the state to help determine what students need to learn, know, and understand as they prepare for college and employment in the global marketplace.” (Rosenberry, Start times for all Webster schools to change next year (Dec. 11, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle: Webster Blog.) Again, the available evidence suggests the new schedules will undermine, rather than enhance, academic achievement, particularly for disadvantaged students. (See, e.g., EdwardsDo Schools Begin Too Early?, supra, 12 Education Next 3; Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7; Carrell, Maghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents, supra, 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, pp. 62-81.)

Integrated Arts and Technology High School students receive “extra help” from teachers before and after school, and even on Saturdays. The student handbook reflects 8:30 a.m. as the school start time. The morning program begins “about an hour” earlier. (Lankes, City schools eye longer day for students (Feb. 7, 2012) Democrat and Chronicle.)

NORTH CAROLINA — Kannapolis Intermediate School (grades 5-6) in the Kannapolis City Schools District will advance its 2012-2013 start time by 15 minutes to 7:15 a.m. Principal Rob Knuschke explained the decision to change the school schedule as “the most logical choice since the middle school starts at 7:15 a.m. It’s early for kids, but the least intrusive for parents and the district.” A.L. Brown High School begins morning classes at 8:40 a.m., the elementary schools begin between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. (Campbell, Kannapolis Intermediate students starting school a week late (Aug. 23, 2012) salisburypost.com.)

For the 2011-2012 school year, three Moore County Schools high schools delayed start times to 9 a.m. from 8:15 a.m., improving student well-being and saving $600,000 in transportation costs. (Sharpe, School Start Times to Change (Jun. 9, 2011) The Pilot.) For the 2012-2013 school year, Union Pines and North Moore high schools will advance to an 8:30 a.m. start time as a means of resolving conflicts with extracurricular activities due to the 4 p.m. dismissal time. Pinecrest High School will advance 15 minutes to 8:45 a.m. Retaining current start times will be West Pine Middle (8:15 a.m.), New Century Middle (8 a.m.), and Crain’s Creek Middle (8 a.m.). Southern Middle School will advance 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. With the exception of West Pines Elementary which will retain its 7:45 a.m. start time, all elementary and primary schools will advance 15 minutes, starting at either 7:45 a.m. (Aberdeen Elementary, Southern Pines Elementary), or 7:30 a.m. (West End Elementary, Pinehurst Elementary, Highfalls Elementary, Robbins Elementary, Westmoore Elementary, Aberdeen Primary, and Southern Pines Primary). Pinckney Academy Alternative start time will remain at 8 a.m. (Lussier, Moore schools start, dismissal times change (Aug. 17, 2012) Courier-Tribune; Lentz, Schools Change Some Start Times (Jun. 10, 2012) The Pilot.)

The Brunswick County Schools Board of Education voted 3-2 to delay 2011-2012 start times for middle and high school students to 8:50 a.m. and 8:55 a.m., respectively, utilizing 30 fewer buses and saving $525,000 in annual transportation costs. Elementary schools advanced start times from 8 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. A district spokeswoman commented, “Adolescents are just physiologically wired to do better later in the mornings and elementary, younger children, are alert and ready to learn very early on in the day. So we feel like it is a cost savings but at the same time it is actually in the best interest of the way children learn.” On April 3, 2012, the board voted 3-2 to restore the single-bell schedule, advancing middle school start times from 8:50 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., and high school start times from 8:55 a.m. to 7:50 a.m., while delaying elementary school schedules from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. Parents opposed the 7:45 a.m. primary school start time as it compelled young children to wait for buses in the dark. Other parents argued the later release times (high school, 3:50 p.m.; middle school, 3:55 p.m.) cut into student-athletes’ school days. The $525,000 thought saved in transportation costs will now have to help pay health and unemployment benefits to former full-time bus drivers who will be laid off. New buses will also have to be purchased. Superintendent Edward Pruden, Ed.D., expressed his disappointment to the board. He said he felt the “silent majority” who had filled out surveys in favor of the staggered schedule had been ignored, as well as the studies that showed students responded better to the later start times. Pruden added that the best interest of the children had been overlooked. Pruden had recommended that the board leave the staggered schedule in place, noting that teachers and parents reported improved student behavior and performance. In April 2013, the board decided it could save transportation costs by returning to a staggered schedule, but will survey parents before determining which plan to implement: (a) delay high school start times to 8:45 a.m. and middle school start times to 8:50 a.m., advance elementary school start times to 7:20 a.m.; (b) retain the 7:50 a.m. high school start time, advance the middle school start time to 7:55 a.m., and delay the elementary school start time to 8:50 a.m. In May 2013, after 54% of parents responding to the survey favored starting secondary school students first, the board approved the following start times for 2013-2014: high schools, 7:45 a.m.; middle schools, 7:55 a.m. and 8 a.m.; and, 8:45 a.m. for the elementary schools. (Catlett, Brunswick Co. school leaders approve change in school start times (May 7, 2013) WWAY; Curran, Brunswick board of ed mails surveys seeking input on staggered start times (Apr. 16, 2013) Port City Daily; Curran, School start times set for next year (May 8, 2012) Brunsick Beacon; Gonzalez, Brunswick schools facing expensive policy change(Apr. 28, 2012) StarNewsOnline; Gonzalez, Flip-flop on school start times brings unexpected expenses (Apr. 23, 2012) StarNewsOnline; Gonzalez, Brunswick board votes to change back school day hours (Apr. 3, 2012) StarNewsOnline; White, Brunswick County Schools prepares for staggered schedules (Aug. 12, 2011) News14Carolina; Harden, Staggered schedules mean a more balanced budget for Brunswick Co. Schools (May 11, 2011) WWAYNewsChannel.) While experts report that the sleep cycles of primary school children comport with start times as early as 7:30 a.m. (Start School Later in the Morning, Say Sleepy Teens (May 20, 2007) Am. Thoracic Soc.), as a practical matter, children awaiting buses in darkness may be placed in harm’s way. (Delisio, It’s About Time (and Sleep): Making the Case for Starting School Later (Jun. 3, 2003) Ed. World.) Brookings Institute economists observe that implementing start time changes at the regional level may eliminate some conflicts. (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments (Sept. 2011) Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., p. 10.) “[P]airing the growing body of medical research with the educational outcomes seems to be the logical path to argue for changing to later start times. [¶] Incorrect assumptions, the use of only partial facts, and hasty implementation are frequent reasons that cause the defeat or demise of a local decision to change the start time.” (Wahlstrom, School Start Times and Sleepy Teens (Jul. 2010) 164 Archives Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 7, p. 677.) Political considerations may outweigh science and reason. (Wahlstrom, The Prickly Politics of School Starting Times (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 344-347.)

In June 2011, it was reported the Wake County Public School System, the 16th largest school district in the country, and the subject of Finley Edwards‘ seven-year study (Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance (Dec. 2012) 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, pp. 970-983; Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early?, supra, 12 Education Next 3), might advance middle and high school start times by 5 minutes, to 7:25 a.m. and 7:20 a.m., respectively, in order to meet a new state minimum instructional time requirement. The district website reflects that for 2011-2012, middle schools began between 7:30 a.m. and 8:20 a.m., and high schools between 7:25 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. In February 2012, the district announced it would address a budget shortfall by modifying busing schedules beginning in the fall of 2012. According to the proposed 2012-2103 bell schedule, some middle schools, Daniels, Fuquay-Varina, and Lufkin Road, would delay start times from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. (Lufkin). According to the proposed 2012-2103 bell schedule, four high schools, Broughton, East Wake, Green Hope and Sanderson, will advance start times from 8:05 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. However, school board member John Tedesco is concerned about the proposed change, noting that research demonstrates later schedules best serve high school students academically. Board member Jim Martin, on the other hand, is persuaded that delaying high school start times would result in more teen driving accidents due to the increased traffic congestion at later hours. The research does not support Mr. Martin’s contention. (Vorona, Szklo-Coxe, Wu, Dubik, Zhao, & Ware, Dissimilar Teen Crash Rates in Two Neighboring Southeastern Virginia Cities with Different High School Start Times (Apr. 2011) 2 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2, pp. 145-151; Danner & Phillips, Adolescent Sleep, School Start Times, and Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes (Dec. 2008) 4 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 6, pp. 533–535.) Five studies now associate high school start times of 8:30 a.m. or later with decreased rates of automobile accidents among adolescents, the leading cause of death in this population. (See, § III.D., supra.) The proposed 2013-2014 bell schedule shows that Broughton, East Wake, Green Hope and Sanderson did advance to 7:25 a.m., and all other high schools begin between 7:20 a.m., and 7:35 a.m., except for Knightdale High, which begins at 8:05 a.m. For Southeast High, the 7:25 a.m. start time represents a 10 minute advance. The same schedule shows middle schools beginning between 7:25 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., and between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Davis Drive Middle will delay by 45 minutes to 8:15 a.m., Lufkin Middle by 15 minutes to 8:30 a.m. Two middle schools, Centenial and Moore Square, will advance start times by 5 minutes to 7:30 a.m.; Apex Middle and East Garner Middle will advance by 15 minutes to 8:15 a.m., and Leesville Middle by 10 minutes to 8:15 a.m. Elementary schools all begin at 8:30 a.m., or later, except for Heritage (8:10 a.m.), and Millbrook, North Frst Pines, and West Lake (all 7:45 a.m.). In December 2013, district officials were advised that the rebuilding of the Raleigh Beltline will eventually affect 20 percent of Wake County school bus routes and schools across the district, “forcing changes in school start times for the next few years until the project is done.” Schools that start now at about 7:30 a.m., could start even earlier. Schools that start no earlier than 8 a.m. could start later. (Hui, Raleigh Beltline project to have major impact on Wake schools (Dec. 20, 2013) Eastern Wake News; Hui, Fewer Wake County school times to shift (Feb. 22, 2012) newsobserver.com [noting that North Garner Middle school would shift from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. rather than 8:40 a.m. as previously planned]; Hui, Wake County school board talking about school start times for high school students (Feb. 9, 2012) newsobserver.com; Hui & Goldsmith, Schools’ hours are in flux (Feb. 11, 2012) The Cary News; Hui, Wake may change school start and end times (Jun. 20, 2011) newsobserver.com; see also, Govan, Teens need sleep (Feb. 14, 2012) newsobserver.com.)

OHIO — In 2011, it was reported the Warren Local School District Board of Education pushed back start times to 9:05 a.m. at Marietta High School in order to allow students additional travel time since school busing had been eliminated. Subsequently, however, the high school start time was advanced to 7:58 a.m. (according to the press), 8:05 a.m. (according to the student handbook). Superintendent Tom Gibbs said starting high school students later “would cause some pretty significant concerns with after-school activities[.]” (Bevins, Warren BOE changes schools start times (Jun. 18, 2013) The Marietta Times; Bevins, Getting to School (Aug. 1, 2011) The Marietta Times.)

North Olmsted City Schools is considering a plan to advance middle and high school start times by 25 minutes to 7:23 a.m. and 7:20 a.m., respectively. North Olmsted High School Principal Jeff Stanton and Middle School Principal Tom Dreiling proposed the idea as a means of increasing tutoring opportunities and providing teachers additional time for professional development. Stanton acknowledged that there is ample research about the negative effect of lost sleep on adolescents, but also noted that there are several high-performing schools in the area that start early, including districts such as Strongsville. (Noga, North Olmsted schools new start time plan raises concerns (Mar. 19, 2013) The Plain Dealer.)

In 2011-2012, Dublin City Schools pushed back the high school start time from 7:25 a.m. to 8 a.m. and middle school start times from 8:15 a.m. to 8:43 a.m. in response to studies showing sleep-deprivation among students. The elementary school schedule was further delayed, from 9:05 a.m. to 9:28 a.m. A school Reform Task Force recommended pushing back the high school start time following research demonstrating higher test scores and safer teen drivers associated with later start times. A budget shortfall, however, has resulted in a plan to modify the schedule in order to save $175,000 to $200,000 in busing costs. The 2012-2013 schedule has the high schools beginning at 7:55 a.m., the middle school at 8:28 a.m., and elementary school at 9:10 a.m. At the secondary school level, feedback from parents, students, and staff was positive. Elementary school parents, however, were unhappy with the 9:28 a.m. elementary school start time and 3:58 p.m. release time. (Noblit, District school day to start earlier this fall (Aug. 15, 2012) This Week Community News; Binkley, Proposed Dublin school cuts include new starting times, higher fees (Feb. 14, 2012) The Columbus Dispatch; Corvo, Later school day start and end times will begin this fall (Aug. 5, 2011) Columbus Local News.)

Richard Markwardt, Ph.D., superintendent of Beachwood City Schools, announced in a memo that middle and high school students will ride the same buses in 2012-2013, thereby potentially advancing middle school start times by 5 minutes to 7:45 a.m., and the high school start time by 20 minutes to 7:40 a.m. Three Beachwood High School (BHS) students attended the July 12, 2012, board meeting. Jon Sender, who will be a senior in the fall, said he was speaking on behalf of all three. “The overarching question is, what is the benefit to the students of BHS (to merge the bus routes and change the daily start time)?” Sender asked the board. In an e-mail to BHS students and parents, Markwardt said he had received “several” e-mails from high school students and parents asking the BHS daily start time not be changed. “The e-mails I received protesting the potential change in start time for the high school carry a common theme,” Markwardt wrote. “They cite research that indicates high school students perform better if they begin school later in the day. “We are familiar with such studies. To fully realize the cited benefits, however, most high schools would need to move their start times significantly later in the day.” On August 1, 2012, Markwardt announced that the 2012-2013 schedules would be modified to advance high school start times by 10 minutes (rather than 20 minutes) to 7:50 a.m. and classes will be lengthened by 2 minutes. Students traveling via bus will be transported at the same time as last year. The 7:25 a.m. morning academy period will be retained and the middle school will start 5 minutes earlier, at 7:45 a.m. Markwardt offered this rationale for the new schedule: “The main focus of building a schedule for any school must be its positive impact on student learning. Please be assured that the principals and I see this year’s schedules as fulfilling that purpose. [¶] A secondary consideration relates to transportation.” (Wittenberg, School day to start earlier for most students in Beachwood school district in 2012-13 (Aug. 9, 2012) Sun News; Wittenberg, Beachwood High School students express concerns about proposed changes in daily schedule (Jul. 12, 2012) Sun News; Ferrell, Beachwood High School Start Time Discussed at Board Meeting (Jul. 12, 2012) Beachwood Patch.)

Pickerington Local School District Interim Superintendent Jim Sotlar announced that 2012-2013 middle school start times will advance to 8:40 a.m. while elementary school start times advance to 9:10 a.m. in response to complaints that middle school 9 a.m. and elementary school 9:40 a.m. start times were later than the beginning of most parents’ work days. District high schools and junior high schools will retain their respective 7:20 a.m. and 8 a.m. start times. (Ellis, District alters school start times for 2012-13 (Jun. 13, 2012) This Week Community News [the link to this article appears to have expired].)

In response to the elimination of high school busing, and to allow students to be released at the same time, the Winton Woods City School District will advance the 2012-2013 start time for the Academy of Global Studies from 7:30 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. The Winton Woods Middle School start time will remain at 7:30 a.m. The start time for Winton Woods High School will be delayed from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. (Cleary, Winton Woods High School to Have New Start Time for 2012-2013 (May 15, 2012) Fox19 West Side.)

North Canton City School District Business Manager Todd Henne has announced that the 2012-2013 start time for Hoover High School will advance five minutes to 7:20 a.m., and North Canton Middle School will advance ten minutes to 7:25 a.m. The changes were made to accommodate the “Unified Elementary Design.” (Day, A Goodbye From Longtime Administrator Ted Hall & More: School Board Quick Takes (Mar. 22, 2012) North Canton Patch.)

On January 17, 2012, Beavercreek City Schools advanced the start time of Beavercreek High School from 8:20 a.m. to 8:05 a.m. in response to budget cuts which reduced busing services. (Sedlak, Some lament Beavercreek school district’s reduced bus service (Jan. 18, 2012) Dayton Daily News; Beavercreek Schools Transportation Changes [Ferguson Middle School start time has been delayed].)

OKLAHOMA — Tahlequah Public Schools Superintendent Shannon Goodsell, Ed.D., plans to submit a proposal to the school board in June 2012 which would advance the high school start time from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. Goodsell explained that the athletic conference “is a long way off, and our students often have to leave their fifth-hour class to make those athletic events, and the problem is that sometimes, those are some important classes[.]” Students fail classes if they miss 10 times. In addition, “our 9 o’clock start time is not conducive for our students who want to attend in the career-tech system; it just simply is prohibitive for them.” The district 2012-2013 school hours page notes an 8:10 a.m. middle school start time, 8 a.m. high school start time, and 8:10 a.m. elementary school start time. (Newton, TPS officials eye earlier start times (May 24, 2012) Tahlequah Daily Press; Newton, Classes to start earlier at THS next year (May 15, 2012) Tahlequah Daily Press; see also, Early start time is too early for some students (Sept. 11, 2012) Tiger Rev. [student commentary]; Blunt, Earlier school start time beneficial to students (Aug. 23, 2012) Tiger Rev. [student commentary].)

Putnam City Schools will advance high school start times from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. in order to align school schedules with the schedules of the career tech sites serving district students. Middle school start times will advance 5 minutes to 7:40 a.m. as part of a plan to add 15 minutes to the school day. (Staff Reports, Putnam City changes schools’ start, stop times (Jun. 11, 2011) NewsOK; Staff Reports, Putnam City School District plans forum to discuss start, stop times (May 21, 2011) NewsOK.)

In June 2011, it was reported that in order to add 15 minutes to the school day, Tulsa Public Schools may advance high school start times from 9:10 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. (Vickers, Tulsa schools looking to lengthen days, shorten school year (Jun. 24, 2011) jkrh.com.) The plan adopted in July, however, calls for some junior and high schools to start at 8:15 a.m., with the remaining secondary schools beginning at 8:45 a.m. (Sims, Tulsa School Board Approves Uniforms, Schedule Changes (Jul. 21, 2011) Newson6.com.)

OREGON — In order to add additional instructional time to the school day, beginning in the fall of 2012, Tillamook School District #9 will advance junior high school start times from 8:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The high school start time will be delayed to 8:55 a.m. Superintendent Randy Schild explains, “The change is driven by the fact that we can generate an additional one hour of instruction per day. By creating that additional time, we believe it will give us opportunities that we don’t have now. [¶] There are some things that aren’t perfect with the plan … but we believe it will be better for our kids than what we have now, and it will help us to get to where we need to be (academically).” South Prairie Elementary will advance from 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and East Elementary and Liberty Elementary will advance from 8:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. (Bell, Tillamook School District sets new start times for 2012/2013; ratifies teacher contract (May 23, 2012) Headlight Herald; see also, Hurliman, New school times would put bedtime at 6:15 p.m. (Jun. 6, 2012) Headlight Herald [criticizing new elementary school start times as too early]; see, Primary Schoolchildren That Sleep Less Than 9 Hours Do Not Perform as Well Academically, Study Suggests (Sept. 13, 2011) Science Daily.)

PENNSYLVANIA — In June 2013, McKeesport Area School District Superintendent Timothy Gabauer reported that the bell schedule would be modified to comport with the trend among Western Pennsylvania school districts, advancing secondary school start times and delaying elementary school start times. The high school start time was to advance by 10 minutes to 7:15 a.m., the middle school by 10 minutes to 7:55 a.m. (grades 7-8), and by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. (grade 6). The intermediate schools (grades 3-5) were to delay by 20 minutes to 8:45 a.m., and the primary schools (grades K-2) were to advance by 20 minutes to 9 a.m. “We had our elementary students getting out around 1:45, which is very early,” Gabauer said. “We had a situation where all of the younger students were getting home earlier than their older siblings. We looked at other districts around us, and there is more of a standard system where older students start first and the youngest finish last. Ours was not like that.” In the end, however, the proposed schedule was not implemented. (Vertullo, McKeesport Area adjusts school starting times for fall (Jun. 29, 2013) TribLive.)

In order to save transportation expenses, the North Penn School District will advance the 2013-2014 high school start time by 5 minutes to 7:21 a.m. In promoting the new bell schedule, Superintendent Curtis Dietrich asserted “the changes are so slight that [any] negative impact is minimal…. [¶] I spent a lot of time at North Penn High School in the mornings and realized that a majority of the students are already there at the new start time. NPHS, its students and staff are recognized as the best in the nation. I do not foresee a minimal change in school hours by minutes impacting student achievement. Our students and staff are committed to excellence.” District middle schools begin at 8:05 a.m., elementary schools begin at 9:10 a.m. (Lundquist, Bell Schedule Changes for 2013-2014 School Year To Affect 13 Schools (Apr. 25, 2013) The Knight Crier.)

In June 2011, it was reported the Quakertown Community School District was unable to afford the $400,000 in transportation costs required to adjust middle school start times from 7:10 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. Start times were advanced in 2009 to save about $300,000 in transportation costs. In January of 2012, despite parents’ complaints about the early start times, the district remained unable to make the change, now estimated to cost about $900,000 in busing expenses. In March 2013, a group of parents urged the school board to switch the starting times of the middle and high schools because of concerns about younger children spending too much time at home alone. The high school begins at 8 a.m., the elementary schools begin at 9:10 a.m. (Rizzo, Later starting time sought for Quakertown middle school students (Mar. 17, 2013) The Morning Call; Rizzo, Early budget shows difficulty Quakertown facing (Jan. 6, 2012) The Morning Call; Rizzo, Final Quakertown budget closes Haycock ES (Jun. 10, 2011) The Morning Call.)

On December 3, 2012, North Hills School District Superintendent Patrick Mannarino proposed a new school schedule to reduce transportation expenses. High school students would see their start time advance by 20 minutes to 7:20 a.m., middle school start times would be delayed by 10 minutes to 7:50 a.m., elementary school students would start at 8:30 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. (Cook, North Hills Superintendent Proposes Changes in School Start & Dismissal Times (Dec. 4, 2012) North Hills Patch.)

In April 2012, Pittsburgh Public Schools announced a plan to save $1.2 million in transportation costs by advancing start times by as much as an hour. In May 2012, following parents’ complaints, the district amended the plan, proposing instead to advance start times by 30 minutes to 7:36 a.m. at Pittsburgh Allderdice, Brashear and Carrick high schools; SciTech 6-12; Milliones (University Prep) 6-12; Westinghouse 6-12 and grades 9-12 at Obama. Grades 6-8 at Obama would begin at 9:10 a.m. The start time at Perry High School would remain at 7:11 a.m. (Debate continues over starting time for city public high-schoolers (May 23, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Navratil, Plan to start high schools in Pittsburgh earlier is amended (May 19, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Chute, Some city schools to start earlier; fewer to use public transit (Apr. 10, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.) Wendy Troxel, a RAND corporation behavioral and social socientist, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, joined by more than 50 of her colleagues, cautioned the district against implementing even the amended plan. “Robust evidence has long demonstrated the adverse consequences of early school start times for teenagers’ academic, mental, social and physical well-being. And no, they can’t just go to bed earlier — their hormones won’t let them.” As to the cost/benefits issue, Troxel cited to the Brookings Institute analysis, which anticipates significant fiscal benefits to schools and students when middle and high school start times are delayed to “roughly” 9 a.m., before further noting: “But making a short-sighted decision that flies in the face of unequivocal scientific evidence would, in the long term, cost the city of Pittsburgh far more in terms of lost wages, higher rates of crime, more motor vehicle accidents and increased rates of obesity and associated health complications. [¶] Before deciding to move up start times — whether by an hour or a half hour — the Pittsburgh school board should weigh against a negligible savings in dollars the considerable costs to our children and to our society. [¶] As scientists, parents and members of the Pittsburgh community, we strongly oppose making school start times earlier, even by a half hour.” The 2012-2013 schedule posted at the Pittsburgh Public Schools website reflects a 7:11 a.m. start time for Pittsburgh Perry High School, 7:34 a.m. at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, and 7:36 a.m. for all other high schools and 6-12 schools. Elementary and 6-8 schools begin between 8:10 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. (Troxel, The high cost of sleepy teens (May 23, 2012) Pitt. Post-Gazette; see also, Conrad, Early start times at 6-12 schools make for pupils who are sleepy (Aug. 27, 2012) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Butters, Tired teens robbed of a fair shot (May 1, 2012) Trib LIVE.)

In April of 2012, Mahanoy Area School District Superintendent Joie Green asked the school board to consider eliminating bus stops within Mahanoy City and to advance start times for grades K-12 to 7:30 a.m., representing a 10 minute advance for middle and high school students. The matter has been tabled for administrators to evaluate the plan. Board members are concerned the new schedule may be too early for young students to safely travel. (Usalis, Mahanoy Area tables decision on eliminating school bus service in borough (Apr. 27, 2012) republicanherald.com.)

The Allentown School District will save as much as $1 million in transportation costs by advancing high school start times from 7:55 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Middle schools will start at 7:50 a.m. (Shelosky, Local District Changes School Start Times (Jun. 23, 2011) wfmz.com; Esack, Allentown schools may change start and end times (Jun. 10, 2011) The Morning Call.)

RHODE ISLAND — In a May 31, 2013 letter to parents, Susan Lusi, Ph.D., Superintendent of Providence Public Schools, explained the district had hired a “specialized firm [to] study our bus transportation practices. The firm recommended some minor scheduling adjustments that would allow us to use our buses more efficiently and save money.” According to the 2013-2014 high school bell schedule, these minor scheduling adjustments include advancing middle and high school start times to 8 a.m. The change represents a 20 start time advance at Central, Classical, and Hope, a 15 minute advance at E3 Academy; and a 10 minute advance at Alvarez. Birch, Mt. Pleasant, and Sanchez will remain at 8 a.m. PCTA will not alter its 7:30 a.m. start time. (Central, Classical, Mt. Pleasant, and Sanchez will each start at 9:25 a.m. on Wednesdays.) The bell schedule for the district’s 5 middle schools indicates that all schools — Bishop, DelSesto, Greene, Hopkins, Stuart, Williams — will begin at 8 a.m., a 6 start time advance. The elementary school bell schedule shows the district’s 22 schools will change start times from between 8:05 a.m. and 9:05 a.m. to 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. The schedule changes have been approved by the Providence Teachers Association. The savings are expected to exceed $2 million. (Press Release, Providence Public Schools Announces Plan to Adjust Bell Times for 2013-14 School Year (May 31, 2013) Providence Public Schools; Borg, New Providence busing plan to save more than $2 million (May 31, 2013) Providence J.; Raia, City schools to adjust bell times (May 31, 2013) WPRI.com.)

In order to save $500,000 in transportation costs, the East Providence School District will advance 2012-2013 start times for Martin Middle School and Riverside Middle School by 15 minutes to 7:55 a.m. East Providence High School will retain its 7:25 a.m. start time. (Crocker, Earlier Start School Start Times Slated for September (Jun. 20, 2012) East Providence Patch.)

SOUTH DAKOTA — The Dakota Valley School District is considering advancing start times by 15 minutes due to congestion on North Shore Drive and student sporting events occurring close to the end of the school day. Unknown is whether the change would be made to the high school/middle school schedule or the elementary school schedule. A Dakota Valley High School student journalist noted, “The fifteen minute earlier start time would not help what the average teen is said to be suffering from, sleep deprivation.” For 2011-2012, middle and high school classes begin at 8:25 a.m., the elementary school at 8:15 a.m. (Dick, To sleep or not to sleep (Oct. 2011) 2 Dakota Valley Panther Pride 1; Dick, To sleep or not to sleep (Oct. 7, 2011) my.hsj.org [same article]; Dakota Valley High School, Master Time Schedule; Dakota Valley Middle School; Dakota Valley Elementary School Student Handbook, 2011-2012.)

TENNESSEE — Rossview Middle School in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) will advance its 2012-2013 start time from 7:30 a.m. to 7:24 a.m. according to a school representative and the local middle school PTO, despite an indication at the school website that school hours begin at 7:20 a.m. As of this writing, the PTO website reports the change is due to “transportation[.]” Homeroom and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. All CMCSS middle school websites reflect school hours beginning at 7:20 a.m.; high schools websites reflect 7:30 a.m. starts; Middle College, 8 a.m., and, the Alternative School, 7:30 a.m. Elementary school start times range from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

In October of 2011 it was reported that the Cleveland City Schools Board favored delaying its current 7:25 a.m. middle and high school start time to “the 8:30 a.m. range.” Board member Tom Cloud was on the committee when the 7:25 a.m. start time was adopted, but he has since seen his sixth grade niece waiting for the bus at 6:05 a.m. The Director of Schools, Martin Ringstaff, commented that was too early for children to be waiting for a bus. “Six a.m. is just crazy.” Board member Richard Shaw stated said research shows high school students get better results with more sleep. “I used to see kids sleeping in the halls. It doesn’t make any sense.” On December 5, 2011, the school board adopted the following start times for the 2012-2013 academic year: high school, 8 a.m.; middle school, 7:50 a.m.; elementary schools, 8:40 a.m. On June 4, 2012, rather than purchase another bus to address a transportation shortfall, at Ringstaff’s suggestion, the board advanced the 2012-2013 high school and elementary school start times by 10 minutes to 7:50 a.m., and 8:30 a.m., respectively. (Bowers, Fleet size hampers bus plan (Jun. 5, 2012) Clevelend Daily Banner; Higgins, Cleveland school day to start 30 minutes later in 2012 (Dec. 7, 2011) Chattanooga Times Free Press; Higgins, Cleveland, Tenn., schools to study start and stop times (Oct. 4, 2011) Chattanooga Times Free Press; Board Members Question Early Cleveland School Start Times (Oct. 3, 2011) Chattanoogan.com.)

TEXAS — A May 31, 2013 memorandum posted at the Spring Independent School District website advises that for 2013-2014, the district will advance the high school start time from 8 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. The Early College Academy will advance morning classes by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. Roberson Middle School will advance its start time by 45 minutes to 8:15 a.m. The memorandum states the schedule changes were made “[t]o foster the most productive learning environment for student achievement[.]”All other middle schools will retain a 9 a.m. start time. Elementary school start times will be delayed by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. The available research suggests the new schedules will undermine, rather than enhance, academic achievement for high school students, particularly among the disadvantaged. (Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early?, supra, 12 Education Next 3; Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7; Carrell, Maghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents, supra, 3 Am. Economic J.: Economic Policy 3, pp. 62-81.) In addition, early start times substantially increase the likelihood of driving accidents among teenagers. (Vorona, Szklo-Coxe, Wu, Dubik, Zhao, & Ware, Dissimilar Teen Crash Rates in Two Neighboring Southeastern Virginia Cities with Different High School Start Times (Apr. 2011) 7 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 2, pp. 145-151.) The district memorandum reflects overwhelming parental support for the new schedule, suggesting political considerations outweigh student well-being and potential. (See, Wahlstrom, The Prickly Politics of School Starting Times (Jan. 1999) 80 Phi Delta Kappan 5, pp. 344-347.)

For the 2011-2012 school year, the Houston Independent School District considered advancing high school start times to 7:45 a.m., at least 30 minutes earlier than most campuses now begin. Parent protests, informed by Marta Fiorotto, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, may have caused the proposal to be defeated, 4-3. Nonetheless, five high schools — Barbara Jordan, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Davis, Furr, and Sam Houston — independently adopted the 7:45 a.m. start time for the “benefit” of students participating in extracurricular activities. More than 20 elementary and middle schools also “voluntarily” changed their schedules. For 2012-2013, superintendent Terry Grier, Ed.D., proposed saving $1.2 million in transportation costs, starting high schools at 8:45 a.m., middle schools at 7:45 a.m., and elementary schools at 7:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. The plan was scrapped in April 2012 over “concerns” voiced by parents and elementary school principals worried about meeting the costs of before and after school care for young students. Grier advised that budgetary considerations would compel revisiting school schedules again in 2013. (Mellon, HISD withdraws plan to change school schedules (Apr. 19, 2012) Houston Chronicle; Mellon, HISD: See how your child’s school schedule could change (Feb. 24, 2012) Houston Chronicle [the proposed schedule would advance most middle school start times]; HISD considers changing school start/end times (Feb. 23, 2012) ABC13; Mellon, Students, beware: School hours could change in HISD (Feb. 23, 2012) Houston Chronicle; Mellon, HISD won’t be tinkering with kids’ wake-up times (Jun. 9, 2011) Houston Chronicle; Mellon, HISD students might pay for budget woes with less sleep (Jun. 1, 2011) Houston Chronicle [nearby Cypress-Fairbanks ISD begins morning classes at 7:25 a.m.]; Walsh, HISD moves to uniform start and end times for school days(Apr. 11, 2011) Texas Watchdog.)

As part of a plan to cut $3.7 million from the budget, the Midway Independent School District is considering adopting a two-tiered busing schedule for 2012-2013. Plan A, favored by most parents, would advance middle and high school start times to an unstated hour. The 2011-2012 student handbook reflects a 7:50 a.m. middle school start time, and an 8 a.m. high school start time. The elementary school handbook reflects an 8 a.m. start time. (Skinner, Midway ISD makes more plans towards final budget cuts (Feb. 21, 2012) News25.)

In early November 2011, the superintendent of College Station Independent School District announced a tentative plan to advance high school start times from 8:20 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. in order to eliminate bus routes and purchase fewer buses. The new plan was anticipated to save approximately $200,000 annually and an estimated $1.1 million over the next 3 years. On November 15, 2011, the board announced its decision to retain the current schedule for 2012-2013. (CSISD, CSISD Board of Trustees Decides to Keep Current School Start Times (Nov. 15, 2011) KBTX.com; Falls, CSISD Mulls Changing School Start Times for Fall 2012 (Nov. 2, 2011) KBTX.com [the plan would have delayed middle school start times to 8:45 a.m.]; Superintendent’s Monday Message, Nov. 7, 2011.)

On October 3, 2011, the Lovelady Independent School District advanced start times for students in grades 7-12 from 8:10 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. Since the cafeteria cannot accommodate all students (K-12) simultaneously, the change will allow younger students to eat breakfast before the morning bell; older students will breakfast at an unstated “alternate time.” (Lovelady Independent School District, Notice of Schedule Change.)

Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, McKinney Independent School District advanced start times for its three high schools to 7:30 a.m. A district representative advises that morning classes previously began at 9:15 a.m. (Graham, We’ve Got Two Options (Jan. 5, 2012) Essay Forum.)

UTAH — In the fall of 2013, after two years of starting at 7:55 a.m., three Jordan School District high schools, will return to earlier start times (Herriman High, 7:30 a.m., Copper Hills High & West Jordan High, 7:40 a.m.). Herriman High “didn’t see the results it wanted — struggling students coming early to meet with teachers. [¶] While some parents and students loved the later start because of the chance for more Z’s,” Herriman Principal Jim Birch says a survey last year revealed students were not getting any more sleep than before. “A lot of them said, ‘We go to bed later because we can get up later.’ “ (Moulton, Z’s to A’s: Do Utah students suffer from lack of sleep? (Aug. 11, 2013) Salt Lake Tribune.)

VIRGINIA — As part of a plan to save transportation expenses and increase instructional time for middle and elementary school students, Manassas City Public Schools will advance the Osbourn High School start time by 10 minutes to 7:20 a.m. Metz Middle School will retain its 7:30 a.m. start time, but add 15 minutes to the end of the school day. Mayfield Intermediate School (grades 5-6) will begin at 8:50 a.m., a 45 minute delay. The elementary schools will begin at 7:55 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. (Rogers, Manassas Schools to Have New Start, Dismissal Times in Fall (May 10, 2013) Manassas Patch.)

West Springfield High School in the Fairfax County Public Schools District will advance its 2012-2013 start time from 7:30 a.m. to 7:20 a.m. four days per week, and delay to 8 a.m. on Wednesdays. As of this writing, the high school website reports the change is required “to accommodate the addition of approximately 4,000 students to our school system.” According to the district bell schedule, other district high schools also begin at 7:20 a.m., middle school start times range from 7:25 a.m. to 8:05 a.m., and elementary schools start times range from 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. After many years of discussion (discussed here), on April 12, 2012, the school board voted to declare later high school start times (after 8 a.m.) as a goal. (Larson, Spartan Spree Kicks Off School Year at West Springfield (Aug. 21, 2012) Burke Patch.)

WASHINGTON — In April 2013, Everett Public Schools surveyed parents concerning possible start and dismissal time changes intended to reduce traffic congestion and save approximately $163,000 in transportation expenses. Media outlets offer varying reports as to whether three or four options were proposed, the number of schools affected, and the duration in minutes schedules would be advanced or delayed. The range of proposals reported include advancing middle and high school start times by 10-20 minutes, delaying middle school start times by 10-20 minutes, and/or, delaying elementary school start times by 10-20 minutes. The district’s 2012-2013 school hours page reflects that high schools begin at 7:30 a.m. (Cascade, Everett, Henry M. Jackson), and 8:20 a.m. (Sequoia); middle schools begin at 7:30 a.m. (Evergreen), 8:10 a.m. (Gateway), and 8:15 a.m. (Eisenhower, Heatherwood, North); elementary schools begin at 8:35 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. (Salyer, Everett parents want school times that benefit own families (May 1, 2013) HeraldNet; Van Winkle, Everett School District publishes school start and stop time survey results (Apr. 28, 2013) News of Mill Creek; Whitney, 5,000 respond to school schedule survey (Apr. 24, 2013) Tribune; Salyer, Survey ends soon on Everett school schedule (Apr. 13, 2013) HeraldNet; Manning-Smith, Traffic issues could force Everett schools to ‘shake up’ start times (Apr. 9, 2013) KOMO News; Salyer, Hours may change at some Everett schools (Apr. 2, 2013) HeraldNet; Whitney, Proposal changes school start, end times (Mar. 20, 2013) Tribune.)

On June 11, 2012, the Olympia School District school board approved a new bell schedule advancing start times at Capital and Olympia high schools by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. Start times at two middle schools will be delayed. The start time at Jefferson/Marshall middle school will remain at 8 a.m. Elementary schedules will be both advanced and delayed, with start times ranging from 8:40 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. The board anticipates the new schedule will save $160,000 in transportation expenses. (Pemberton, Most Olympia schools to get new start times (Jun. 14, 2012) The News Tribune.)

In 2012, the Seattle School District announced it was considering a plan to reduce its existing twenty-one different school start times to six in order to save transportation costs for the 2012-2013 school year. The district website notes the board directed the transportation department to evaluate delaying secondary school schedules by a minimum of 10 minutes. At a May 2, 2012 board meeting, however, a proposal was introduced which would have advanced K-8, middle and high school start times by as much as one hour. Cynthia Jatul’s petition drive against the proposal garnered over 2,600 signatures. On May 16, 2012, the board approved a scaled back proposal to save money in transportation costs by increasing the standard ride time from 25 to 45 minutes, and delaying bell times at four to six elementary schools. The 2011-2012 bell schedule shows high school start times ranging from 7:50 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and middle school start times ranging from 7:40 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. (Rosenthal, Seattle School Board OK’s scaled back bus plan (May 16, 2012) The Seattle Times; Mosely, Seattle schools shifting bus schedules for thousands of students (May 4, 2012) King5.com; Followup: Seattle Public Schools now wants your opinion on transportation plans that could change ‘bell times’ (May 4, 2012) West Seattle Blog; Seattle Public Schools start times back in play – board meets tonight (May 2, 2012) West Seattle Blog.)

The Longview School District advanced start times by 10 minutes in order to accommodate 3 teacher training days. District middle school start times will now range from 7:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m., and high schools will now begin at 7:40 a.m. Superintendent Suzanne Cusick says she’s aware of research that suggests students learn better later in the day, but said she doesn’t believe the new start times are too early. (Garrison, Earlier start times set to kick in for Longview schools (Aug. 13, 2011) The Daily News.)

Yelm Community Schools reduced busing costs by advancing middle school start times to 7:25 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. (Huey, Yelm schools alter start times in fall (Jun. 10, 2011) Nisqually Valley News.)

WISCONSIN — In March 2013, the School District of Greenfield school board voted 4-3 to advance the middle school 2013-2014 start time by 12 minutes to 7:30 a.m., and to delay the high school start time by 20 minutes to 7:30 a.m. The changes were made largely to address academic deficiencies (the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction gave the high school a grade of 59.6 in student achievement) and tardies (9,671 first-hour tardies in 2011-2012) among high school students, with middle schoolers achievement and well-being not being part of the equation. Two elementary schools were moved to 8:45 a.m. from 9:15 a.m., conforming start times with the district’s two other elementary schools. Wisconsin has its own StartSchoolLater Chapter. (Cotey, Greenfield High School Classes Will Start Later in 2013-14 (Mar. 28, 2013) Greenfield Patch; Cotey, School Start Time Change Gaining Steam? (Jan. 23, 2013) Greenfield Patch; Cotey, School Start-Time Debate Making a Return? (Oct. 23, 2012) Greenfield Patch; Stingl, Greenfield mom pushes later school start for groggy teens (Mar. 6, 2012) J. Sentinel; Cotey, Greenfield School District Decides to Keep School Start Times the Same (May 10, 2011) Greenfield Patch; see also, Skowronek, Start School Later Reference List.)

Recognizing that studies have shown adolescents perform better in school if they have a later start time, the School District of Onalaska briefly evaluated flipping middle and high school start times with elementary school start times. For 2012-2013, the middle school begins at 7:30 a.m., the high school at 7:23 a.m., and the elementary schools at 8:25 a.m. By February 2013, however, the district had abandoned the plan due to afterschool daycare considerations for elementary school children, conflicts for high school athletes, and transportation considerations. Superintendent Fran Finco concluded, “It was a good, month long conversation.” For 2013-2014, high school start times will be delayed by 7 minutes to 7:30 a.m., middle school start times will advance by 5 minutes to 7:25 a.m. (Sequist, Later Onalaska school start won’t work (Feb. 13, 2013) Onalaska-Holmen, Courier-Life; Nolte, Onalaska school district considers new school start times (Jan. 22, 2013) WXOW19.)

A plan to add 16 minutes of instructional time to the 2012-2013 school day in the Sun Prarie Area School District would advance start times at Prairie View and Patrick Marsh middle schools from 7:45 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. (Wittrock, Concerns raised about school start time changes (Apr. 5, 2012) STARONLINE.com [start times for the high school and one middle school would be delayed].)

Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Phillip Ertl, Ed.D., has proposed advancing high school start times from 8 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. to decrease traffic congestion attributed to three schools beginning within 5 minutes of each other. The new schedule is intended to improve student safety. Under the plan, middle schools would advance from 8:05 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. Dr. Ertl explained that “high school students in the district are being rigorously prepared for challenging careers that could demand an early start to their day – and they might just as well get used to it. [H]igh school students need to be prepared for life after high school when their work days will be starting early. I do believe that starting 20 minutes earlier will not negatively impact their learning or their attendance.” In April 2012, after receiving parent survey responses, the district decided to leave high school start times in place, while delaying middle school start times. Elementary schools will begin at 8:20 a.m. (Romano, Proposal maintains high school start time (Apr. 24, 2012) Wauwatosa Now; Erves, Tosa school district to consider later start times for some schools (Apr. 23, 2012) Fox6Now.com; Price, School District Proposes Earlier Start Times to Address Traffic Safety Concerns (Apr. 5, 2012) Wauwatosa Patch; see also, Romano, Wauwatosa high schools could start 20 minutes earlier (Apr. 11, 2012) Wauwatosa Now.)

In late 2011, the Menomonee Falls School District considered advancing the high school start time from 8 a.m. to 7:14 a.m. in order to increase staff development time and reduce late period absenteeism due to extracurricular activities. On February 27, 2012, the school board approved a shorter advance, moving the morning bell forward by 10 minutes to 7:50 a.m. As between the two proposed start times, 62% of students favored the later start. (Bukowski, High schoolers to start earlier next year (Feb. 28, 2012) Menomonee Falls Now; Engelking, Rise and Shine! School Could Start Earlier Next Year at MFHS (Nov. 28, 2011) Menomonee Falls Patch [the middle school start time may be delayed.)

Baraboo School District Administrator Crystal Ritzenthaler advanced middle and high school start times by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. in order to increase instructional times and to allow for collaboration and training among teachers. (Bridgeford, Early to rise: Baraboo Schools change start times (Aug. 30, 2011) Baraboo News Republic.)

Tagged: ,

§ One Response to Schools Recently Advancing Start Times, etc.

  • Dana J. Stits says:

    It’s time for all educators and school administrators to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence. The best interests of our teens must prevail.

    [Edit. note -- Mr. Stits is the Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Dependency, Office of County Counsel, Orange County, CA.]

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