Schools Recently Delaying Start Times, etc.

June 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

“Delaying school start times is a demonstrated strategy to promote sufficient sleep among adolescents.”—Danice K. Eaton, Ph.D., Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lela R. McKnight-Eily, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Richard Lowry, M.D., Adolescent and School Health, CDC, Geraldine S. Perry, Dr.P.H., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Letitia Presley-Cantrell, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC, Janet B. Croft, Ph.D., Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC. (Eaton, McKnight-Eily, Lowry, Croft, Presley-Cantrell, & Perry, Prevalence of Insufficient, Borderline, and Optimal Hours of Sleep Among High School Students – United States, 2007 (2010) 46 J. Adolescent Health, p. 401.)

ALABAMA — For the 2014-2015 school year, Phenix City Public Schools will delay start times by 1 hour and 15 minutes to 9 a.m. for students in grades 8-12. Students in grades 6-7 will see their start time advance by 45 minutes to 7:45 a.m. The bell schedule shows that elementary schools will begin at 8 a.m., except for Lakewood Primary School (K-2), which will begin at 7:45 a.m. Superintendent Randy Wilkes reports that the later start time for older students is an effort to increase student success for teens and adolescent. “I’ve heard pros and cons[.] I’ve heard what the research is about students that age and how much better they perform middle morning to mid afternoon.” Child psychiatrist Dr. Kaizad Shroff confirms the later start times are beneficial. He adds the older the student is, the later their body releases the chemical that helps them sleep. “It’s called melantonin. So, in adolescents it’s released around 11 o’clock. In children, it’s released around 8 or 9 o’clock. So, an adolescent is not going to sleep before then as much as you try[.]” Superintendent Wilkes says facts like what Dr. Shroff points out and the inconvenience of parents who rely on older children’s help with the younger kids has helped the school board make this decision. “Everything in education’s on a trial basis[.] If it doesn’t work, we need to go back and do something else.” (McCoy, New school year, new start times for Phenix City schools (Jul. 25, 2014) WTVN.com.)

Decatur City Schools will push back start times for middle and high school students for 2014-2015, beginning morning classes 30 minutes later, at 8:30 a.m. Elementary school start times will advance by 5 minutes to 7:45 a.m. Superintendent Ed Nichols said the time changes stemmed from the district’s efforts to save money on transportation. The district eliminated 10 bus driver positions, requiring some of the remaining 60 drivers to run two bus routes. (Keith, Time changes on the way for Decatur City Schools (Jul. 9, 2014) waaytv.)

ALASKA — Until the state senate passed Bill 182 providing additional transportation funding, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District considered transitioning from one- to two-tiered busing for 2012-2013 in order to address a $750,000 budget shortfall. The proposed schedule would have delayed start times for Chapman (K-8), from 8:40 a.m. to 9 a.m., while advancing, into the 7 o’clock hour, secondary school schedules and all other middle school schedules. Elementary schools other than Ninilchik (K-12) were scheduled to delay start times. (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.)

ARKANSAS — The Pulaski County Special School District has implemented a plan which advances some elementary school start times while delaying middle and high school start times. The plan is expected to save the district money in transportation expenses and recognize research which shows that “perhaps allowing high school students more sleep in the morning helps them perform better in the classroom.” According to the 2011-2012 bell schedule, middle and high school classes began as early as 7:30 a.m. As of summer 2013, the bell schedule showed that all high schools begin between 8:25 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., middle schools between 8:20 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., and elementary schools between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. Adkins Pre-K retained its 7:20 a.m. start time. The board of education was dismissed after the district went into “fiscal distress.” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell, Ed.D., acts in place of the board. (Johnson, PCCSD proposes changes to start times for next year (Jan. 11, 2012) Today’s THV.)

AUSTRALIA — Templestowe College, an Australian secondary school, will permit students to select one of three school schedules for 2014-2015: the existing 8:50 a.m – 3:30 p.m. schedule, or 10:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., or 7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Principal Peter Hutton said most students were expected to stick with the existing times, but the later start would help those who needed more sleep. Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Frank Sal said the traditional 9 a.m.-3 p.m. school day was eroding as schools become more autonomous. (New timetable allows secondary school students to sleep in (Aug. 20, 2014) Education HQ; Hosking, Schools wake up to sleepy students and consider later teaching hours (Aug. 19, 2014) Herald Sun.)

In August 2014, students at selective-entry Melbourne High School have requested the school delay its present 8:50 a.m. start time to 9:30 a.m. Principal Jeremy Ludowyke said delaying the school’s starting time could deliver real benefits. “There is a good research base to say we probably ask students to start their working day a little earlier than they should[.] We want to just assess the educational value of that proposition. It’s one we have to be prepared to look at quite reasonably and objectively.” (New timetable allows secondary school students to sleep in (Aug. 20, 2014) Education HQ; Later school start times on the cards (Aug. 19, 2014) Australian Women’s Weekly; Hosking, Schools wake up to sleepy students and consider later teaching hours (Aug. 19, 2014) Herald Sun.)

Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., Head of Nuffield Laboratory, and Chair of Circadian Neuroscience at Oxford University, says teenagers are biologically wired to stay up late and wake late, making a 9 a.m. start too early. Two Victorian schools have put their starting times back and are “happy with the results.” Berengarra School in Glen Waverley operates from 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m. with shortened breaks and the Victorian P-12 College of Koorie Education in Mildura operates from 10 a.m.-3:40 p.m. Both school principals say sleep was a factor, and the change has helped alertness. A local psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg, notes “performance and enjoyment would improve if school better fit teenagers’ body rhythm. ‘Eighty per cent of year 10 students are not getting enough sleep. The single most important study tool going around is a good night’s sleep.’ ” (Critchley, Sleepy teens want later start (May 4, 2007) Herald Sun.) Professor Timothy Olds of the University of South Australia estimates that about 5 per cent of schools in Australia have now changed to a later start time of 10 a.m. (Clayton, Why a lie-in could improve teens’ results (Jul. 16, 2013) tes connect.)

CALIFORNIA — On September 16, 2014, parent Belinda Dong presented arguments and evidence in favor of delaying the 7:45 a.m. La Cañada High School (grades 7-12) start time. Board President Ellen Multari stated, “It would be a difficult decision for us to just implement[.] We’d have to be very thoughtful about all the potential conflicts.” According to Superintendent Wendy Sinnette, “There is a necessity to try and keep in sync with your local schools and your Rio Hondo League[.] You’d be doing your students a disservice to have separate times.” Board members decided to seek feedback from parents at upcoming PTA meetings to see if the school community wished to pursue the matter further. Ms. Dong expressed confidence an educated community would support a change. La Cañada Unified School District elementary schools begin morning classes at 8:10 a.m. (Cardine, Mom: Teens need more sleep (Sept. 18, 2014) La Cañada Valley Sun.)

In the fall of 2014, Bakersfield Christian High School delayed the morning bell by 30 minutes to 8:30 a.m. in order to improve academic performance. (Seaman, Delay the morning bell, suggests paediatricians (Sept. 1, 2014) The Star Online [last video on webpage].)

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. 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. David A. Brown Middle School and Elsinore Middle School will advance start times. District elementary schools begin at 8 a.m. In a November 2012 workshop, Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser discussed the possibility of pushing back the current 7:50 a.m. high school start time. The superintendent recognized the change may not be popular with parents and teachers, but that it would serve students’ best interests. Steinhauser explained, “There are tons of research studies that say that high school students should start school around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. or even later. I am not proposing that we start schools at 10 a.m., but what I am proposing is that we place schools on an 8:45 or 9 a.m. start time, which would mean that students get out an hour later.” Zero period classes would be delayed by an hour to 7:15 a.m. An online survey found an even split among parent-respondents favoring and opposing a schedule change. At a January 29, 2013 board meeting, two possible plans were presented. Plan A would save the district more than $1.2 million in adjusting and consolidating transportation schedules, and aims to start and end all high schools an hour later — from 8:50 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Plan A also would make some schedule changes for elementary, K-8 and middle schools in the district — moving middle school start times to 7:50 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m., and starting elementary schools at either 8 or 9 a.m. Under Plan B, the district would save slightly more than $1 million and all high schools would remain at their current start time of 7:50 a.m. Middle schools would start at 9 a.m. and recess at 3:40 p.m. and elementary schools would begin at 8 or 9 a.m. Virginia Torres, president of the Teachers Association of Long Beach, said “the district should do more research on how the changes would affect the community and individual schools. ‘This is a very big change and it seems to us that the district hasn’t really stepped out and asked the parents and teachers. We have concerns about student safety, conflicts with after-school sports and extracurricular activities, all those things need to be taken into consideration. We need more input from parents and the community as a whole.’ “ On March 24, 2013, the board voted to delay 2013-2014 middle school start times by one hour to 9 a.m. The change at Hamilton Middle School will be only 20 minutes since the school currently begins at 8:40 a.m. The board otherwise left the bell schedule intact, but approved an 8:50 a.m. start time for a new school, McBride High School. The district reports “educat[ing] nearly 81,000 students in 84 public schools in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and Avalon on Catalina Island.” (Addison, LBUSD Middle Schools to Begin an Hour Later Starting Fall 2013 (Apr. 2, 2013) Long Beach Post; Ceasar, Long Beach middle schools to start day an hour later (Mar. 25, 2013) Los Angeles Times; Puente, LBUSD’s proposed later school start times may boost achievement, research shows (Feb. 3, 2013) Press-Telegram; Long Beach school board delays vote on start time changes (Feb. 1, 2013) Press-Telegram; Minasian, LBUSD Officials Hear Community Opposition On Later School Start Times (Jan. 30, 2013) Gazettes; Puente, Long Beach Unified school start time changes proposals meet stiff opposition (Jan. 29, 2013) Press-Telegram; ZOE’S WORLD: Bad Idea To Push School Start Time (Jan. 29, 2013) Gazettes [student editorial opposing later high school start time]; Puente, Later Long Beach high school start time to be discussed at Tuesday meeting (Jan. 27, 2013) Press-Telegram; Editorial, Later school start times in Long Beach Unified deserve a closer look (Dec. 12, 2012) Press-Telegram; Puente, Long Beach schools consider later start time (Dec. 5, 2012) Press-Telegram.)

Ted Barone, Ed.D., principal of Albany High School in the Albany Unified School District, has proposed delaying the present 7:40 a.m. high school start time to 8:30 a.m. for 2013-2014. Barone posted a brief summary of pertinent literature from economists and sleep scientists.Morning classes at MacGregor High School begin at 8:45 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., zero periods begin at 8 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. First period at Albany Middle School begins at 8 a.m., zero period at 7 a.m. However, Principal Peter Parenti has issued a memorandum (apparently based upon Dr. Barone’s research) recommending that Superintendent Marla Stephenson cancel the middle school zero period. The memorandum concludes, “The positive implications of a later school start time are well-supported in the research.” Elementary school classes begin at 8:30 a.m. (Patch Staff, AMS Principal Recommends Canceling ‘Zero’ Period (Mar. 22, 2013) Albany Patch; Burress, Later Daily Start Time for Albany High Proposed (Jan. 18, 2013) Albany Patch.)

On March 12, 2013, the Ukiah Unified School District school board voted to delay the Eagle Peak Middle School start time by 35 minutes to 8:05 a.m. Board member Anne Molgaard expressed disappointment the 7:30 a.m. high school start time would not also be shifted. “We can’t change kids’ biology, and as adults, it’s our job to adjust to kids, not their job to adjust to us, because they can’t.” Molgaard added that later classes would increase students’ grades, and tardiness, absences, and health problems would decrease. “I don’t think the status quo is working, and if you talk to students and teachers, they’re not satisfied.” A later high school start time was rejected due to increased transportation expenses; i.e., additional bus driver salaries. Board member Megan Van Sant stated, “I feel like the decisions we’re making tonight are going to be about bus schedules rather than what’s best for students.” Remarkably, elementary school students who used to attend school in Hopland are now picked up by the 7:05 a.m. bus for 8:40 a.m. classes at Oak Manor Elementary. Retiring Oak Manor Principal Jennifer De Vinny stated “[t]hat is a failure on our part to serve that community. I am outraged.” (Frederiksen, School board OKs new start time for Eagle Peak (Mar. 14, 2013) The Ukiah Daily J.)

After sleep-deprived high school students “flooded” the office of adolescent medicine specialist Linda Schack complaining of headaches, abdominal pain and fatigue, Dr. Schack and fellow physician Mini Mehra advised the Manhattan Beach Unified School District’s Medical Advisory Board to research adolescent circadian rhythms. For 2012-2013, morning classes at Mira Costa High School start at 8 a.m., but for nearly one-third of the student body (i.e., 756 students), zero period classes begin at 7 a.m. In October 2012, the school board directed staff to meet with administrators, teachers and students to develop a student-driven schedule. First period for middle school students begins at 8:10 a.m.; zero period at 7:30 a.m. Elementary school start times range between 8 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. (Dryden, Mira Costa will look into zero-period, start time to address teen sleep issues (Nov. 14, 2012) Beach Reporter.)

In 2011, Temecula Valley High School students formed a “Sleep Club.” The club’s purpose is to advocate for later start times at all Temecula Valley Unified School District high schools. Temecula Valley Unified high school classes begin at 7:30 a.m. four day a week and 8:30 a.m. one day. Teachers and students say it’s a “common occurrence” for students to nod off in class. “One [additional] hour of sleep does so much for the body,” said club President Jason Luque. “It doesn’t just affect school, it affects our entire attitude. You see students every day looking to see when they can take a nap. We want to change that where there’s no more sleepy period.” Faculty advisor Cara Ramsay notes, “A lot of kids came initially because they thought they could nap in here, which in and of itself says something. … The number one obstacle [to implementing later start times] is the logistics of getting kids to school. In a time when we’re worried about kids in California not having the necessary skills to compete, we make it harder on them. Why? Because we can’t change bus schedules? It’s counterproductive to what we’re doing in education.” Club secretary Maile Schoonover, a senior, recognizes that any change in the school schedule will take place after she graduates. “My brother is a junior,” she said. “I’d like to leave school knowing he’ll be able to score higher on tests and be more prepared for college.” A research report and proposal to delay start times were provided to the school board in March. The board approved an online parent survey re support/disapproval of later high school start times and earlier elementary school start times. Middle schools presently begin at 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., elementary schools at 8:55 a.m. Two plans are currently being considered to change start times, each of which would advance middle and elementary school start times to 8 a.m. The first proposal would begin high school classes at 9 a.m.; the second would allow high school students requiring flexible scheduling to begin classes at 7:45 a.m., all others would begin at 8:45 a.m. A poll found seventy-three percent of parents support delaying the high school start time. On March 5, 2013, a district spokeswoman announced that excessive transportation costs would preclude any change in the high school start time. (Sanders, High School Won’t Alter Start Time, District Decides (Mar. 7, 2013) U-T San Diego; Avants, School Start Times Topic of Temecula Parent Survey (Aug. 31, 2012) Temecula Patch; Klampe, TEMECULA: Board approves later start for Bella Vista Middle School (Jul. 18, 2012) Press-Enterprise [2012-2013 Bella Vista Middle School start times delayed by 15 minutes to 8:30 a.m., saving about $100,000 in transportation expenses]; Shultz, TEMECULA: High school students seek later start (Oct. 31, 2011) The Californian; see also, Surowski, Students Push for More Sleep (Dec. 20, 2011) Temecula Patch; Kabany, Sleepy teens need relief (Nov. 6, 2011) North County Times.)

A June 2012 announcement at the New Haven Unified School District website notes that in order to alleviate traffic congestion, start times at James Logan High will be delayed by 5 minutes to 8:20 a.m., middle schools delayed 10 minutes to 8:40 a.m., and elementary schools will remain at 8 a.m. (New Haven to Make Slight Adjustments to School Start Times (Jun. 11, 2012) Union City Patch.)

San Ysidro High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District has posted a (now deleted) memorandum to its website announcing its intention to delay the 2012-2013 school start time to 9:25 a.m. from 8:55 a.m. in order to address the “state budget crisis[.]”

Teachers at Rio Americano High School in the San Juan Unified School District voted against a proposal (57% to 43%) to delay start times from 7:50 a.m. (zero period begins at 6:50 a.m.) to 8:20 a.m. The school’s (now expired) Later Start Times Information page noted the teachers’ assent was needed by contract to “any change of five minutes or more[.]” A straw poll taken in December 2011 found over 60% of faculty favored the change. Parent group STEPS (Support to Engage Parents and Students) had pressed for later start times since February 2011. In the weeks following the straw poll, teachers opposed to the change “attacked the research” proffered by STEPS. Computer Sciences teacher Tom Sullivan focused on another problem, stating, “I have to commute a lot to get here, and I’d just be sitting in traffic longer.” Physical Education teacher Brian Davis, on the other hand, commented, “Whatever is best for the kids.” (Hartman, Proposal to Change School Start Time (Jan. 27, 2012) The Mirada.) Physics teacher Dean Baird, who compiles the school’s Later School Start Time Resource Page, notes the “status quo” is “[m]uch more powerful than academic and medical research.” (Baird, What time should high school start? (Jan. 29, 2012) The Blog of Phyz.) Math instructor “Darren” questions “why only teachers got a vote on this, and not our administrative, clerical, custodial, or food service staffs.” (Darren, The Furor Over Start Time (Jan. 29, 2012) Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher.) A survey found “overwhelming” opposition among parents. Students also “generally” favored retaining the 7:50 a.m. start time. (Hartman, Proposal to Change School Start Time, supra, The Mirada.) This outcome appears consistent with literature noting teachers often oppose later start times due to concerns they may have to commute during peak traffic (Bronson & Merryman, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children (Twelve Books 2009) p. 37), or may have less time with their families. (Eight Major Obstacles to Changing School Start Times (2011) National Sleep Foundation.) In addition, “vehement” opposition from parents prior to the change (see, 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, p. 62), has been followed by overwhelming approval after implementation. (See, Later Start Times for High School Students (Jun. 2002) Univ. Minn. [92% parental approval after more than 50,000 children changed start times in Minneapolis and Edina].) Similarly, students often oppose later start times prior to making the change, but approve the later start once implemented. (See, § IV.A.) Middle schools in the San Juan Unified School District begin as early as 7:23 a.m.; other high schools as early as 7:45 a.m., zero period, 6:50 a.m. Notably, the Rio Americano Later School Start Time Resource Page lists Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) as a “con” with respect to delaying start times. In fact, DSPS is a circadian rhythm “disorder” quite apart from the phase shift typically experienced by adolescents at puberty’s onset. (Crowley, Acebo, & Carskadon, Sleep, circadian rhythms, and delayed phase in adolescence (2007) 8 Sleep Medicine, pp. 607-609.) The International Classification of Sleep Disorders notes that DSPS patients report chronic difficulty falling asleep until sometime between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Rev. (2001) Am. Academy Sleep Medicine, p. 128.) DSPS “affects an estimated 7% of the adolescent population.” (Dawson, Sleep and Adolescents (Jan. 2005) Counseling 101, p. 12.)

Rancho Santa Fe School District Trustee Todd Frank would like to explore the possibility of pushing the current Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. start time back to 9:15 a.m., the current Monday start time, five days a week for all kindergarten through 8th grade students. Frank stated that his own children had to rise at 5:45 a.m. to make their morning extracurricular activities and they are tired, but on Mondays they feel much better. Frank indicated parents had approached him asking about later start times. Superintendent Linda Delaney responded, “We’ve tried things.” The current schedule “works the best, our kids do a lot.” The board decided to table the issue until another meeting and determine whether they should do a parent survey about this and other issues. On February 2, 2012, the board decided to leave the schedule without undertaking the survey. The superintendent reported that Mr. ”Frank agreed start times should remain as they are.” Mr. Frank, however, abstained from the vote confirming the schedule. (McCormac, Board decides school start times will remain (Feb. 6, 2012) The Coast News; McCormac, School board to examine start times (Jan. 23, 2012) The Coast News; Billing, Trustee proposes later start time for Rancho Santa Fe School (Dec. 16, 2011) Ranch Santa Fe Rev.)

Students attending Early College High School in Costa Mesa have the opportunity to earn an A.A. degree from Coastline Community College along with their high school diploma. Most students earn the degree in the optional fifth year, the remainder go on to four-year colleges. Classes begin at 9:15 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. on Fridays. The schedule is “based on research that suggests too many teens come to school sleepy.” Students must apply for admission and there are no sports teams. The Orange County Register ranks Early College High School number five academically in Orange County. Similarly structured Middle College High School in Santa Ana is ranked number two. (Martindale, Early College High keeps kids college-focused (Dec. 15, 2011) OC Register.)

In order to improve academic performance and promote additional sleep among students, Polytechnic School will push back start times for morning classes from 7:50 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. (School for Sleepyheads, ArkLaTex.com; Starting School Later for Better Academic Performance (Aug. 29, 2011) Fox 47 News.)

Relying upon literature evidencing the scientific basis for delayed sleep patterns among adolescents, Campbell Hall secondary school administrators pushed back morning classes to 8:50 a.m. four days per week, and 9:30 a.m. one day. (Campbell Hall (Jul. 15, 2011) Upper School Academic Calendar.)

Gunn High School will delay start times from 7:55 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. in order to improve student health. (Van der Kleut, School Will Start 30 Minutes Later Next Year at Gunn (Jun. 7, 2011) Palo Alto Patch.)

In 2009, the Menlo-Atherton High School Teen Sleep Project received a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association for its work in teaching freshman the biology and importance of good sleep hygiene. Former clinical nurse Eileen Van Rheenen helped organize the project, bringing in fatigue expert Mark Rosekind and Stanford Professor William Dement to design the program. Students from Professor Dement’s Sleep and Dreams course teach basic sleep principles to Menlo-Atherton students. Menlo-Atherton students are recruited to serve as “ ‘sleep ambassadors’ to preach the gospel of adequate sleep to their classmates.” The experts presented the latest sleep research and successful school-based reforms to the Sequoia Union High School District school board and other members of the education community. In January 2010, the school board directed the district’s four high schools to delay morning classes until 8:30 a.m., or later, for at least 60% of each school’s population (i.e., students carrying six rather than seven classes), by the Fall of 2010. Classes at Menlo-Atherton previously began at 7:50 a.m. The 2011-2012 Menlo-Atherton bell schedule reflects an 8:45 a.m. first period on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; Wednesday, 9:25 a.m.; Thursday, 9:40 a.m. After later start times were implemented at Woodside High School, Principal David Reilly reported, “When the students’ first class is at 9:05, they’re on time, they’re coming ready to work. They’re not sitting there with a cup of coffee, with their heads down, half asleep.” The Woodside 2011-2012 bell schedule reflects zero period begins at 7 a.m., first period at 8 a.m., and second period (when 60% of students begin) at 9 a.m. Carlmont and Sequoia high schools each requested and received a one-year extension, implementing later schedules in the Fall of 2011. According to the Carlmont 2011-2012 bell schedule, first period begins at 8 a.m. four days a week, and at 8:53 a.m. on Wednesdays (for students carrying seven classes). Second period begins at 8:57 a.m. four days a week, and at 9:43 a.m. on Wednesdays (for students carrying six classes). The 2011-2012 Sequoia High School bell schedule reflects an 8:30 a.m. start time for all students. Stanford’s Rafael Pelayo advises that getting enough sleep is as beneficial as proper nutrition and exercise. “It’s good for your health. Teens need more sleep; we already knew this. But we try and treat them like mini-adults. We cannot treat them the same way as an adult, though; they need more sleep and we adults need to acknowledge that.” (Petersen, The perils of sleep deprivation (Mar. 11, 2012) CBS Sunday Morning; Diener, Sand, & Ortega, Students’ dreams of sleeping in come true next fall (Feb. 2, 2011) IV Raven Report 5, pp. 1-2; Getting Smart about Sleep (Feb. 2011) 58 Tri Vocis 5, p. 17; Brydolf, Class acts: Sleep Project helps high-schoolers shore up on shut-eye (Sept. 30, 2010) Cal. School Boards Assoc., Cal. School Mag.; James, Districts pushing back bells for the sake of teens’ sleep (Aug. 12, 2010) SCOPE; Staff Rep., Back to school, and sleeping in (Aug. 10, 2010) The Examiner; Yeh, Carlmont start time to be pushed back (Feb. 2010) The Highlander, pp. 1, 10; Bishop, Students in Sequoia Union High School District may get more time to snooze (Jan. 5, 2010) Mercury News.)

CANADA — The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry has received interim certification from the Ministry of Education to begin instruction in 2013-2014. The private high school will begin morning classes at 9:45 a.m. so that teens get sufficient sleep. The school is accepting applications from around the world for as many as 75 students. Tuition is $7,000 annually. (Dedyna, New high school will cater to teens’ interests, lifestyles (May 11, 2013) Times Colonist.)

Joan Powell, Director of Education for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, reports that the board will have a bigger focus on student mental health and that changing to a 9:30 a.m. high school start time (from an unstated earlier time) would be one of the suggestions. Powell indicated that the schedule change could be implemented at Thunder Bay high schools as early as September 2013. Lakehead Public Schools switched to a 9:30 a.m. high school start time about nine years ago. Catherine Siemieniuk, Director of Education for Lakehead Public Schools, stated the district adjusted the high school start time because it made school life better for students and turned out to be a more efficient use of transportation. Siemieniuk noted that the later start did not interfere with student jobs or extra-curricular activities because lunch was shortened to allow for a 3:30 p.m. dismissal. Siemieniuk added that if new research showed 10 a.m. was a better time for students to start school they would revisit the idea of changing the start time. Reut Gruber, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, advised that students going through puberty produce the hormone melatonin later. That hormone tells someone when to go to sleep but the signal to wake up is also set later. This, Gruber concludes, means high school students could benefit from starting the school day later. (Labine, Sleeping in (Sept. 4, 2012) tbnewswatch.)

The Regina Catholic Schools Division will delay high school start times to 9 a.m. from an unstated earlier time beginning in September 2012. The division cited its “continued focus on the priority of improved student learning” as the reason behind the change. In addition, the division notes the new start time will more closely align with elementary schools in the Catholic system, and educational research “supports a later-morning start time as being beneficial to adolescents[.]” Lunch breaks will be shorter “to ensure students remain focused throughout the day.” “[E]arly bird” classes for band and choral students will be delayed from 7:30 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. The affected schools include Archbishop M.C. O’Neill, Michael A. Riffel, Dr. Martin LeBoldus, and Miller Comprehensive. (Schools let sleepy teens lie in (Sept. 3, 2012) CNC News Canada; Granley, Regina Catholic high schools to start later (Feb. 7, 2012) Leader-Post.)

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board considered and then rejected a plan to align bell times and bus schedules with the Waterloo Region District School Board for 2012-2013. High school start times would have been delayed from 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. to sometime between 9:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. The plan was expected to save $1 million in transportation costs. Nearly 7,000 parents raised objections to the proposal as it would have started some primary school students before 8 a.m., concerning many that young students might have to walk to school in the dark during winter months. Parents also complained older children would be unable to watch younger siblings after school if elementary school ended first. Many students also voiced opposition to the proposal, noting the proposed schedule would interfere with work or extracurricular activities. (Rutledge, No changes to bell times at Catholic school board (Feb. 13, 2012) Cambridge Times; Youth Editorial Board, Should school bell times change? (Feb. 11, 2012) The Record; Board seeks input on bell time changes (Jan. 5, 2012) Cambridge Times; Hicks, Catholic board looks to align bell times with public school board (Jan. 4, 2012) The Record.)

The Thames Valley District School Board has received a feasibility study proposing that start times be delayed until 10 a.m. for secondary school students. Twenty-eight Thames Valley high schools presently begin morning classes between 8:10 a.m. and 9 a.m. The circadian rhythms of adolescents, ensuring adequate sleep among students, and the success of later start times at the Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute were cited among the reasons for making the change. (Clarkson, School board looks at late start times for high schools (Dec. 8, 2011) London Community News.) On February 13, 2012, following the decision by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board not to delay start times, the Waterloo Region District School Board decided 6-5 against pushing back high school start times to sometime between 9:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Waterloo Region District high schools presently begin between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Prior to the decision rejecting the plan, a district spokesperson commented, “There is research that supports later start times for adolescents. Ask any educator. In the morning, kids aren’t necessarily at their most spry.” The plan was expected to save the district as much as $1.3 million in transportation costs. Cameron Heights high school student, Abigail McLellan, told the committee that her survey of 200 schoolmates showed strong support for later bell times. Elementary school start times would have been advanced to as early as 8 a.m. (Hicks, Bell tolls for plan to change school start times (Feb. 13, 2012) The Record; Youth Editorial Board, Should school bell times change? (Feb. 11, 2012) The Record; Hazzard, Proposed school bell times will hurt co-op students (Jan. 25, 2012) The Record; Hicks, Public board puts off issue of later start times at high school (Jan. 23, 2012) The Record; Rutledge, School bell time study could see later start for teenagers (Dec. 8, 2011) Cambridge Times; Hicks, Later starts for high school students under study (Dec. 1, 2011) The Record; see also, D’Amato, ‘Walking zombies’ will benefit from later high school start times (Dec. 2, 2011) The Record.)

In 2009, Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute high school in Toronto pushed back its start time from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Since the start time change, data shows lower absenteeism, improved grades on most (but not all) fronts. By 2013, it was reported students were sleeping more and missing fewer classes, though some still sometimes arrive late to class. Teachers report that students are alert, relaxed and ready to learn in first period. Behaviour in class and in the hallways has also improved. Students “overwhelmingly and unanimously” supported the change. Principal Jennifer Chan reports the later first period has led to improved health and well-being for her students. Chan also reported her students were 2.5 times more likely than the students in the control school (which apparently begins at 9 a.m.) to get nine hours sleep. The district’s second research report, concerning the 2011-2012 academic yeart, noted, “Results for the late start at ECCI show both the promise of the program and the difficulty in making definitive statements[.] … Although there are modest positive improvements within student achievement indicators,”standardized test results in Grade 10 math are down, as was Grade 9 credit accumulation. (Notably, the effects of middle school start times persist into tenth grade. (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.) However, on average, math grades increased by 4 per cent; English marks went up and then down, but remain above the baseline average. As for attendance, the most dramatic change was for 17-year-olds, who with an early start were absent 22.7 per cent of the time on average, which went down to 15.9 per cent after the change. The rate however, is still much higher than the board’s average of 9.6 per cent. Guidance and student services head Heather Gillett said it gives student a “humane” start to the day. “They are in better frame of mind” when they arrive, she adds, which “sets the stage for learning.” For the board, it’s a win-win, Gillett added, because it’s a positive change that costs nothing.

. (Rushowy, Toronto’s late-start high school says absenteeism down, alertness up (May 15, 2013) thestar.com; Harris, Grades improve if classes start later, study finds (Aug. 16, 2011) The Gazette; Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute’s Late Start: Year One Interim Rep. (Apr. 2011) Toronto School District Research Rep.; Crawford, Toronto school starts an hour later and grades improve (Jan. 18, 2011) thestar.com; Macleans.ca, Why you should let your teenager sleep in (Feb. 11, 2011) On Campus.)

COLORADO — Beginning in 2012-2013, Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 will delay high school start times by 90 minutes to 9 a.m. Chief Academic Officer Lori Haukeness stated that the change was predicated on research showing high school students learn more efficiently and better later in the day. A district representative advises that the middle school start time will also be delayed, from 7:20 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Elementary school start times will advance from 8:30 to 8 a.m. (Maresh, School day will change (Jun. 18, 2012) CortezJournal.com.)

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, Academy School District 20 will delay high school classes, now beginning as early as 7:05 a.m., to 7:45 a.m. According to the 2012-2013 district bell schedule, the Aspen Valley High School start time will remain at 8:55 a.m. The same bell schedule reflects that middle schools, now starting as early as 7:25 a.m., will be delayed to times between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. District leaders (apparently unaware that 8:30 a.m. is the earliest start time proposed by any expert for middle or high school students), expect the new start time will improve attendance and student focus. (Collacott, Academy school district goes for later start times (Mar. 13, 2012) ourTriLakesnews.com; Godfrey, School start time to change in District 20 (Mar. 7, 2012) KOAA; District 20 Start Times To Change Next Year(Mar. 7, 2012) KKTV; Iodice, For D-20 high schoolers, more sleep coming in the fall (Mar. 7, 2012) The Gazette.)

As part of a plan to improve transportation efficiency, Pueblo City middle school students will begin morning classes at 8:30 a.m., one hour later in 2010. High school start times will remain at 7:30 a.m. (Perez, Some to pay more for school lunches: Both Pueblo districts also alter class times for efficiency (Aug. 2, 2011) The Pueblo Chieftain)

In February of 2011, Fairview High School in the Boulder Valley School District considered pushing back start times 40-45 minutes from 7:35 a.m. to provide students with additional sleep time, but implemented an 8:05 a.m. start time instead, according to the school’s bell schedule. Boulder High School delayed its start time by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. for 2011-2012, starting one day weekly (Wednesdays) at 9 a.m. (The effect of the delays at Fairview High and Boulder High were examined by CAREI in a study published here.) The district-wide bell schedule shows other district high schools beginning at 7:30 a.m. (Broomfield, Centaurus, Monarch), 7:35 a.m. (New Vista High), 7:55 a.m. (Arapahoe High, Peak to Peak), 8 a.m. (Nederland), and 8:30 a.m. (Boulder Prep, Justice High). Middle school start times range from 7:55 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and elementary schools start between 7:45 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. (Padorr, Boulder high school considers later school start time (Feb. 28, 2011) Fox 31 Denver.)

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 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 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, supra, 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, p. 981; Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early?, supra, 12 Education Next 3.) The proposed 8 a.m. high school start time is 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, with some middle schools adopting different start times according to the proposed bell schedule. Blackham, John Winthrop, and Read middle schools will change from 8 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. Retaining current start times will be Discovery, 8:40 a.m., Six to Six, 8:40 a.m., Learning Center, 8:15 a.m., Curiale, 8 a.m., and Park City Academy, 7:50 a.m. High school start times, now ranging from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., will not be be affected: VOAG, 7:25 a.m.; Aquaculture & Park City Academy, 7:50 a.m.; Bassick, Central, & Harding, 7:53 a.m.; Fairfield Wheeler & the Bridgeport Military Academy, 7:55 a.m.; Learning Center, 8:15 a.m. Three Technical High Schools will retain current start times: Bullard Havens, 7:30 a.m., Emmett O’Brien, 7:30 a.m., and Platt, 7:40 a.m. Charter school start times will be delayed or unchanged: Achieve First (elementary and middle schools) will retain a 7:15 a.m. start time and New Beginnings Family Academy (K-8) will retain its 7:45 a.m. start time. Park City Prep (grades 6-8) will delay its start time from 7:40 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. and Bridge Academy (grades 7-12) will delay morning classes from 8 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. Two private schools will have their start times delayed, Fairfield County Seventh-day Aventist School (K-8), 8 a.m. to 8:35 a.m., and Bridgeport Hope School (elementary), 8:15 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. Three middle schools and five parochial schools will advance start times. (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.)

The Hotchkiss School shifted the start of its school day from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. in part due to Dr. Owen’s 2009 study (discussed, infra, and here) at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island. (Saha, Examining Student Sleep Patterns and Homework Loads (Oct. 19, 2012) The News [official student newspaper of Choate Rosemary Hall].)

Following Academic Dean Jon Willson’s research into the benefits of later start times for adolescents, Headmaster Willy MacMullen pushed back Taft School start times from 7:50 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., a move “strongly endorsed” by faculty. (Sleep Time: A later start to the academic day (Jul. 6, 2011) Taft News.)

In June 2011, parent and Professor of Chemical Engineering, Carol Steiner, addressed the Amity Regional School District # 5 School Board, explaining that the current 7:25 a.m. high school start time conflicts with adolescent sleep/wake patterns and studies have shown teens benefit from later class schedules. (Thiel, Mom appeals to board: ‘School starts too early (Jun. 15, 2011) AmityObserver.com; see also, Schaefer, Is Your Teen Sleep Deprived? (Jan. 28, 2012) Buffalo Grove Patch [Connecticut and Illinois certified teacher and academic coach Sue Schaefer urges a delay in start times].) Minutes from the August 2011 Board of Education meeting reflect the adoption of a later high school schedule was rejected in part due to a study reviewed by the superintendent that found “such a change for motivated and committed students has not shown improvements in attendance or grades.” While this description appears rather hyperbolic (since no start time study has ever attempted to discern intrinsic levels of student motivation or commitment), it likely alludes to the recent study by economist Peter Hinrichs (discussed here and briefly here). Bell schedules for the district’s two middle schools reflect a 7:47 a.m. start time.

DELAWARE — The Milford School District will delay 2012-2013 start times at Milford Central Academy and Milford High School by 50 minutes to 8:25 a.m. four days per week, and to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, while advancing the start time at Milford Middle School by 5 minutes to 7:30 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.)

DUBAI — In May of 2013, Lieutenant General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Chief of Dubai Roads Transport, asked the public via Twitter for opinions about delaying the start of school to 9 a.m. to help ease traffic congestion. Approximately 221,000 K-12 students attend Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Schools, with start times ranging between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com asked parents whether school times should change. Fifty-one percent of parents opposed a change in start times, 49 percent favored a change. KHDA has stated it would consider whether the police proposal represented a “viable option.” School leaders interviewed by the media have generally expressed support for the current schedules. (Staff, Should Dubai school timings be same or changed? Debate ends in dead heat (Jun.14, 2013) Gulf Today; Hare, UAE’s parents divided over school start times (Jun. 12, 2013) 7 Days in Dubai; Al Subaihi, Dubai Police proposes school day starts later to tackle rush-hour congestion (May 16, 2013) The National.)

ENGLAND — In September of 2014, a private school in Surrey, Hampton Court House, will adopt a new schedule for all sixth form students, from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (A U.S. equivalent of sixth form would require dividing grade 12 into two years, then adding a grade 13.) The school was inspired to make the change by research from the University of Oxford’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute. Headmaster Guy Holloway explaining the school’s decision: “As I drove to school this morning, I saw a whole line of teenagers with bleary eyes, staggering like zombies along the pavement to another school. [¶] We’ve all seen it and, for some reason, we’ve all put up with it. Then we wonder why teenagers are prone to being grouchy and uncommunicative. There is now more and more scientific evidence to support what many parents and teachers have known for years. [¶] The fact is that many teenagers do not sleep sufficiently during the week and this can, and often does, have a significant impact on teenage cognition and mental and physical health generally.” Holloway added, “Teenagers are not lazy. It’s rare that I meet a teenager who is not full of hope and excitement about the future, so why do we berate them when they struggle to get up in the morning, in an attempt to override their circadian rhythms? [¶] No wonder too many older adolescents and those in their early 20s are reliant on coffee, and prone to sleep disorders and depression.” Students in all lower grades will continue to arrive at 9 a.m. for morning classes. Hampton Court House charges up to £15,591 per year. (Stainburn, U.K. School to End Morning Classes for Some Older Students (May 23, 2014) Ed. Week; Paton, School introduces ‘no mornings’ policy for tired teenagers (May 9, 2014) The Telegraph.)

The Hugh Christie Technology College in Tonbridge, Kent, introduced an 11:30 a.m. start three days a week start for all pupils aged over 14. (Paton, School introduces ‘no mornings’ policy for tired teenagers (May 9, 2014) The Telegraph.)

The UCL Academy, open since September 2013, has adopted a 10 a.m. start time based upon research showing teens do not fully awaken until mid-morning. According to Headmistress Geraldine Davies, “Youngsters are turning up alert and ready to learn and are focused and engaged in lessons. We have no hard data on exam results yet, since we have only been open six months, but the aim is to rigorously review the effects. Pupil and teacher surveys have so far been positive.” The school is sponsored by the University College London, Oxford, and Harvard. Former Monkseaton High School Headmaster Paul Kelley, and Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Oxford University, will be presenting a paper on “the research” later this year. (Parsons, Could a one-hour lie-in improve pupils’ exam results? UK schools ‘could move class start times back to 10am’ (Mar. 18, 2013) Yahoo! News; School becomes first in Britain to change its start time to 10am to allow pupils to ‘fully wake up’ (Mar. 17, 2013) Daily Mail; see also, Foster, Why teenagers really do need an extra hour in bed (Apr. 22, 2013) New Scientist.)

Monkseaton High School pushed back start times to 10 a.m. in October of 2009, raising exam scores by 20 to 30% and reducing persistent absenteeism by 27%. In addition, because the “research said the natural alertness of the human being is better in natural light above a specific intensity, [Headmaster] Kelley installed a huge skylight made of nano-gel in the roof of the school — this diffuses natural light and allows it into the work environment.” (Quinlan, Body clock is to blame for tired teens (Oct. 31, 2011) Independent; Ryan, Lie in for teenagers has positive results (Mar. 22, 2010) BBC News; see also, Head urges lie-ins for teenagers (Mar. 9, 2009) BBC News [includes hyperlink to brief audio interview with Russell Foster, Ph.D., F.R.S., Chair of Circadian Neuroscience, Oxford University].)

FLORIDA — Recognizing the adolescent sleep pattern does not comport with its current 7:20 a.m. high school start time, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is considering delaying morning classes at some high schools to an unstated later hour. Luis Diaz, a former high school principal, spearheaded an effort to research potential effects, polling about 100 students as well as staff members from each of the seven district high schools that could be candidates for the change. Based upon the results, Diaz and others will decide whether to proceed with the pilot program. District middle schools begin at 9:10 a.m., elementary schools start at 8:20 a.m. or 8:35 a.m. (Court, Schools slowly waking up to teens’ sleep needs (Aug. 3, 2014) Miami Herald.)

For the 2013-2014 academic year, Bay District Schools delayed the previous 7:30 a.m. start time for the districts’ five high schools to times ranging from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. (2013-2014 Bell Schedule here.) In December of 2012, Superintendent Bill Husfelt stated, “High school really starts too early. The best thing that research says is that the later you can start the better because they need more sleep. They need more time to wake up and get adjusted, and so we’ve been talking about this for a while.” For 2014-2015, in an effort to ensure adequate rest for high school students, the district decided to start all high schools at 8:30 a.m. Adjusting bus schedules, however, required a change in the middle school start time, so board members implemented a 9 a.m. morning bell for those schools, except for C.C. Washington, which retains its 8:25 a.m. start time, Breakfast Point (K-8), which will advance by 5 minutes to 7:45 a.m., and New Horizons (6-12), which will delay by 15 minutes to 8:30 a.m. Elementary schools will begin at 7:45 a.m., except for Tyndall, which will start at 7:20 a.m. According to the 2014-2015 bell schedule, North Bay Haven High retains its 7:40 a.m. start time, North Bay Haven Middle School will advance by 30 minutes to 7:40 a.m., Newpoint Bay (6-12) will delay by 15 minutes to 8:15 a.m., and Rising Leaders (K-12) will retain its 7:45 a.m. start time. (News Herald Staff, Back to School: New start times set for schools (Jul. 31, 2014) News Herald; Editorial, Moving to teen time (Dec. 11, 2012) News Herald; Anderson, Bay County School District Considering Change to High School Start Time (Dec. 5, 2012) wjhg.com; Hyman, Could High School Start Later in the AM Next Year? (Nov. 14, 2012) WMBB.com.)

In December 2013, in response to a bill introduced in the Florida Legislature on September 23, 2013 by Republican Representative Matt Gaetz proposing no high school begin morning classes before 8 a.m., Pinellas County Schools School Board Chairwoman Carol Cook said the bill raises questions over who controls area schools — the school board or the Legislature. “They already tell us what day we need to start, and now they’re telling us what time we need to start[.] I believe more and more they are overstepping their boundaries and not letting school boards make the best decision to meet the needs of their communities.” Most district high schools begin at 7:05 a.m. Changing bus schedules could have big repercussions, said Michael Bessette, Pinellas’ associate superintendent of operational services. When the school district in 2005 considered starting high schools at 9:15 a.m., more than half of the parents polled preferred the 7:05 a.m. start times, Bessette said. The school district also found that pushing back the bus schedule forced middle school students to start at about 10 a.m. and get out about 5 p.m. According to Representative Gaetz, “Kids don’t freaking learn at 7 in the morning, and it’s such an obvious fix. In the state of Florida, we spend oodles of money perfecting the content we deliver to students, but if they’re not ready to receive that content, it’s like spending a bunch of money to purify water to pour in a bucket when there’s a hole in the bottom of the bucket.” On June 12, 2011, by a 5-2 vote, $573,000 in additional transportation costs was cited by the school board as a reason not to retain a 7:20 a.m. start time in favor of the new 9:30 a.m. start time at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School. The bell schedule indicates most other district middle schools begin at 9:30 a.m., except that Clearwater Fundamental begins at 8:15 a.m., Madeira Beach Fundamental at 7:45 a.m., and three K-12 schools, Calvin Hunsinger, Hamilton Disston, Richard L. Sanders, at 7:05 a.m. On January 10, 2012, Superintendent John Stewart, Ed.D., recommended the current bell schedule remain in place for 2012-13, a point which continues to distress many Thurgood Marshall parents. The board voted unanimously to approve the recommendation. (Dawson, Districts skeptical of later start times (Dec. 4, 2013) The Tampa Tribune; Catalanello, Stewart could remain as Pinellas school chief through 2012-13 school year (Jan. 11, 2012) Tamba Bay Times; Pinellas promises meeting with Thurgood parents over start times (Jan. 7, 2012) Tampa Bay Times; Thurgood parents rallying again over start time (Jan. 6, 2012) Tampa Bay Times; Catalanello, No Go on earlier start times for Thurgood Marshall (Jun. 15, 2011) tampabay.com.)

In responding to Representative Gaetz’s bill, School District of Osceola County School Board Chairman Jay Wheeler stated he is all for it, as long as Osceola County doesn’t have to pay for it — a cost he claims would be in the dozens of millions. “Teens are wired to stay up late and start later, no doubt. But it all comes down to dollars and cents[.]” From the district website, it appears district high schools begin at 7 a.m., 7:10 a.m., 7:15 a.m., and one school, Osceola High, begins at 8:20 a.m. District middle schools begin between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (Later Osceola school start times could cost millions (Setp. 25, 2013) wftv.com.) Although Gaetz’s bill does not include fiscal expenditures, as noted in the main text (§ IV, supra), in reviewing the start time/academic achievement studies undertaken by fellow economists, Columbia University Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics Jonah Rockoff and the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, Brian Jacob, concluded that delaying middle and high school start times “from roughly 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.[,]” will increase academic achievement by 0.175 standard deviations on average, with effects for disadvantaged students roughly twice as large as advantaged students, at little or no cost to schools; i.e., a 9 to 1 benefits to costs ratio when utilizing single-tier busing, the most expensive transportation method available. (Jacob & Rockoff, Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments, supra, Hamilton Project, Brookings Inst., pp. 5-11, 21, n. 7.)

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti may be open to reviewing the 7:15 a.m. high school start time “at some point. ‘This is a topic that Dr. Vitti certainly understands and has committed to exploring in the near future[.]’” District high schools could begin at 9:00 a.m. in the 2014-15 school year, possibly later for some students. Florida State College Professor of Psychology Erin Richman, a specialist in adolescent developmental psychology, says that for most adolescents, starting school at 7 a.m. is “like asking adults to start work every morning at 3:00 a.m.” (Feagans, Vitti Considering Later High School Start Times (Jul. 24, 2013) wjct News; Ross, Does High School Start Too Early? More Researchers Say Yes, Call For Change (Jul. 23, 2013) wjct News.)

In July 2011, Pasco County Schools considered delaying high school start times to better serve students. At that time, most district high schools began at 7:30 a.m., with J.W. Mitchell High (8:40 a.m.) and Ridgewood High (8:30 a.m.), starting later. Data from one later starting school, J.W. Mitchell High, showed 3.6 tardies daily, whereas Land O’Lakes High, which begins at 7:30 a.m., averaged 5.18 tardies daily. The 2013-2014 school hours webpage shows Fivay High now begins at 8:30 a.m. Several middle schools have advanced start times.The 2013-2014 school hour schedule changes are expected to save the district $800,000 to $1 million in busing costs. (Fields, Start times changing at 8 Pasco County schools (Jul. 23, 2013) 10 News WTSP; Solochek, Nine Pasco County schools may face new starting times (Jul. 2, 2013) Tampa Bay Times; Blair, Pasco taking another look at high school start times (Jul. 10, 2011) Tampa Bay Online.)

Polk County Public Schools may delay high school start times, now ranging from 7 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., to between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The district may make the change in order to provide teachers a pay increase by reducing the middle school day from eight periods to seven, and cutting the high school day from seven periods to six. The length of the school day, however, would remain unchanged. As of September 2013, the posted school hours had not been changed. Middle schools begin between 8 a.m. and 8:53 a.m., except Fort Meade Middle-Senior (7:15 a.m.) and Frostproof Middle-Senior (7 a.m.) Elementary schools begin between 7:45 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. (Green, Schedule Change Impact: School Start Times Could Be Altered (Mar. 19, 2013) The Ledger.)

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 start all K-8 schools at 9:15 a.m., delaying start times at Explorer K-8 by 35 minutes, and by 40 minutes at Winding Waters. Other K-8 schools will be advanced from 9:25 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., high schools will advance to 7:30 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., the alternative school will advance to 7:35 a.m., one middle school will advance to 7:30 a.m. Most elementary school schedules will be delayed so that all begin at 9:15 a.m. The new schedule is expected to keep young children from traveling in darkness while freeing older children for work or athletics after school. (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.)

On January 10, 2011, pediatrician Lynn Keefe made a presentation to the Okaloosa County School District school board requesting a delay in high school start times to 9 a.m. from the current 7 a.m. start. On November 14, 2011, Dr. Keefe, together with physicians Eleanor McCain and Deb Simkin, addressed the school board a second time. Dr. McCain asked, “Why am I still here talking to you about this problem? The only conclusion I can (draw) is that you don’t believe the medical data.” Dr. McCain noted it has historically been difficult for society to accept new knowledge that challenges traditional beliefs, but the changes, once made, have always been for the better. “Worldview and beliefs do evolve over time as our knowledge expands.” To illustrate her point, Dr. Simkin, a local psychiatrist, touched on all the innovations in science that have allowed doctors and scientists to study the human brain and how it works. Dr. Simkin explained that research has shown, time and time again, that most teenagers cannot get enough sleep with early school start times because their bodies typically don’t allow them to go to bed earlier than 10:30 p.m. Starting school around 7 a.m. contributes to a whole host of preventable physical and mental problems from obesity to depression to substance abuse problems. Simkin noted medications exist to correct all these problems, but an easier and healthier remedy exists. “The only way to fix the problem, whether you go to sleep earlier or not, is to have later start times.” As noted, supra, on September 23, 2013, Representative Matt Gaetz, a resident of Fort Walton Beach where the high school begins at 7 a.m., introduced a bill in the Florida Legislature prohibitng schools from opening before 8 a.m. Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson says she believes later start times are the healthiest choice, but that the district cannot do it with the current number of buses. Additional buses cost a cost of a hundred thousand dollars each and she believes the districts would need 10 more. Gaetz, a Republican, stated, “It’s preposterous for any school district to say well yes, we know we have children in the classroom that can’t reach their potential and can’t retain information, but because we can’t get the bus schedule right, we’re just going to keep things how they are[.]” Gaetz says making sure students succeed is important to Florida’s economic future. Dr. Keefe continues to meet with the district transportation staff and others in an effort to get high schools later start times. Okaloosa County has its own StartSchoolLater Chapter. (Nielsen, Matt Gaetz Files Bill for Later High School Start Times (Sept. 25, 2013) Sunshine State News; Schorsch, Matt Gaetz files bill for later high schools start times (Sept. 24, 2013) Saint Peters Blog; Okaloosa County School Start Times (Sept. 23, 2010) ABC 3; Tammen, Area doctors press for later start for high schools (Nov. 15, 2011) NewsHerald.com; Tammen, Pediatrican addresses school board over start times (Jan. 11, 2011) NewsHerald.com; see also, Keefe, ‘Let’s sleep on it’ is not an acceptable answer; early school start times are hurting our students (Mar. 12, 2012) theDestinlog.com.)

The Hillsborough County Public Schools School Board was reported to be reconsidering its present 7:20 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. high school start times over concerns they may be too early for teens. Sleep medicine and pulmonary specialist Dr. Robert Geck proposes high schools begin between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. In the end, however, the board implemented a 7:27 a.m. start time. Deputy Superintendent Ken Otero noted budget and transportation issues forced the outcome, together with concerns that elementary or middle school students would have to wait for buses in the dark, after-school activities would be interrupted, and the magnet schools lacked the ability to change start times. The district bell schedule appears to reflect that high school start times remain between 7:20 a.m. and 7:40 a.m.; most middle schools begin at 9 a.m., though several begin as early as 7:35 a.m. (Arja, Classes too early for teens? (Jul. 18, 2011) My Fox Tampa Bay; Ackerman, Adult ed no longer free; Hillsborough seeks donations (Jul. 18, 2011) Tampa Bay Online; Ackerman, Later school day helping some teens succeed (Jul. 16, 2011) Tampa Bay Online.)

In 2006, St. Johns County School District delayed high school start times from an unstated earlier time to 9:15 a.m. In July 2014, Superintendent Joe Joyner stated he does not want to return to the previous schedule. The district start time page shows that middle schools begin at 7:50 a.m. and elementary schools begin at 8:30 a.m. (O’Connor, The Science Supporting Starting High School Classes Later In The Morning (Jul. 15, 2014) State Impact.)

GEORGIA — In order to implement a three-tier busing system, Henry County Schools delayed 2012-2013 middle school start times by 20 minutes to 8:55 a.m. while advancing the high school start time by 20 minutes to 8:10 a.m. In 2013, the high school start time will be delayed 5 minutes to 8:15 a.m. The elementary school start time will advance by 10 minutes to 7:45 a.m. start times. (Staff, Henry County Schools amends 2013-14 bell schedules (Jul.2, 2013) Daily Henry Herald; Jackson, ‘Pros outweigh cons’ in new bus routes (Jun. 27, 2012) Daily Henry Herald.) Glenn Hills High School Principal Wayne Frazier is asking the Richmond County School System to start his students at 9:15 a.m., two hours later than the current start time. Frazier anticipates that aligning the high school schedule with the middle school schedule will improve student achievement. Acting Superintendent James Whitson will review the logistics before the school board takes the matter up during the summer of 2012. Frazier reported that his parent night presentation received a favorable reception from faculty and parents, whereas students appeared split, with jobs and sports as points of concerns. (McManus, Glenn Hills principal wants to start school at later time (Apr. 26, 2012) Augusta Chronicle.) McManus offers these observations from CAREI Director Kyla Wahlstrom on later start times: ”The benefits are clearly that they’re more alert and awake throughout the day[.] The benefit also is that they regulate their emotions better.”

In order to accommodate transportation requirements for the opening of a new school, the City Schools of Decatur school board adopted a schedule delaying the Renfroe Middle School start time to 8:45 a.m. from 8:30 a.m. (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-AvondaleEstatesPatch; 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 earlier high school start times].)

IDAHO — Beginning January 23, 2012, the Meridian School District will push back high school start times from 7:58 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to allow teachers additional “prep time.” Bus schedules remain unchanged. (Evans, Meridian rearranging schedule for high schools (Jan. 12, 2012) KTVB.COM.)

ILLINOIS — Gillespie School District is considering a plan to delay middle and high school start times by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. in order to save transportation expenses. The elementary school would retain its 8 a.m. start time. (Ben Gil Staff, District looks to save money by changing bus routes, school start times (Apr. 24, 2013) Ben Gil Post.) On February 21, 2012, the Belvidere School District again voted down a plan to delay start times for all students as follows: primary, from 7:40 a.m. to 8:05 a.m.; middle, from 8:38 a.m. to 8:58 a.m.; secondary, from 7:55 a.m. to 8 a.m. Many parents expressed concerns about elementary school children boarding buses as early as 6:30 a.m. Other parents indicated later start times would preclude them from getting their kids to school before work. (Kravets, UPDATE: No Change to Belvidere School Start Times (Feb. 21, 2012) WIFR.COM; Kravets, Belvidere Schools Eye Start Time Change (Feb. 21, 2012) WIFR.COM.)

INDIANA — Beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year, Noblesville Schools will delay middle and high school start times by 1 hour and 10 minutes to 8:45 a.m. Elementary school students will see their start times advance by 40 minutes to 8 a.m. Superintendent Libbie Conner stated the change is being implemented to address the energy level and alertness of many students during their morning classes. “Changing school start times, while a challenging adjustment for some families in the short term, will help forward our objective of doing what’s best academically for our students in the long run[.]” The change in start times was originally being considered for implementation in the 2014­2015 school year, but was delayed to provide families and school administration more time to plan for and process the changes. Jane Barr, school board member and educator, said the committee came up with the best possible times. “I firmly believe it will benefit the elementary students to start earlier. Most are in daycare by 6:30 in the morning. By 9 a.m. they are tired. This gets them energized to focus much better … For high school students it’s a great thing for them to start later[.] Having elementary start at 7:30 a.m. would be tough on some families. Making it 8 a.m. mean[s] parents can get students on the bus and then they can go to work. It is longer after school care but there are other low-cost options like the Boys & Girls Club or AYS.” (Herrington, Back to school: Time ticking for hours changes (Jul. 28, 2014) Current in Noblesville.)

On April 8, 2013, the South Bend Community School Corporation passed a resolution urging the state of Indiana to begin observing Central Standard Time rather than Eastern Standard Time. Some parents urged that switching to Central time would mean brighter, safer mornings, and more productive school days. According to parent Holly Easterbrook, “When we wake our kids up when it’s dark, their bodies are telling them they still need to be in bed. And when the sun doesn’t come up until after they’re in school, how can we expect them to learn?” Abstaining board members said they need to see more research on the topic and hear from more parents. Board member Jay Caponigro, stated, “I can’t make a choice based on what I’ve heard, it’s not common sense.” Some board members pointed out that moving to a later school start time would offer a more practical solution, “but that is another whole debate.” The Central Time Coalition reports that more than two dozen other school districts have passed resolutions urging legislators to bring the state within the Central time zone. South Bend Community intermediate and high school classes begin at 7:45 a.m. (Land, South Bend School Board supports joining Central Time Zone (Apr. 8, 2013) WSBT.) In order to save transportation expenses and implement a schedule “that works best educationally for the kids,” Crawfordsville Community School Corporation will delay 2012-2013 middle and high school start times by 40 minutes to 8:45 a.m. Elementary school schedules will advance by 20 minutes to 8:05 a.m. (Barrand, Crawfordsville adjusts school day district-wide (Jul. 13, 2012) J. Rev. Online.)

Recognizing that delaying start times improves student achievement, Cathedral High School will delay the morning bell from 7:34 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. beginning in 2012-2013. Lawrence Township and Marion Community Schools have already made “similar changes” to their schedules. (Broaddus, School shifting start time, aiming for better student performance (Feb. 9, 2012) WISHTV.com; Schools changing start, end times (Feb. 9, 2012) YouTube.) The websites for Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School, and Marion High School each reflect an 8:50 a.m. start time for 2011-2012.

Recognizing the “adolescent brain” does not fully perform until “almost 10 a.m.,” Indianapolis Public School Manual High will push back start times to 8:50 a.m. in an effort to improve academic outcomes. The school is presently on academic probation and is slated for state intervention. (Struggling School Pushes Back Start Time (Aug. 8, 2011) TheIndyChannel.com.)

Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, Avon High School delayed its start time by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. Principal Rick Adcock observed, “I think the research is very plain. The older the student, the later you should start school. They’ll want to come to school at eight o’clock more than they’ll want to come at 7:30, so I think that’s important – the attitude.” School administrators say it doesn’t cost anything to start classes later in the morning and the “payoff is in better grades and attitudes.” Principals who’ve made the switch say “it makes sense.” They argue that “well-rested students now come to class ready to learn.” (Swan, Schools seeing positive results from later start time for teens (Mar. 7, 2011) wthr.com.)

IOWA — On April 28, 2014, the Davenport Community Schools School Board voted 4-2 in favor of changing the current school schedule beginning in 2014-2015. Changing starting times was a contentious issue among parents, teachers, and students in the months preceding the vote. The April vote would have delayed high school start times by 45 minutes to 8:30 a.m., advanced middle school start times by 55 or 60 minutes to 7:55 a.m., and scheduled all elementary schools to begin at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., representing no change for two elementary schools (Buchanan, Garfield), and a 5 minute advance for another (McKinley), but otherwise delaying start times by 5 to 65 minutes for all other elementary schools. On May 12, 2014, however, the board voted 6-1 to rescind the April vote. The recission followed objections from parents to the proposed schedule. Trisha Stepanek, whose children attend Adams Elementary School, started an online petition asking the board to reconsider its decision. “By my children starting at 9:05, I was going to have to find childcare in the morning for them,” Sterbenz said. The petition garnered 955 signatures. The rejected schedule was intended to increase instructional hours and decrease sleep deprivation among teens. (Davenport School Board Rescinds Start Time Vote (May 12, 2014) KWQC; Becker, Davenport School Board could reconsider school time vote (May 9, 2014) Quad-City Times.)

KANSAS — For 2014-2015, Newton High School in the Newton Public Schools District will delay its 7:55 a.m. start time by 35 minutes to 8:30 a.m. Principal Roger Erickson reported that several reasons prompted the change, including giving students more time for rest, but that increasing time for teacher collaboration was the primary purpose. There will be two zero periods: the first, from 7 a.m. to 7:40 a.m., is for optional weights classes; the second, from 7:40 a.m. to 8:25 a.m., is for music students. Erickson stated that the school’s previous 7:55 a.m. start time was earlier than most in the state, some schools start as late as 9 a.m. Chisolm Middle School and all district elementary school begin morning classes at 8 a.m. (Bergner, NHS changes start time (Aug. 16, 2014) The Kansan.)

As part of a plan to lengthen the school day and shorten the calendar, Emporia Public Schools has delayed start times for Emporia Middle School from 7:50 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. (Emporia Public Schools, 2011-2012 Start & Dismissal Times  [high school start times have been advanced]; 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.)

KENTUCKY — On November 8, 2012, Jane Wells, parent of an elementary school student, urged the Barren County Schools school board to consider a later start time for adolescent students. Freshman begin morning classes at 8:10 a.m., grades 9-12 begin at 8 a.m. Dr. Philip Bale was recently asked by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators to present information regarding the biological clock. (Kinslow, Parent questions Barren County board on concerns (Nov. 8, 2012) Glasgow Daily Times.) The 1999 one hour start time delay (7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) in nearby Fayette County was the subject of a 2008 crash rate study. (Danner & Phillips, Adolescent Sleep, School Start Times, and Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes (Dec. 2008) 4 J. Clinical Sleep Med. 6, pp. 533–535.)

LOUISIANA — At a February 2012 public meeting, Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Pat Cooper posed the hypothetical question, “What if the school system decided to change the start of school from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. for high school students?” Although audience members applauded, Cooper noted, “Again, this isn’t something that has been decided or even talked about, [b]ut the bottom line is that we must put academics first. Things like athletics and transportation are important, but we can’t let them be the tail wagging the dog.” A task force recommended an 8:30 a.m. high school start time, concluding students would be “more alert in class and be better prepared to learn if they are able to attend school later.” Superintendent Cooper then proposed beginning middle school, high school, and pre-K at 8:30, elementary school at 8 a.m. At the time of the April 2012 board meeting, however, the superintendent instead requested a 15 minute delay in the start times of all district schools. The 2011-2012 bell schedule starts high schools at 7:15 a.m., middle schools at 8:35 a.m., and elementary schools at 7:55 a.m. Cooper stated he spoke with 40 high school students who suggested “starting school 15 minutes later would solve the problem.” The board approved the new plan which also proposes consideration of swapping middle and high start times in 2013. (Narcisse, Changes coming to schools this fall (Apr. 18, 2012) theadvertiser; Hummel, Lafayette School Board Approves Turnaround Plan (Apr. 18, 2012) KATC.COM; All Lafayette schools proposed to start 15 minutes later (Apr. 18, 2012) KATC.COM; Superintendent Cooper’s plan (Apr. 7, 2012) theadvertiser.com; Fernandez, New School Times Possible for Lafayette Parish Schools (Apr. 5, 2012) KATC.COM; Narcisse, More zzz for high-schoolers? (Feb. 29, 2012) theadvertiser.com.)

MAINE — The Westbrook School Departmentmay delay middle schools by 30 minutes and high schools by 20 minutes, to 7:55 a.m. and 7:50 a.m., respectively. Apparently unaware 8:30 a.m. is the earliest start time proposed by any expert for these students, Superintendent Marc Gousse stated, “The main reason is, this is better for kids.” (Higgins, Westbrook school prepares for final bell (May 24, 2012) American J.; Bridgers, Westbrook students may start their day a bit later (May 23, 2012) Portland Press Herald.)

On March 12, 2012, the Regional School Unit 3 school board voted to reduce the busing schedule from two tiers to one, meaning grades K-12 will all begin classes at the same time beginning in the fall of 2012. News reports reflect three possible start times: 8 a.m., 8:15 a.m., or 8:30 a.m. Middle schools and high schools presently begin at 7:30 a.m., elementary schools at 9 a.m. Superintendent Heather Perry projected educational benefits for adolescent students and $140,000 in annual savings. Some middle and high school students now board buses as early as 5:45 a.m. For 2012-2013, the district website reflects an 8:25 a.m. high school start time, 8:40 a.m. for middle school, and 8 a.m. for elementary schools. (Curtis, RSU 3 to drop to one bus run from two (Mar. 30, 2012) BDN Maine; Staples, RSU 3 board to vote on combining bus runs (Mar. 6, 2012) Morning Sentinel.)

MARYLAND — 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. Officials plan to “dust off” a study from 1998, the last time the district seriously considered starting high school after 8:15 a.m. Starr “emphasized a hefty amount of skepticism that such a measure would pass this year.” Walt Whitman High School Principal Alan Goodwin is “opposed to changing the start time and thinks that moving it later in the morning would cause more problems than it would solve. [¶] Goodwin thinks that students are more likely to go bed later if they know they can sleep an extra hour in the morning. [¶] [H]e considers the problem of sleepy teens to largely be a parenting issue.” Goodwin also opposes any state mandated start time. (See, Md. House Bill 1462 (2013 Reg. Sess.).) Thomas S. Wootton High School Principal Michael Doran asserts that “ ‘[i]t’s not like what we’ve got wasn’t working, is not working, and there’s going to be a disaster. If there were real issues with grades and learning, this would come up more often with educators.’ ” 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 binders containing 950 pages and more than 10,000 signatures supporting later high school start times.” Mader told the school board, “If you don’t agree that forcing sleep deprivation on our teens is extremely unsafe, emotionally abusive, and not optimal for learning, then you are not up on the latest research. And you are giving in to the easy path of the status quo.” The school board also heard from Nicholas Pasquinelli, who graduated in June: “I went to school — the classes — exhausted, depressed and anxious most of the time.” That’s common, said Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at the National Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Owens advised the school board, “Insufficient sleep is linked to poor academic performance, increased rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and alcohol and substance abuse.” As noted, supra, 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, advance the middle school start time by 10 minutes to 7:45 a.m., and extend the school day by 30 minutes for elementary school students. 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. On June 17, 2014, one week after Superintendent Starr shelved the plan to delay high school start times as too costly (at least $21.6 million annually), the board voted unanimously to request that Starr examine other scenarios costing no more than $10 million. Board member Patricia O’Neill noted that Fairfax County Public Schools had been presented with four options to delay high school start times ranging in cost from $2.8 million to $7.7 million. Starr has been asked to prepare a report in time for the next budget cycle. No changes are anticipated before the 2015-2016 school year. (St. George, Montgomery to reexamine later high school start times (Jun. 17, 2014) Wash. Post; St. George, Teen sleep: Montgomery vote on later high school start times scheduled for June (May 9, 2014) Wash. Post; 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 schools chief pushes for later high school start times (Oct. 1, 2013) Wash. Post; 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 9:15 a.m. (according to the superintendent), 9 a.m. (according to the press). The start time at Drew-Freeman Middle School 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.)

In early November 2012, after a petition to preclude students at any grade level from commencing morning classes before 8 a.m. in Anne Arundel County Public Schools had gathered more than 1,500 signatures, district spokesman Bob Mosier noted the “negative impact” a later high school release time would have on evening activities such as sports and homework. Mosier also advised that pushing back the present 7:17 a.m. high school start time while leaving “ ‘middle schools the way they are, that involves dozens more busses and millions more dollars.’ ” District middle schools presently begin between 7:55 a.m. and 9:10 a.m., elementary schools between 8:05 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Heather Macintosh with Start School Later pointed to studies evidencing benefits to student well-being and academic achievement when start times are delayed. The petition also seeks to preclude students from having to board buses before 7 a.m. Bus pick-ups now begin at 5:50 a.m. In a January 10, 2013 presentation to school officials (powerpoint presentation here in pdf), Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at the Children’s National Medical Center, advised, “There is a natural shift in sleep and wake time that is associated with problems of teenagers getting to sleep much before 11 p.m. They simply cannot fall asleep.” School board members responded that “it’s not as simple as it sounds because it’s more of a logistical and financial issue.” A February 2013 “School Hours Study” issued by the district’s Transportation Division proposes four high school start times: Plan 1, 7:32 a.m.; Plan 2, 9:45 a.m.; Plan 3a, 8 a.m.; Plan 3b, 9:15 a.m., high school, 8 a.m., middle school. In March 2013, Mosier advised that pushing start times later would mean cutting school activities and adding more buses and staff. The change would cost millions of dollars. More than 56,000 students board buses every day in Anne Arundel County. Drivers cover more than 500 bus routes. While administrators said change is not out of the question, for now, it’s not a top priority. Mosier stated, “You need more buses. You need more drivers. You need more contracts.” On April 2, 2013, the Citizen Advisory Committee voted to send a report to the board showing increased parental support for later school start times and more district studies on the issue. On December 18, 2013, the school board voted 6-3 create to create a task force to study school start times. Amalie Brandenberg, voted with the minority, stating, “I firmly believe creating a task force is just a waste of people’s time[.]” The board also voted 5-4 to solicit input on whether schools should start 13 minutes later for the 2014-2015 school year. Parents, students, employees and the public will have access to see and comment on a potential schedule that would have all schools start and end 13 minutes later than they currently do. Under that plan the county’s 12 high schools would start at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:18 p.m. The 15-member task force will be appointed by the superintendent after consultation with the board. No timetable has been set for the creation of the task force, but their report is expected by the fall. On September 27, 2012, the Parent Advocacy Network passed a resolution supporting a later high school start time. The Maryland State Medical Society passed a similar resolution in 1998. (St. George, Sleepy teens: Anne Arundel creates task force to study later high school bell times (Jan. 2, 2014) Wash. Post; Bourg, Anne Arundel schools to take another look at later start times (Dec. 20, 2013) Capital Gazette; AACO Asks for Public Input on Potential Changes to School Start Times (Dec. 19, 2013) Fox45 News; Burris, Residents press Arundel school board to consider later high school start times (Nov. 21, 2013) The Baltimore Sun; Pratt, Committee to provide feedback on school start times (Apr. 3, 2013) CapitalGazette.com; Anne Arundel County schools studies cost of changing start times (Mar. 14, 2013) WBAL; Arundel residents look to push back school start times (Jan. 11, 2013) WBAL; Group pushing to change school start times (Nov. 2, 2012) abc2news.com.)

Howard County Public School System board member Brian Meshkin has urged “about an hour” delay in the present 7:25 a.m. high school start time, noting that it is “biologically contrary to have elementary school students starting earlier than high school students.” District middle schools begin between 7:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.; elementary schools between 8:15 a.m. and 9:25 a.m. In January 2013, the district announced it will be taking a “comprehensive look at the opening time of schools and the impact that an early opening has on the health and well-being of high school students.” Therapist Mark Donovan has started a Howard County Chapter of the StartSchoolLater national organization. (Howard County parent petitioning for later school start times (May 10, 2013) ABC2NEWS; Jefferson, Movement to Change School Times Lands in Howard County (Feb. 13, 2013) Elkridge Patch; Toth, Howard school system takes look at start times (Feb. 12, 2013) The Baltimore Sun; Jefferson, School Start Times Under Review for Howard County Schools (Jan. 30, 2013) Elliot City Patch; Meshkin, Change High School Start Times (Jun. 14, 2012) Brian Meshkin, Board of Education.)  

On January 2, 2013, the Frederick County Public Schools Board of Education charged a 15-member committee with assessing the district’s start and end times, apparently particularly with regard to determining the prospects for implementing a later high school start time. For 2012-2013, the district’s high schools begin morning classes at 7:30 a.m., middle schools at 8 a.m., and elementary schools at 9 a.m. (Cunningham, Frederick County to review school start times (Jan. 17, 2013) Gazette.Net.)

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. The district has installed a Start Time Resources webpage. (Natick School Committee gearing up for vote on school start times (Sept. 17, 2014) Metro-West Daily News; 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 December 2013, Canton Public Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Granatino announced that the Start Time Committee will hold a parent information night on January 15, 2014. Granatino stated the committee will make recommendations to the school board after meeting with parents. Canton could have the middle and high school days start later, for instance, but that could entail shifting from four to three bus tiers, which could mean needing five to 10 more school buses, at an approximate cost of $55,000 per bus. Canton High School presently begins morning classes at 7:20 a.m., Galvin Middle School at 7:45 a.m. Elementary schools begin at 8:25 a.m., or later. Granatino first proposed forming a committee to consider the feasibility of delaying high school start times in November 2011. Granatino noted then that whether the district would be able to make the change would depend in part upon economic feasibility; i.e., busing costs. (Melanson, Shift in Canton school hours may loom ahead (Dec. 28, 2013) Wicked Local Canton; Berger, School super to convene group to review start times (Nov. 19, 2011) Canton Citizen; Melanson, Schools consider a later start for Canton High School students (Nov. 14, 2011) Wicked Local Canton.)

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District High School Principal Ken Jenks and the Cape Cod Justice for Youth Collaborative are exploring ways to begin morning classes later than the present 7:22 a.m. start time. On November 18, 2013, Jenks advised the school committee that there is overwhelming physiological, neurological, and sociological evidence suggesting a later start time would help students. “The evidence is in,” Jenks said. “It’s beneficial.” The principal cited a number of studies measuring the impact extra sleep can have on teenagers’ behavior and health. Jenks said schools that moved to later start times could expect improved attendance, decreased tardiness, fewer discipline problems, declines in both physical and psychological ailments, and significant gains in cognitive functioning and academic performance. In a letter to the school committee, Dr. Peter Edwards, director of the Cape Cod Justice for Youth Collaborative, explained, “Adolescents experience a central nervous system change at age 14, and this results in a definite change in their sleep cycle.” Just as children are entering their teenage years, Edwards says, their bodies insist upon a new schedule. “A typical adolescent’s natural time to fall asleep is 11 p.m.; they may feel wide awake at bedtime, even when they are exhausted. This leads to sleep deprivation, as teens must wake up early for school, and thus do not get the nine hours of sleep that they need.” Edwards wrote that the course for high schools is clear. “An adolescent performs much better when his sleep cycle is allowed to occur naturally, in concert with the hormone and brain alterations taking place at this time. Improvement in adolescent behavior and performance occurs with each hour of delay until the optimal time of 11 a.m.” Jenks noted that while that optimal time may not be realistic, some adjustment to the high school’s start time should be possible. “Once you move it about half an hour to 45 minutes, I think that’s a reasonable time,” he said, apparently unaware that 8:30 a.m. is the earliest start time proposed by any expert for middle or high school students. The school committee was generally supportive of the idea. Members suggested reviewing transportation requirements. Jenks stated teachers and students would be surveyed. The districts’ middle schools begin at 8 a.m., the elementary schools at 9:20 a.m. (Powers-Smith, D-Y High considers later start time (Nov. 22, 2013) The Register.)

A&F Bus Company, the current provider of transportation services for Burlington Public Schools, lost the contract bid for Shawsheen Valley Technical High School. Burlington Public Schools shares buses with Shawsheen Tech, so schedule and routing changes may be needed at Burlington. Burlington Superintendent Eric Conti proposed a 4-tier busing system, delaying the high school start time by 15 minutes to 7:45 a.m. The middle school would retain its 7:30 a.m. start time. Elementary schools would start at 8:10 a.m. (Pine Glen), 8:35 a.m. (Memorial and Francis Wyman), and 8:55 a.m. (Fox Hill). The school committee will determine the busing and school schedules over the summer. The bell schedule for Shawsheen Tech reflects a 7:30 a.m. start time. (Biagiotti, Schools mull bus schedule options (Jun. 18, 2013) Daily Times Chronicle.)

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. When the issue was addressed at a November 10, 2011 school committee meeting, Brian Salzer, Ed.S., the committee’s unanimous June 2011 selection as new superintendent from a field of 23 applicants, “did not mince words when he told committee members that changing the start time at the high school ‘is not a top priority of the administrative team and it is not a top priority on my list. If you would like it to be, you will have to give me direction.’” Committee member Howard Moore noted the reason for the current 7:30 a.km. high school start time is the bus schedule, “not because it’s what’s good for education.” Committee Vice Chairwoman Stephanie Pick said she had “never heard ‘a single teacher’ at the high school lobby for a change in the start time.” The matter was tabled until January of 2012, at which time it was further delayed until 2013, much to the chagrin of many community members, and one teacher. More than 200 citizens signed a letter sent to Mayor David Narkewicz and the school committee urging a high school start time of 8:20 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. At a community forum convened by the superintendent to discuss the pros and cons of a start time change, author, psychologist, and parent Kay Saakvitne, Ph.D., offered this observation: “It’s not about opinions anymore. It’s about facts.” In December 2012, the superintendent proposed forming another start time committee “to continue researching alternative proposals and to survey the community” on the start time issue. On May 9, 2013, the study committee presented the school committee with a plan to delay the high school start time to 8:15 a.m. 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. Nash also proposes the school committee spend up to $10,000 to hire a consultant to review a later start-time scenario for the high school that would also involve changing bus routes and start times at the city’s four elementary schools and JFK Middle School. A second option would be to create a separate bus system for the high school, which would cost in the neighborhood of $300,000. A third option proposed by school committee member Howard Moore would have the elementary schools starting before 8 a.m., JFK Middle School around 8:15 a.m. and the high school at 8:45 a.m. The plan would combine elementary and high school bus routes in what would become a two-tiered system. In April 2014, the school committee voted to request more study of the busing requirements needed to change start times, with a final report due in February 2015. (Solow, Northampton school board delays changing high school start time (Apr. 11, 2014) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Solow, Northampton interim School Superintendent Regina Nash rekindles later start time debate  (Jan. 8, 2014) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Solow, School Committee votes to move start time later at Northampton High beginning in 2014 (Jun. 14, 2013) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Staff, Northampton High School to Get Later Start Time (Jun. 14, 2013) ABC40; Solow, Study committee recommends moving Northampton High School start time from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. (May 9, 2013) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Solow, Northampton school leaders to form another committee on school start times (Dec. 12, 2012) Hampshire Daily Gazette; School Start Time: Snooze or Lose? A Community Forum (May 22, 2012) WHMP; Buttenwieser, Change in school start time valid, even if cumbersome (May 8, 2012) Hampshire Daily Gazette; Editorial, Change the start time already (Apr. 24, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Herrell, Been there, done that (Apr. 17, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Goldstein, End abuse of early school days (Apr. 16, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Editorial: Dithering on school start(Jan. 21, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Northampton High School start time remains 7:30 a.m., pending further study (Jan. 13, 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, see also, Herrell, The School Start-Time Song (Aug. 13, 2012) YouTube [Mr. Herrell provides a lyrics sheet here (docx)]; Hanauer, Research plentiful on later school start times (Dec. 22, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette [letter to the editor responding to piece by Ms. Mangione]; Mangione, New start needed on old debate (Dec. 14, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette [op-ed piece from parent criticizing a perceived lack of transparency in the start time change process and questioning the need to change]; Dietz, Teens’ sleep needs dictate later school start time (Dec. 3, 2011) Gazettenet.com [letter to the editor from Northampton student urging later start times]; Hanauer, Good evidence, but no action (Nov. 15, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazett; Herrell, Sound reasons for later start (Jul. 7, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette [op-ed by Steve Herrell responding to student editorial]; Schumacher & Moss-Horwitz, Shifting NHS hours a non-starter (Jun. 14, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette [student editorial opposing later start times].)

For 2013-2014, Hudson Public Schools will delay the Quinn Middle School start time by 10 minutes to 7:47 a.m. Mulready Elementary School will also delay its start time to 8:30 a.m., aligning start times among the district’s three elementary schools. Hudson High School will apparently retain its 7:30 a.m. start time. The district was able to change its transportation plan by elevating fifth-graders from the elementary schools to the middle school. The change is otherwise expected to make busing more efficient and improve professional development opportunities. (Malachowski, Hudson’s Mulready, Quinn schools to start later next year (Apr. 11, 2013) MetroWest Daily News.)

Swansea Public Schools Superintendent Christine Stanton announced that 2012-2013 middle and high school classes will be delayed by 15 minutes to 7:30 a.m. in an effort to improve attendance. The new schedule will be evaluated after one year. (Austin, Classes will start later for schools in Swansea under pilot program (Aug. 15, 2012) SouthCoastToday.com.)

Weston Public Schools has tasked a committee with studying a change in the current 7:30 a.m. high school start time. Committee member and Superintendent Cheryl Maloney observes,  “Teenagers need a lot, a lot of sleep. They’re exhausted, and they’re growing. Their bod[ies] need[] that rest in order to support this phenomenal physical, emotional, intellectual growth that’s happening.” Erica Cole, a high school assistant principal and a member of the start-time committee, said the inquiry is grounded in an increasing body of research on the sleep needs of teens that debunks the stereotype of the lazy teenager. “It’s not something that can be fixed by saying, well, they should be going to bed earlier,” Cole said, adding that research shows students’ bodies and minds do not allow them to “power down” until a certain time. Cole is writing her doctoral dissertation on the adolescent brain and sleep. “I’m 32 years old, and I have a hard enough time getting up to be here at 7:30, and I’ve always been a morning person.” Professor Carskadon noted that pushing back school start times helps improve academic performance and also leads to happier teens. “There’s kind of a buoyancy that is achieved by making this change, because teachers end up getting more sleep, too.” Carskadon added that studies have even shown fewer automobile accidents when teens have more time to get to school. “That’s life and limb.” The middle school presently begins morning classes at 7:40 a.m. (Hennick, High school may change its start time (Jul. 26, 2012) boston.com.)

The superintendent of Middleborough Public Schools is considering a plan to put middle and high school students on the same buses, potentially saving money and enabling the high school students to begin about 30 minutes later, “which all the research says (is better).” The 2011-2012 bell schedule reflects a 7:20 a.m. high school start time, 7:55 a.m. middle school start, and 8:50 a.m. for the elementary schools. (Dow, School bus plan would allow later opening at MHS (Mar. 1, 2012) SouthCoastToday.com; see also, Middleboro school bus routes could change (Apr. 25, 2012) Enterprise.com.)

Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, Nauset Regional High School delayed its start time from 7:25 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. In the first two months of the school year, data show a 53 percent drop in the number of failing grades, from 221 in September and October of 2010 to 104 during the same time period in 2011. The number of D’s and F’s also dropped, from 597 to 368, a 38 percent decline. The number of days students were suspended for disciplinary reasons fell from 166 in the first two months of 2010 to 19 days in September and October of 2011. School principal Tom Conrad stated, “I think the tone of the day has changed dramatically. That’s reflected in the overall (mood) of the student body. It’s very clear to me it’s a more relaxed opening of school than with the 7:25 a.m. start time. Students seem to be more alert and they don’t seem to be rushing to get to class within seconds of getting to school.” For years, Conrad had advocated later start times based on studies showing improved academic outcomes and positive effects on student health and well-being. (Editorial, Let teens hit the snooze (Jan. 23, 2012) Bangor Daily News; Fraser, Later start time lauded at Nauset High (Jan. 10, 2012) Cape Cod Times [middle school start times have been advanced].)

The Easton School Committee has decided to appoint an exploratory committee to consider the feasibility of changing start times for Easton Public Schools. Currently, Oliver Ames High School and Easton Middle School have the earliest start times in the district, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and 7:35 a.m. respectively. School Committee members noted that the decision to form an exploratory committee stems from concerns that “high-school aged children and adolescents may not be getting enough sleep, which therefore affects their learning abilities.” Committee member Colleen Less observed, “Anybody who has kids can see how they get up when they’re younger earlier in the day and by the time they’re in middle school you’re pulling them out of the bed with their feet. If it were a function of changing bedtimes, we all would have done it. It’s not that they’re staying up too late. Literally, their body’s timing is such at this stage in their development that they find it difficult to go to bed.” School Committee Chairwoman Jane Martin advised that since evaluating the change will require “a significant period of education,” it will not happen next year. (Graeber, Easton schools looking at later high school start time (Dec. 21, 2011) Enterprise News; Maguire, Exploratory Committee to Address School Start Times (Nov. 4, 2011) Easton Patch.)

In order to improve student “sleep benefits,” Amherst Regional Public Schools considered various options to delay start times for middle and high school students. Superintendent Maria Geryk recommended a change in the 7:45 a.m. start time beginning in 2013, noting the evidence supporting later start times is “compelling.” The introduction to the Report of the Later Start Times Task Force notes, “In our survey of secondary students in the Amherst regional schools, 51 percent reported falling asleep in class ‘occasionally’ and an additional 12 percent reported doing so every day.” Geryk contends that “[i]n order to demonstrate our commitment to meeting the needs of all of our students — emotionally, psychologically, physically and academically — we must recommend a later start time.” The superintendent proposed a 9 a.m. middle and high school start time, and an 8:15 a.m. elementary school start time (representing a 25 minute advance). The school committee was scheduled to vote on the matter on May 22, 2012, but they “found out taking classes at nearby colleges, playing sports and participating in after school activities all would be affected, so they decided more research is necessary.” Geryk indicated that five sports teams would probably be eliminated. On October 23, 2012, the Committee voted 6-3 against the superintendent’s plan. An 8 a.m. secondary school start time is instead being considered. (Grabbe, Thumbs down on earlier school start time in Amherst (Oct. 24, 2012) Amherst Bull.; Storrow, School start time change stymied (May 25, 2012) Amherst Bull.; Cho, Amherst school start time remains unchanged (May 23, 2012) wwlp.com;  Grabbe, More questions raised about school start time in Amherst (May 9, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Grabbe, Amherst Regional School Committee begins debating later school start time (Apr. 25, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Grabbe, Amherst superintendent recommends later start time for secondary schools (Apr. 24, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Grabbe, Amherst school start time unlikely to change by fall (Apr. 3, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Grabbe, Parents express mixed views on shifting school start times in Amherst (Jan. 26, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Grabbe, Amherst considers impact of starting school later for secondary students (Jan. 6, 2012) Amherst Bull.; Grabbe, Amherst Regional eyes later school start time (Dec. 9, 2011) Daily Hampshire Gazette; Lederman, Amherst considering change in school starting times (May 12, 2011) masslive.com; Report of the Later Start Times Task Force (Apr. 15, 2011) Amherst Regional Public Schools; see also, Clay, Later school start time won’t deliver solution to teen sleep problem (May 18, 2012) Amherst Bull.; Van Peski, Later school start wrong remedy (Mar. 1, 2012) Daily Hampshire Gazette.)

In 2010, North Andover Public Schools began looking into the possibility of delaying middle and high school start times. A School Start Time Advisory Committee was formed and Dr. Mary Carskadon gave a power point presentation concerning adolescent sleep and development. As a result, for the 2011-2012 academic year, middle school start times were delayed from 7:45 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. and high school start times delayed from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. (Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on School Start Times; Carskadon’s Power Point Presentation; Advisory Committee Final Rep.; School Committee Presentation on School Start Time Changes for 2011-12.) Notably, the earliest start time proposed by Carskadon (or any other expert) is 8:30 a.m. (Wolfson & Carskadon, A Survey of Factors Influencing High School Start Times (Mar. 2005) 89 Nat. Assn. Secondary School Principals Bull. 642, p. 49.)

In December of 2010, the Lexington Public Schools Committee held a discussion about delaying the current 7:45 a.m. high school start time after receiving letters from parents on the subject. Committee member Jessie Steigerwald noted that information from studies and students shows that “even 30 more minutes of sleep makes a huge difference.” Steigerwald also observed that local schools making the change had seen “higher attendance records, fewer students sleeping through first period and little effect on sports.” Two students expressed support for making the change. The Committee Chairman commented it would be a large undertaking, “but this is a year or two process before we can really examine this. We have an awful lot on our plate this year, my preference is add it to our list ….” Superintendent Paul Ash said examining different start times would be a lot of work for the committee, something members might not have time for in the coming months. “I’m convinced this would require a massive amount of work, and implementing the change would be huge. I’m not aware there is any evidence that this produces a positive change in learning. It could have a positive effect, but is it worth the time? I think it’s not something we should look into right now.” School representatives advise that Clarke and Diamond middle schools begin at 8 a.m. and 8:05 a.m., respectively, for the 2011-2012 year. (Pickering, School Committee Discusses High School Start Time (Dec. 15, 2010) Lexington Patch; Lexington High School, Schedule.)

In 2009, the Silver Lake Regional School District formed a Sleep Needs Study Committee to evaluate the possibility of moving back start times for all district schools by 45 minutes. The Committee webpage notes the new start times would be 8:05 a.m. for the middle school, 8:15 a.m. for the high school, and 9 a.m./9:15 a.m. for the elementary schools. The Committee was said to be “preparing a powerpoint presentation on the issue of adolescent sleep needs and the options the Silver Lake District may take with regard to this scientific data.” The 2011-2012 bell schedule for Silver Lake Middle School notes a 7:35 a.m. start time, suggesting a 15 minute delay was undertaken. As of this writing, the only high school bell schedule posted notes a 7:30 a.m. start time, but the schedule is from the 2010-2011 academic year. Dennett Elementary similarly posts only a 2010-2011 schedule (in the school handbook), noting an 8:20 a.m. start time. The Halifax Elementary 2011-2012 parent-student handbook notes an 8:30 a.m. start time.

In 2008, following a presentation by Cornell University Professor of Psychology James Maas concerning the “conflict” between “academic clocks” and “teenagers’ body clocks,” Deerfield Academy pushed back start times from 7:55 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The change brought an “increase in hot breakfasts served, a drastic reduction of unexcused absences, a record increase in grades and a 20-percent reduction in visits to the health center — even though neighboring schools reported a higher number of flu cases than normal.” Academic Dean Peter Warsaw noted that teachers were “delighted” that students were “more attentive and engaged.” Teachers of first-period classes reported that “vibrant discussions now began at the opening bell instead of half-way through the class.” (Lim, Maas Pushes for Later Start Time at Schools (Feb. 26, 2009) The Cornell Daily Sun.)

MICHIGAN — At an April 25, 2012 meeting of the Ann Arbor Public Schools school board, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Joyce Hunter led a discussion about studying the possibility of a start time delay for high school students in order to comport with “night owl[]” adolescent sleep patterns. The 2012-2013 bell schedule reflects high school start times ranging from 7:30 a.m. to 8:08 a.m.; an 8:10 a.m. middle school start time; and 8:08 a.m., 8:48 a.m., 9:03 a.m. elementary school start times. A committee composed of administrators, several parents, and directors of transportation and athletics, met “repeatedly” to discuss the feasibility of later start times at the high schools. In December 2012, Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Services Alesia Flye said she did not see any research that conclusively shows a later start time would significantly improve student achievement. “As a committee, we were not convinced the research suggests that if we make these huge adjustments, we will see huge academic gains.” Flye said it is the recommendation of the committee that the group conduct a survey of elementary, middle and high school students to get a better understanding for how a later start time might impact them. Trustee Glenn Nelson recommended that start times should revert to low on the priority list. On February 6, 2013, however, Ann Arbor Communications Director Liz Margolis sent an email to parents across the district with a link to a survey inquiring whether they would be negatively affected by a 15 to 20 minute delay in the high start time. (Arndt, Should Ann Arbor change school start times? New survey asks parents (Feb. 6, 2013) AnnArbor.com; Arndt, Ann Arbor high school start times won’t be changing anytime soon (Dec. 13, 2012) AnnArbor.com; Arndt, Ann Arbor to study later high school start times (Apr. 26, 2012) AnnArbor.com.) Apparently the committee missed a few studies; e.g., Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance, supra, 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, pp. 970-983; Buckhalt,Can Later Start Times Affect School Achievement? (Sept. 30, 2012) Psychology Today [citing Edwards‘ study as “direct evidence” of the “measurable significant effect” of later start times on adolescent academic achievement]; CarrellMaghakian, & 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 [controls for potentially confounding factors -- grading structure, class selection and teachers, for example -- to determine the “causal effect” of start times on adolescent academic achievement].) When reading the study by Carrell, et al., supra, bear in mind that biological adolescence lasts until around 19.5 years for women and 20.9 years for men. (Roenneberg, Kuehnle, Pramstaller, Ricken, Havel, Guth, & Merrow, A marker for the end of adolescence (2004) 14 Current Biology 24, pp. 38–39; see also, Hagenauer, Perryman, Lee, & Carskadon, Adolescent Changes in the Homeostatic and Circadian Regulation of Sleep (2009) 31 Developmental Neuroscience 4, p. 276; Kruszelnicki, Teenage Sleep (May 3, 2007) ABC Science.)

In March 2011, Dearborn Public Schools considered a recommendation from the school start time committee to delay high school start times in order to improve student achievement. The proposal contemplated changing high school start times from 7:20 a.m. to 8:20 a.m., while advancing middle school start times from 8 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. School board members expressed skepticism the change would make a positive difference or that parents would support it. In February 2012, the district announced that next fall it would permit students other than freshman to begin school at 8:20 a.m. (or 8:25 a.m. according to The Detroit News, infra). To utilize the later start time, students may not participate in sports activities that practice right after school, they must provide their own transportation, and they cannot have a history of behavioral issues or be a credit short. Board members Aimee Blackburn and Pam Adam noted that the current schedule employs late starts frequently on Wednesdays and that their own children simply use the extra time to stay up later. In the fall of 2012, the district announced it was scrapping the plan “because not enough kids signed up.” Parent Helena Thornton initiated an online petition calling for the school board to “officially recognize the large and compelling body of research regarding teen sleep and academic achievement, and, with a resolution, to set a goal to start high schools in Dearborn Public Schools after 8:15 a.m.” In February 2013, the district announced that beginning in the fall of 2013, it will permit Dearborn high school students to begin morning classes at 8:25 a.m. — if a sufficient number of students are interested. Dearborn has its own StartSchoolLater Chapter. (Shareef, Letter: Edsel Ford Student Gives Teen Perspective on School Start Times (Feb. 19, 2013) Dearborn Patch; Tippen, Late-Start Efforts Continue in Dearborn Schools (Feb. 19, 2013) Dearborn Patch; Deep, Student Urges Dearborn School Start Time Change; Feighan, Dearborn Public Schools drops late high school start (Sept. 3, 2012) The Detroit News; Hetrick, Dearborn high schools looking at more flexible start times (Feb. 28, 2012) Press & Guide; Tippen, 6 Need-to-Know Facts for Back to School in Dearborn (Aug. 25, 2011) Dearborn Patch; Tippen, School Start Times Under the Microscope (Mar. 4, 2011) Dearborn Patch.) It might be noted that studies have repeatedly shown the great majority of students do utilize the extra time for sleep (discussed here) and that ensuring appropriate bedtimes is a parental function. (Short, Gradisar, Lack, Wright, Dewald, & Wolfson, Carskadon, A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sleep Duration Between U.S. and Australian Adolescents: The Effect of School Start Time, Parent-Set Bedtimes, and Extracurricular Load (2012) Health, Education, & Behavior; Short, Gradisar, Wright, Lack, Dohnt, & Carskadon, Time for Bed: Parent-Set Bedtimes Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents (Jun. 2011) 34 Sleep 10, pp. 797-800; Gangwisch, Babiss, Malaspina, Turner, Zammit, & Posner, Earlier Parental Set Bedtimes as a Protective Factor Against Depression and Suicidal Ideation (Jan. 1, 2010) 33 Sleep 1, 97-106; see also, Hale, Bedtimes and the Blues: Evidence in Support of Improving Adolescent Sleep (Jan. 1, 2010) 33 Sleep 1, 17-18.) Moreover, without regard to sleep, economists find later starting students outperform their earlier starting peers (Edwards, Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance, supra, 31 Economics of Education Rev. 6, pp. 970-983; CarrellMaghakian, & 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), and scientists find later starting students have fewer driving accidents than their earlier starting peers. (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.)

In August of 2011, Battle Creek Central High School was designated one of the state’s lowest achieving schools. In response, the Battle Creek Public Schools district has developed a plan to lengthen the school day by 50 minutes and delay start times from 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. (Editorial, Longer school day makes sense (Nov. 22, 2011) BattleCreekEnquirer.com.) Relying upon studies showing “teenagers are better able to learn later in the morning,” the Jackson Public Schools Board is considering a proposal which would give its high school students the option to begin morning classes at the present start time, 7:30 a.m., or 91 minutes later, at 9:01 a.m. (Wheaton, Students at Jackson high schools could choose to sleep in, start class later under proposal (Aug. 16, 2011) mlive.com.)

The Marquette Area Public Schools board is considering delaying the 7:30 a.m. start time for Marquette Senior High School based upon studies showing the teen brain works better later in the day. Trustee Mark Smith stated he has read numerous studies and articles stating that later start times correlate to better grades, reduced tardiness, a more interested student body and fewer morning car accidents. Smith commented he did not want to make the change unless the new start time would be 8:30 a.m., or later. With busing as an impediment, the board is considering allowing juniors and seniors to take first period classes online. (Marquette to Study Later High School Start Time (Apr. 4, 2011) Ed. Rep.; Whitney, Later school start mulled by MAPS (Mar. 31, 2011) The Mining Journal; Crystal, Later start to school days possible for Marquette Senior High School? (Mar. 30, 2011) Upper Michigans Source; Marquette Senior High School, bell schedule.) The proposal has prompted a mocking video response from one individual. (Marquette Senior High School Start Time Parody (Apr. 2011) YouTube.)

MINNESOTA — For 2011-2012, St. Paul Public Schools District will delay the River East Treatment K-12 start time from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in order to implement a tiered busing schedule and save $1.9 million in transportation costs. (River East Treatment elementary school students began at 8:05 a.m. in 2010-2011.) Although for 2011-2012, St. Paul Public Schools advanced start times for most students in grades 6-12, in 2014, following the release of the CAREI multi-site study, administrators began re-considering later scheduling for secondary school students. The district’s start times webpage reflects no changes would be implemented before the 2015-2016 school year. (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 the St. Paul Public Schools District].)

In December 2013, CAREI Director Kyla Wahlstrom, Ph.D., presented findings from an a then unpublished study of South Washington County Schools three public high schools following a 2009 start time delay from 7:35 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. (The study is now available here.) Wahlstrom reported that performances on state standardized math tests rose at the district’s high schools as did average daily attendance. There were no significant changes in state reading test results. Overall grade point averages went up by as much as a quarter of a point in many subjects. In 2012, parents successfully opposed a proposed advance of the 7:55 a.m. and 7:50 a.m. middle school start time. Elementary schools begin at 8:10 a.m. or later, except Newport Elementary, which begins at 7:55 a.m. (Wente, Study: More sleep proving beneficial for District 833 students (Jan. 9, 2014) Woodbury Bull.; Lonetree, Start time changes paying off for South Washington County schools (Jan. 4, 2014) Star Tribune; Post, Study: Exhausted teens benefit from later morning school starts (Dec. 6, 2013) MPR News [includes audio].)

Centennial School District 12 is considering a plan to delay 2013-2014 middle school start times from 7:40 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. based upon the district’s adolescent sleep research (which offers a rather limited and unsubstantiated range of optimal start times; i.e., from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.). Inexplicably, the district also proposes advancing the high school start time from 8:25 a.m. to 8:10 a.m., earlier even than its own suggested optimal start time range. 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 delay start times at Plymouth Middle School by 5 minutes to 8:10 a.m. Robbinsdale Middle School will advance its start time by the same margin. 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.)

Spring Lake Park Schools has announced projected school schedules for 2013-2014, with the district high school to begin morning classes approximately 35 minutes later, at 8:10 a.m. Middle school start times will advance by 10 minutes to 7:45 a.m. On April 12, 2013, the district posted this advisement: “The proposed transportation option has no start and end time changes for some schools, changes of ten minutes or less for all K-8 schools, while also accomplishing the desired result of a later high school start time, from 7:35 am to 8:10 am. A later high school start time was one goal of the process as years of research on the sleep needs of high school-aged adolescents shows the positive effects of a later start time on attendance, behavior, and academics. [¶] As final transportation routes are determined, times could change by five minutes in either direction.” 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.)

In December 2012, Monticello Public Schools Superintendent Jim Johnson held an exploratory meeting with parents and board members to discuss the possibility of elementary students starting school earlier in the morning and the older students starting later. The district website reflects the following 2012-2013 start times: Monticello High School, 7:45 a.m.; Monticello Middle School (grades 6-8), 8:09 a.m.; elementary schools, (apparently) 9 a.m. (Gutswiller, Parents, district ponder possible school time change (Dec. 13, 2012) Monticello Times.)

Duluth Public Schools considered two plans intended to save busing expenses. Option B would have delayed middle school start times from 7:50 a.m. to 9 a.m., and the high schools from 9:05 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Option C was to affect only the district elementary schools, beginning between 8 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. for 2011-2012. Any schedule change will also affect several private schools, including Marshall School (grades 4-12), which would have delayed 10 minutes to 8:10 a.m. under Option B. St. James Catholic School (K-8) was to advance 15 minutes to 8:55 a.m. under Option C. Ultimately, the board settled on high schools beginning at 9:05 a.m., middle schools at 8:45 a.m., and elementary schools at 7:45 a.m. (Hollingsworth, Duluth School Board switches middle schools to six-period day (Jun. 6, 2012) Duluth News Trib.; Possible Changes to Duluth Schools Schedule (Mar. 15, 2012) wdio.com.)

Parent and physician Beth Albright has initiated an online petition seeking a delay in the Wayzata High School 7:30 a.m. start time. Dr. Albright writes: “Wayzata High School students would benefit academically, physically and emotionally from a later start time. The biological clock of adolescents shifts so that most of them are unable to fall asleep before 11 p.m. Teens need 9 hours of sleep for maximal focus, attention, physical and emotional health. The current start time of 7:30 a.m. imposes a state of chronic sleep deprivation on WHS students which negatively impacts their ability to focus, learn and stay physically and emotionally healthy. A start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would improve the effectiveness of education at WHS as well as the health and quality of life of our students.” On March 20, 2012, Dr. Albright gave a presentation to the local PTA concerning sleep deprivation and its impact on teenagers. The doctor also authored a brief note (p. 2) in a PTA bulletin directing readers to further research and to a Facebook page dedicated to the issue. A Patch news article indicates that the Wayzata Public Schools board received a start time presentation in April 2012, with no reported outcome. On January 28, 2013, school board members reviewed surveys which found that the majority of high school students “have difficulties ‘waking up and getting moving’ in the morning.” 61 percent of parents reported that their child “seems to lack energy.” Students are getting a maximum of 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night. (Engler, School Board Weighs Later Start Time After Parents Say Kids ‘Lack Energy’ at 7:30 a.m. Bell (Feb. 5, 2013) Lake Minnetonka Patch.)

In April 2012, Moorhead Area Public Schools considered a proposal to delay elementary school start times to 9:05 a.m. in order to save transportation expenses and add 15 minutes to the school day. Instead, on May 29, 2012, the board voted unanimously to delay the start time for middle school students by 80 minutes to 9:05 a.m. The district website notes the change “is supported by adolescent sleep research[,] resulting in an annual savings of approximately $325,00.” The high school start time will remain at 8:25 a.m., elementary school start times will be advanced by 25 minutes to 7:55 a.m. (Schmidt, School Board approves new school start and end times (May 29, 2012) INFORUM; Moorhead schools schedule shift causing shake-up (Apr. 23, 2012) WDAY News 6; see also, What’s best start time for school? (May 26, 2012) INFORUM [op-ed piece apparently against May 29th proposal].)

For the 2010-2011 school year, St. Louis Park High School in the St. Louis Park Public School District delayed its start time by 30 minutes to 8:20 a.m. The bell schedule reflects a 7:33 a.m. start time for the district middle school. The start time delay at St. Louis Park High School was one of several start time changes examined in a recently published CAREI study. (Wahlstrom, Dretzke, Gordon, Peterson, Edwards, & Gdula, Examining the Impact of Later School Start Times on the Health and Academic Performance of High School Students: A Multi-Site Study (Feb. 2014) CAREI, Univ. Minn., pp. 1-72.)

For 2005-2005, Mahtomedi High School in the Mahtomedi Public Schools District delayed its start time by 30 minutes. (7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.) The results are reported in the February 2014 CAREI study, supra.

MISSISSIPPI — In June 2012, Hattiesburg Public School District communications director JasN Smith announced a possible delay in morning high school classes, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The district considered the change after “seeing research that high school students generally aren’t quite ‘morning people’ — and have been shown to process and absorb information better later in the day.” On July 19, 2012, however, Smith noted at the district website that the high school would retain its 7:30 a.m. start time; the middle school begins at 8:20 a.m. In March 2013, the district announced that beginning in the fall, high school start times will be delayed by one hour to 8:30 a.m. in order to improve academic performance. An optional zero period will begin at 7:30 a.m. Middle school start times will be advanced to 7:30 a.m. (Ciurczak, Are teenage students getting enough sleep? (Mar. 8, 2013) Herald-Index; Ciurczak, HHS, N.R. Burger start times to change (Mar. 6, 2013) Herald-Index; Surles, Classes may start later for HHS students (Jun. 18, 2012) WDAM7.)

On July 12, 2012, Federal Programs Director Marilyn-Alexander Turner proposed delaying Natchez-Adams School District high school start times by 15 minutes to 8:30 a.m. Elementary school start times will be delayed by 15 minutes to 8 a.m. The changes were prompted by district reorganization and implementation of more efficient bus routes. The middle school will retain its 8:15 a.m. start time. (Lane, School Times Changing? (Jul. 13, 2012) natchezdemocrat.com.)

MISSOURI — In 2013, at the urging of parents, St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams proposed a delay in the 7:10 a.m. middle and high school start time. The suggested delay in start times to approximately 8 a.m. would have ended the school day at 3 p.m. rather than 2:07 p.m. Parents and staff objected to the later end time as creating conflicts with work and athletic schedules. St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “it was the unpopularity of the change that led Adams to drop the recommendation.” The change would allegedly have required an additional 94 buses at a cost of $5.7 million. (Bock, Should school districts adapt to teen sleep patterns? (Aug. 11, 2014) St. Louis Post Dispatch.)

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. The district will survey parents on the two options it is considering. Option 1 would put most elementary schools on the first tier, high schools on the second tier and middle schools on the third tier. Option 2 would put middle schools on the first tier and elementary schools on the third, leaving high school second. District leaders recognize that middle school students also benefit from later start times, but wish to avoid busing middle and high school students together. In January 2013, following a survey in which 43.4 percent of respondents favored retaining the current schedule configuration, the district proposed advancing high school start times to 7:20 a.m., delaying middle school start times to 8:10 a.m., and delaying elementary school start times to 9:10 a.m. A group calling itself “Students Say” has initiated an online petition opposing the proposed new schedule. With respect to the board’s new interest in advancing the high school start time, Columbia teacher Mindy Bloom stated, “Vast amount of research out there about how later start times are good for teenagers — academically, behaviorally and physically — and this committee says sooner? It’s about the money.” A “backlash” from students, parents and staff, compelled the board to announce it had dropped plans for the 7:20 a.m. high school start time. In February 2013, Superintendent Chris Belcher proposed delaying high school start times to 9 a.m. and advancing elementary schools with the longest bus routes and all middle schools to between 7:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. The rest of the elementary schools would start at 8:20 a.m. 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. Three high schools (Battle, Hickman, Rock Bridge) actually implemented a 8:55 a.m. start time, Douglass High starts at 9:15 a.m. Zero hour high school classes begin at 7:30 a.m. (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, the 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.” Board member David Evans added that teen brains “are wonderful and powerful but perform better later in the day.” Evans said he’d like to see the district look into the possibility of making the high school start time even later. The proposed schedule contemplates advancing start times at the junior high school (grades 8-9) and one middle school (grades 6-7) from 8:10 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. 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.)

The Independence School District School Start Times Task Force will evaluate the feasibility of changing start times, using focus groups and community surveys. Recognizing that later starts are “best” for high school students, the district is considering scheduling elementary students for first tier busing and secondary school students for the third tier. Several considerations, including the impact of having younger students out “in the dark” will have to be assessed. For 2011-2012, high schools begin morning classes at 7:25 a.m., middle schools at 7:59 a.m. and 8:04 a.m. (Evenson, Independence discussing school start times (Feb. 16, 2012) Examiner.net.)

Citing multiple studies concerning the sleep patterns of middle school students, the Parkway Schools school board moved middle school start times from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. With bus schedules too close together, students have been arriving late to class. On September 21, 2011, the Parkway board voted to delay schedules even further, to 8:20 a.m. Parkway high school schedules have been advanced. (Calhoun, Dissent Doesn’t Defer Changes in Parkway Schools’ Start Times (Sept. 22, 2011) CBS St. Louis; Biondo, School Bus Delays To Dictate 5-10 Minute Changes in Parkway School Day (Sept. 19, 2011) Chesterfield Patch; Biondo, Parkway Middle Schoolers Sleep In This Year (Aug. 12, 2011) Town & Country – Manchester Patch; see also, Start Times & Length of School Day (Nov. 1, 2010) Parkway School Dist. Task Force Rep.)

MONTANA — Beginning in 2012-2013, Billings Senior High School will delay morning classes on Wednesdays by one hour to allow struggling students to obtain additional assistance and to provide teachers an opportunity to “meet and share ideas, discuss teaching techniques and find better ways to address classroom issues.” The 2011-2012 bell schedule reflects an 8 a.m. start time, 6:55 a.m. for “early morning classes.” Bus riders will arrive one hour early whether they require additional assistance or not. (Rogers, SD2 to try later high school start on Wednesdays (Mar. 29, 2012) Billings Gazette.)

NEW HAMPSHIRE — In early 2013, Hampton School District considered adopting an unstated common start time for its kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools for 2013-2014. Middle schoolers presently begin classes at 7:40 a.m. while the younger students begin at 8:30 a.m. Committee members reported a common start time would reduce traffic congestion and simplify pickups for families. Superintendent Kathleen Murphy advised that a new schedule would serve middle school students who learn better later in the morning, as well as benefit younger students by starting them earlier, since they learn better in the morning. In April 2013, school officials announced the common start time would be rejected. A survey of parents and teachers found overwhelming disapproval of the plan. Parents were concerned about busing kindergarten students with middle school students for “developmental[]” reasons. In addition, bus rides would likely have increased to more than 40 minutes. (Reid, Hampton schools reject common start time (Apr. 10, 2013) Seacoastline; Reid, Hampton debates unified school start time (Mar. 19, 2013) Seacoastline.)

In 2012, the Rochester School Department appointed an ad hoc committee to determine whether secondary school students may perform better if start times are delayed. For the 2012-2013 school year, Rochester Middle School and Spaulding High School begin morning classes at 7:30 a.m. Spaulding High School social studies teacher Sarah Quinn stated, “Nothing gets done in ‘A block’ because they’re too tired. You can see kids really struggling to stay awake. Teenagers need about nine-and-a-quarter hours to sleep, and a majority in the United State get about eight hours. I don’t know if this would totally fix that problem (but) I think it would be a step in the right direction.” SAU #64 Superintendent Jay McIntire reported being “particularly interested in the idea of starting school later because some Spaulding High students in Wakefield leave town as early as 5:50 a.m. to get to Rochester on time. McIntire said working parents consequently get up early to spend time with their children, and they end up losing hours of rest as well.” In March 2013, after a survey found that just slightly more than half of all parents favored later start times and 27% reported that starting school later would have a significant negative impact on their schedules, the start time committee recommended start times remain status quo. On April 11, 2013, the school board accepted the committee’s recommendation. (Markhlevskaya, School Board accepts resignation of Spaulding principal, others Also agrees not to change school start time (Apr. 12, 2013) Foster’s Daily Democrat; Markhlevskaya, Committee: Don’t alter Rochester school start times (Mar. 27, 2013) Foster’s Daily Democrat; Allen, School districts eye later start times (Dec. 2, 2012) Foster’s Daily Democrat; Allen, Rochester panel wants to study data if students will perform better with later start (Oct. 2, 2012) Foster’s Daily Democrat.)

NEW JERSEY — The group EB Parents for Healthy School Start Times formed in 2013 in order to advocate for later secondary school scheduling in the East Brunswick Public Schools District. The district’s junior and senior high schools begin at 7:26 a.m. The EB Parents urge starting morning classes at 8:30 a.m., or later. In September 2014, school board president Brad Cohen stated he would consider the issue after “taking an in depth look at all the studies and making sure that such a change is scientifically valid. ‘I think it’s a very big initiative for a very large school district to accomplish,” Cohen said. “… We need to really look at these studies and investigate them and see if they’re valid before we try to implement something that’s going to be very difficult to implement.’” According to the district’s school hours webpage, the district’s elementary schools begin at 9:10 a.m., Hammarskjold Middle School begins at 8:03 a.m. (Grossman, Later school start time sought for teens (Sept. 18, 2014) News Transcript; Grossman, Later school start time sought for teens (Sept. 18, 2014) Sentinel.)

Ridgewood High School co-principal Jeff Nyhuis has organized a pilot program which calls for morning classes to be delayed by one hour to 8:47 a.m. several times per academic quarter. The program, if implemented, would provide teachers with time to collaborate across departments and give students a chance to catch up on work or “some well-deserved sleep.” A late start day in May of 2012 drew generally positive reviews from teachers and students. Parent and local pediatrician Anne Robinson has been speaking with Nyhuis for more than two years about a permanent later start time and changes to the homework policy. Following a 2010 screening of the film “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” the school stopped assigning homework for the December and February breaks. Nyhuis advised that politics and students’ after-school schedules precluded any possibility of later start times on a full-time basis. Nonetheless, the idea of “putting students’ wellness first” has garnered the school a spot in an upcoming documentary follow-up to the film. Middle schools in the Ridgewood Public Schools district begin at 8 a.m., elementary schools at 8:45 a.m. (Herzog, Ridgweood High School student wellness programs will be documented in film (Jun. 1, 2012) NorthJersey.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. Middle school start times were delayed from 7:15 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.; high school start times have been advanced. (District unveils plans to spend windfall (Jun. 29, 2011) Sparta Independent.)

NEW MEXICO — In March of 2010, Albuquerque Public Schools announced plans to adjust start times for high school students from 7:30 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. to comport with adolescent sleep patterns. Middle school start times vary from school to school and were to be set at 9:15 a.m. Elementary school start times, now set at 8:45 a.m. or 9:15 a.m., were to be advanced to 7:30 a.m. A decision on the plan has been “postponed because time and energy needs to go toward dealing with a $43 million budget shortfall.” (Albuquerque Public Schools, APS Postpones Decision on Changing School Start Times (Mar. 30, 2010) Press Release; APS Bell Schedules; APS Proposes New School Start Times (Mar. 8, 2010) KOAT Albuquerque.)

NEW YORK — In November 2013, Lansing Central School District school board member Karen McGreevey asked her fellow board members to review school schedules in order to optimize student performance during the school day. The district high school begins morning classes at 7:40 a.m., the middle school at 7:38 a.m., and the elementary school at 8:55 a.m. McGreevey inquired, “Is it possible for the district and the School Board and the District Shared Decision making team to make looking at the way we schedule our school day in the elementary, middle and high schools a priority this year? One idea is looking at the middle school and high school starting later.” McGreevey said that Shared Decision Making teams in the district have wanted to explore changing the school day for years, but it has never been seriously tackled in the district. She said there have been conversations about the possibility of all three schools starting and ending at the same time, among other approaches. Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said that a January district-level Shared Decision Making team meeting can be used to discuss the subject. “If all students went at the same time bussing is the issue,” Pettograsso said. “If you increase the school day teacher contracts are the issue because you are increasing the hours they are contractually obligated to work. Ithaca is the only one that has switched their schedule, and there are certainly lots of things we can share about why they’re able to switch their schedule.” McGreevey said she wants to explore possible changes that will make students more productive and improve student achievement. “The cost of busses and scheduling the busses seems to be the common road block for previous administrators, teachers, and board members to figure out how we can best utilize the time that we have to teach our children and meet all of the standards that are asking us to do more,” McGreevey said. “But we still have the same amount of time.  How do we make the most of the time that we do have with them?” (Veaner, Lansing Schools To Consider Changes to School Hours (Nov. 29, 2013) The Lansing Star.)

In a September 21, 2012 blog entrySouth Orangetown Central School District Superintendent Ken Mitchell, Ed.D., notes the school board is evaluating a possible delay in start times for adolescent students. During the 2012-2013 school year, South Orangetown Middle School and Tappan Zee High School both begin morning classes at 7:35 a.m.; elementary school grades 2-5 begin at 9:10 a.m.; grades K-1 begin at 8:30 a.m. Attached to the superintendent’s blog post is a “review” of literature pertinent to school start times and adolescent sleep. The following is an excerpt from the superintendent’s September 21, 2012 blog post: “After reviewing a significant body of research on the relationship between adolescent sleep and school start times, we believe that the community needs to understand the health and educational benefits that a later start time would bring to our adolescents. Attached is a summary of the research on sleep and adolescent health and performance in both school and other areas. There is also information about the opposition to changes and why school districts often fail to implement later starting times. [¶] Part of our work as a community will be to explore the information about adolescent sleep and schools to see whether we can make a rationale and objective decision about any changes. I encourage you to review the literature we have posted and perhaps gather your own and send it our way. Ultimately, we will have to make a decision that weighs not just opinions but the evidence about the health and safety of our students and whether or not we have the resources and systems in place to make it work.” [¶] In a March 8, 2013 blog post, the Superintendent reports that beginning in the fall of 2013, the high school will commence morning classes at 8:15 a.m., with the middle school to follow suit within a year or two.

The Malone Central School District is considering delaying middle and high school start times from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., or 8:45 a.m. for 2013-2014. An online survey invites community members to select the schedule they prefer. The proposed schedules include start times as early as 7:30 a.m. for elementary school students. The district has provided a science-free list of pros and cons for each scheduling option.

Beginning in the fall of 2012, Northeastern Clinton Central School District will adopt a two-tiered busing schedule, dropping off middle and high school students by 8:50 a.m., with classes beginning at 9:04 a.m. The previous drop-off time for all students was 8 a.m. According to Superintendent Gerald Blair, the change was made to save money (by implementing tiered busing) and to benefit older students, “who are better prepared for school if they are able to get more sleep in the morning.” Elementary students will now arrive via bus at 7:45 a.m. for 8 a.m. classes. In September 2012, the board pushed middle and high school start and end times back seven minutes later to reduce students’ idle time on buses. (Levingston, School start times pushed back at NCCS (Sept. 30, 2012) Press Republican; Levingston, New bus schedules, start times for NCCS students (Jul. 26, 2012) Press Republican.)

The Corinth Central School District has announced a delay in the 2012-2013 middle and high school start time to 8:26 a.m. The previous start time for middle schoolers was 7:45 a.m., high schoolers, 7:35 a.m. The press notes that the delay was undertaken to allow additional planning time for instructors. The elementary school will begin at 8:30 a.m. (Aquije, Corinth Schools to have later start time (Aug. 10, 2012) Poststar.com.) As of this writing, this district webpage (near page bottom) notes additional “advantages” to the later start time, including coordination of classes with other districts, research showing students get more sleep and have more success in school, and data suggesting students are less likely to be tardy.

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 delay the middle school start time from 7:55 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and the high school start time from 7:26 a.m. to 7:54 a.m. Dr. Nagler noted, “There is a lot of research that would support younger students going to school earlier since the majority of them are up and about and the majority of high school students are not.” (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 advance the middle school start time].)

On December 12, 2011, by a 5 to 4 vote, the Glens Falls City School District school board decided to retain its May 2011 plan to delay high school start times. In May 2011, the board voted 5-4 to delay Glens Falls Senior High School start times from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. following an extended study by a start time committee (although 8:26 a.m. was the start time actually implemented). Two of the board’s previous “yes” votes came from members who have been replaced. The four “no” voting members remain on the board. The district has posted a start time news bulletin with quick facts and links to resources. The board president has authored a memo explaining the board’s decision. Pamela Thacher, Ph.D., and other researchers from St. Lawrence University have initiated a study of the Glens Falls start time change. In the spring of 2013, teachers reported “the kids are much more engaged in their early-morning classes, with an alarm clock and a period bell ringing later than they used to.” Attendance has improved. Students report gaining an additional 20 minutes of sleep per night. According to Thacher, “Disciplinary issues decrease, students stress and mood levels can improve, and in general what we see is a better more relaxed learning environment[.]” Assistant Principal Elizabeth Collins, reported “Students are much more alert in their first period class and they’re more engaged in the topic[.]” In addition, there are fewer disciplinary issues now and the overall mood of students has been better. Students report feeling less stressed or depressed. Fall sports practice happens under less daylight, but the district says the early results are positive enough that they’re going to keep the later day through next year. (Students learn with later school day (May 31, 2013) CBS 6; Researchers study high school start time (May 31, 2013) CBS 6; Aquije, Researchers to study later start at high school (Jun. 10, 2012) PostStar.com; Aquije, Glens Falls schools keep later start time for 2012 (Dec. 12, 2011) PostStar.com; At Glens Falls, the high school start time remains an issue (Nov. 23, 2011) PostStar.com; Aquije, Glens Falls school board affirms move to later start in 2012 (May 10, 2011) PostStar.com; Aquije, Glens Falls High School considers later start time for teens (Dec. 5, 2010) PostStar.com.)

The Bedford Central School District Board of Education decided against delaying start times until 9 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. for Fox Lane middle and high school students because the additional buses needed to make the change would cost about $1 million dollars or more. Presently, high school classes begin at 7:45 a.m. and middle school classes begin at 8:05 a.m. If other districts in the area were to make the change, it would be affordable for Bedford. One school board member stated, “it is ‘disappointing that this is where we get stuck in the conversation,’ noting that the start times issue deals with children’s well-being.” (Auchterlonie, Bedford BOE Decides Against Flipping School Start Times (Sept. 23, 2011) Chappaqua-Mount Kisco Patch; Fox Lane High School, Bell Schedule.)

NEW ZEALAND — In 2006, Wellington High School pushed back the start time for year 12 and year 13 students (U.S. juniors and seniors) by 90 minutes to 10:30 a.m. (O’Keefe, Later school start times for NZ teenagers (Jul. 5, 2013) Sciblogs.) The start time delay was the subject of a study published in 2013 which compared student sleep data from 1999 with data from 2008. “Students with the later start time were less likely to report sleep loss on school nights and were less sleepy than their counterparts nine years earlier, despite lower perceived sleep need and an increase in the number of technologies in their bedrooms. The data suggest that high levels of technology use may be a particular problem for the younger Year 9 students who do not have the benefit of the delayed school start time.” (Borlase, Gander, & Gibson, Effects of school start times and technology use on teenagers’ sleep: 1999–2008 (Jan. 2013) 11 Sleep and Biological Rhythms 1, p. 52.)

NORTH CAROLINA — In August 2014, the Durham Public Schools School Board discussed a district report analyzing the impact of a 30 minute delay in the schedules of all students; i.e., moving most middle and high schools to 8 a.m. and elementary schools to 9:30 a.m. The report cited a number of barriers to making the change, including after-school programs, concern about elementary school children arriving home later, impact on parents’ work schedules, and transportation, including the lengthening of bus route times due to traveling in heavier late-afternoon traffic. “The board agreed that public opinion about the proposed change is probably more important than research showing that later start times allow students to get more sleep, which in turn, leads to better academic performance.“ According to school board Chairwoman Heidi Carter, “[W]hat we have to do is to convince ourselves and also convince all of the stakeholders, which includes teachers, principals and school board members, administrators and parents and students and businesses and child-care providers and coaches and basically all of these stakeholder groups[.] We have to raise awareness about this issue. [¶] We’re not recommending any change in start times for the 2015-16 school year and probably not even after that[.] It would take a substantial amount of time to do the outreach.” Classes at Middle College High School appear to begin at 9 a.m. (Childress, No late start times for the 2015-16 school year (Aug. 17, 2014) The Herald Sun.)

Columbus County Schools will delay high school start times by one hour to 9 a.m. in order to implement the STEM System (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). District K-8 schools and middle schools begin at 8:10 a.m., elementary schools at 8:05 a.m. (Staff, High school to start an hour later in Columbus County (Aug. 13, 2012) WECT.) 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 dcecreased 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.)

To save money on transportation, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools School Board approved a new bell schedule delaying the start time of Community House Middle school by 75 minutes to 9:15 a.m. High school start times remain at 7:15 a.m.; some district middle schools begin at 8 a.m. (SW Editor, New bell schedules begin as school year opens (Aug. 25, 2011) South Charlotte Weekly.)

OHIO — On November 19, 2012, the Rootstown School District Start Time Committee recommended a one hour delay in the present 7:30 a.m. middle and high school start time in order to address sleep deprivation among adolescents. The Committee also recommended a one hour advance in the present 8:30 a.m. elementary school start time. Psychotherapist Stacy Simera had previously presented her research to area school administrators (Simera’s slideshow here), proposing precisely the schedule recommended by the Committee. On February 11, 2013, the school board voted unanimously to end any discussion of later start times until: (a) the county or state issues recommendations for delayed school scheduling; or, (b) a simple majority of households support such the change. The board retained its authority to adjust start times to minimize transportation costs. Ms. Simera has launched an online petition seeking formation of later start time committees in Portage County and Northeast Ohio schools. Ohio has two StartSchoolLater Chapters: Statewide and Northeast. (Sever, Rootstown School Board Says ‘No’ To Change Of Class Start Times (Feb. 14, 2013) Record-Courier; Gallick, Committee Recommends Later School Start Times in Rootstown (Nov. 20, 2012) Record-Courier [subscription required]; Smith, Rootstown mom makes case for changing school start times (Jul. 22, 2012) recordpub.com.) In response to the elimination of high school busing, the Winton Woods City School District will delay the 2012-2013 start time for Winton Woods High School from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. A zero period, beginning at 7:10 a.m., will be added to the schedule. Students at the Academy of Global Studies will be required to attend zero period classes, advancing their start time from 7:30 a.m. The Winton Woods Middle School start time will remain at 7:30 a.m. (Cleary, Winton Woods High School to Have New Start Time for 2012-2013 (May 15, 2012) Fox19 West Side.)

Robert Lee, Ph.D., superintendent of Kenston Local School District, has announced that beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, middle and high school start times will be delayed 30 minutes to 7:50 a.m. Lee cited improving student achievement and well-being as the basis for the change. “The district’s other three lower-level schools would start 10 minutes later than they do now, between 8:45–8:55 a.m.” (Bonchak, Kenston to push back school day next year (Apr. 30, 2012) News-Herald; Attina, Kenston to push back school starting times (Apr. 20, 2012) Cleveland.com.)

The Licking Heights Local School District is considering two possible plans to change school schedules in conjunction with the district’s planned building reconfiguration. One plan would delay middle and high school start times by 45 minutes, from 7:18 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., respectively. The other plan contemplates a 30 minute delay from the present schedule. (Klimack, New time schedule possible for Licking Heights schools (Mar. 8, 2012) Newark Advocate.)

After completing an English paper concerning adolescent sleep patterns, in February 2012, Bowling Green High School senior Josh Flick presented his findings to the school board, urging a delay in the school’s 7:50 a.m. start time. Board President and former school principal Eric Myers agreed that late starts would benefit teenagers. Myers noted two obstacles: starting later would interfere with current athletic practice schedules; elementary parents would object because their children would be starting school earlier and getting out earlier, causing day care complications. A district representative advises that the middle school also begins at 7:50 a.m. (Waddle, Senior student addresses school board about sleep schedules (Apr. 30, 2012) Journalism 4200 Public Affairs; Collier, Waking up is hard to do (Feb. 29, 2012) FoxToledo.com; Dupont, Teens losing sleep over school (Feb. 27, 2012) Sentinel-Tribune.)

On January 17, 2012, Beavercreek City Schools delayed the start time of Ferguson Middle School from 8:20 a.m. to 8:45 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 [the high school start time has been advanced].) The superintendent of Perry Local Schools announced that start times at Edison Junior High School would be delayed to 8:40 a.m. from an unstated “extremely early” start time “because research is showing that, educationally … it’s better for them to start later.” The bell schedule reflects a 7:30 a.m. high school start time. (Pustay, What’s new: Final touches being put on Perry High (Aug. 20, 2011) IndeOnline.com.)

Morning classes at Westlake High School will begin at 7:55 a.m. for 2011-2012, 30 minutes later than the previous year. The change was made possible by budget cuts which eliminated busing. The Community Advisory Committee had previously found “advantages” to later star times, but busing conflicts precluded the change. (Spirgen, Westlake High School to Start Half Hour Later This Year (Aug. 1, 2011) Westlake Patch.)

To promote sleep sufficiency and better serve the learning needs of students, Perrysburg Schools will delay middle and high school classes by 20 minutes, to 7:45 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively. (Ottney, Perrysburg, Maumee schools to adjust start times (Jul. 29, 2011) Toledo Free Press.) In April 2009, Hudson City Schools Superintendent Steven L. Farnsworth proposed later start times for Hudson’s middle and high school students “to support and promote student academic achievement and wellness.” The district’s Start and Stop Time Committee webpage shows that in 2010/2011, middle and high schools were to be delayed by 30 minutes, from 7:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., to 7:50 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively. District elementary schools previously started between 8:30 a.m. and 9:10 a.m., now all begin at 9:10 a.m. The superintendent had proposed starting all grade levels between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

OKLAHOMA — On December 11, 2012, the Stillwater Public Schools Board of Education approved a new schedule for 2013-2014 which will delay junior and high school classes by one hour to 9 a.m. The middle school will delay morning classes by 35 minutes to 8:30 a.m. The elementary schools will begin 55 minutes earlier, at 8 a.m. District officials reported the change was made to improve academic performance and to potentially improve attendance and reduce tardiness. (Rountree, Class starting times adjusted for next school year in Stillwater (Dec. 11, 2012) News Press.)

OREGON — To permit students to obtain assistance from teachers before class, La Grande School District High School will delay Tuesday through Friday morning classes by 10 minutes to 8:20 a.m. beginning in the fall of 2013. On Mondays, classes begin at 9:10 a.m. Classes at the district middle school begin at 9:39 a.m. on Mondays, and at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. The elementary schools begin at 9:10 a.m. on Mondays, 8:10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. (Mason, Changes set for next school year (Apr. 29, 2013) The Observer.)

In order to add additional instructional time to the school day, beginning in the fall of 2012, Tillamook School District #9 will delay high school start times from 8:15 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. An optional 7:45 a.m. zero period will be added to the schedule. The junior high school start time will be advanced by 15 minutes to 8:30 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.; 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]; Primary Schoolchildren That Sleep Less Than 9 Hours Do Not Perform as Well Academically, Study Suggests (Sept. 13, 2011) Science Daily.)

Following a one-year study by the Guiding Team for Instructional Time, the Corvallis School District will push back high school start times to 8:15 a.m. four days a week and 9:15 a.m. one day, in order to improve academic achievement and to allow students more sleep time. (Hampton, New school start time pushes sports practices late into evening (Jul. 25, 2011) Corvallis Gazette-Times.) The Lake Oswego School District will be closing two schools. Associated changes include starting high schools later and elementary schools earlier. “The later start time could be better for high school students who naturally need more early morning sleep.” Lake Oswego high schools presently begin morning classes at 7:35 a.m. (Randall, Next phase of school-closure plan begins (Oct. 19, 2011) Portland Tribune.)

PENNSYLVANIA — On April 29, 2013, Blue Ridge School District Superintendent Robert McTiernan announced that beginning in the fall of 2013, middle and high school start times will be delayed by 30 minutes to 8:15 a.m. McTiernan stated the change was intended to address adolescent sleep and improve academic performance. In addition, the new schedule would eliminate 6 a.m. bus pick-ups and increase the district’s transportation reimbursement since there will be fewer “unloaded” miles. The elementary school will retain its 8:45 a.m. start time. (Wilson, Single bell change sounds few alarms (May 1, 2013) independentweekender.com.)

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. 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., high school students would see their start time advance by 20 minutes to 7:20 a.m. (Cook, North Hills Superintendent Proposes Changes in School Start & Dismissal Times (Dec. 4, 2012) North Hills Patch.)

An ad-hoc committee of the Derry Township School District School Board has decided that the Hershey High 7:38 a.m. start time will not change to “accommodate adolescent sleep cycles.” The committee concluded the change would be too disruptive, cost more money and take too much time away from school for student-athletes and teacher-coaches. Dr. Michael Bruno, a Professor of Radiology and Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the parent of a Hershey High student, was among those encouraging district officials to consider a start time change. (Shade, Derry Township School Board panel favors retaining Hershey High School’s start time (Sept. 25, 2011) pennlive.com.)

RHODE ISLAND — The Cumberland School Department School Committee has tasked a Special Programs subcommittee with assessing the district’s prospects for implementing a later start time for its secondary school students. For 2012-2013, the high school begins morning classes at 7:15 a.m., the middle schools begin at 8:05 a.m., and the elementary schools begin at 8:40 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. (Later school start times for sleepy teens? (Feb. 13, 2013) The Valley Breeze.)

Barrington High School formed a committee to determine the feasibility of delaying morning classes from the present start time of 7:40 a.m. to at least 8 a.m., possibly 8:20 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., in order to benefit “student achievement.” Principal Joseph Hurley stated the data supporting the change is “indisputable,” but cautioned that implementing a new schedule would affect every student in the district. Transportation is perceived as the biggest hurdle. At a public forum held on January 26, 2012, the School Committee Chairman noted the committee had not made any decisions about changing start times. Seven possible start time plans are being considered. Featured speakers Richard Millman, Professor of Medicine at Brown University, and Lisa Bogan, a Connecticut League of Women Voters start time specialist, each gave presentations at the meeting. Professor Millman stated there are three age groups with varied sleep requirements and those from puberty until the mid 20’s require 9 to 10 hours of sleep to be fully rested. “High school kids get about 7 hours on average. When sleep deprived, performance goes down, moods are affected with more depression and substance abuse and driving can become dangerous.” Lack of sleep also leads to a weakened immune system. Professor Millman advised that the only way to improve on these symptoms is for students to get more sleep. The professor cautioned, “Changing start times is not a license to have kids go to bed later.” (Studies show kids generally heed this admonition.) Millman proposed a one hour start time delay. Ms. Bogan told the gathering, “You have to keep your eye on the prize. Remember the greater good when considering making changes to start times. This is about high school kids, not about you.” (Survey results here and here.) Consistent with literature noting teacher disapproval of later start times (Bronson & Merryman, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, supra, p. 37; Eight Major Obstacles to Changing School Start Times, supra, Nat. Sleep Found.), a survey of teachers reflects overwhelming disapproval of a start time change. Parents split with 40% in favor, 44% against, and 16% with no opinion. Elizabeth Henderson has authored a (science-free) petition opposing the change. A school representative advises that Barrington Middle School begins morning classes at 7:50 a.m. (Morse, School start time decision delayed (May 10, 2012) EastBayRI.com; Rupp, School Start Time Survey Results (May 8, 2012) Barrington Patch; Warren, School Start Times Discussed, Debated In Barrington (Jan. 28, 2012) EastBayRI.com; Duffy, Sleep On It — Bhs Students Respond To A Possible Change In The School Start Time (Jan. 25, 2012) Barrington Time; Editorial, Academics Should Drive School Start Time Debate (Jan. 24, 2012) Barrington Times; The Barrington Public Schools Health and Wellness Committee, Changing School Start Times: A Good Idea for Barrington?; Rupp, Moving School Start Time Ramps Up (Dec. 1, 2011) Barrington Patch; Rupp, Moving School Start Time Gets Push (Oct. 21, 2011) Barrington Patch.)

In 2009, sleep medicine specialist Dr. Judith Owens persuaded the headmaster of St. George’s School to push back start times from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Researchers characterized the outcomes as “striking and broad in scope,” but still “far short” of “ideal[.]” As in the Minnesota longitudinal studies, fewer depressive symptoms were reported among students following the change, a “particularly noteworthy” finding given the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation in adolescents. In addition, students reported feeling more motivated to participate in a variety of activities and were less likely to seek medical attention for fatigue-related concerns. Students got to bed 15 minutes earlier following the change to later start times, increasing their nightly sleep total by an average of 45 minutes. The percentage of students getting less than 7 hours of sleep decreased by 79.4%, and those reporting at least 8 hours of sleep increased from 16.4% to 54.7%. Students reported significantly more satisfaction with sleep. Alertness increased, daytime sleepiness and fatigue were reduced. Food services data showed a substantial increase in consumption of hot foods (i.e., eggs and breakfast meats) at breakfast (35 vs. 83 servings a month). Teacher-reported first class absences/tardies decreased by 45 percent. Grades rose slightly, but the differences were not statistically significant. Participation in after-school activities remained high. Despite “considerable resistance” from faculty and athletic coaches before the change, students and faculty voted “overwhelmingly” to retain the 8:30 a.m. start time. One faculty member wrote, “I have found the 8:30 start to be the single most positive impact to my general quality of life at [the school] since I started 12 years ago.” According to Dr. Owens, “At the end of the experimental period, there was not a single faculty member, student or administrator who wanted to go back to the old start time.” Patricia Moss, M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Head of School and Head of the Latin Department, stated, “The results were stunning. There’s no other word to use. We didn’t think we’d get that much bang for the buck.” (Owens, Belon, & Moss, Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior (Jul. 2010) Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Med. 164 Med. 7, 608-614; see also, Comer, Owens ’80 advocates later start for more sleep (Sept. 27, 2010) The Brown Daily Herald; Taboh, American Teenagers Dangerously Sleep Deprived: Tired teens physically, mentally, emotionally compromised (Sept. 9, 2010) VOA News; Freyer, Study at R.I. boarding school finds more sleep for teens equals better performance (Jul. 7, 2010) Providence J.; Gardner, Later Start Times May Foster Better Students (Jul. 6, 2010) Bloomberg Business Week; Tanner, Study Shows Teens Benefit from Later School Day (Jul. 5, 2010) Assoc. Press.)

SCOTLAND — In June 2013, Councillor Nina Baker lodged a motion for the Glasgow City Council to investigate the “practicalities and benefits” of pushing back the start of the Glasgow school day to 10 a.m., a one hour delay. In her motion Dr. Baker stated, “A waking up time of 7am for a teenager is the equivalent of a 5am wake up call for an older adult.” The later start time would only affect S4 (10th grade) and up. Neil Shaw, head teacher of Boclair Academy in East Dunbartonshire, said he has worked in a number of schools with varying start dates, including one at 8:35 a.m., and did not see a difference in pupil performance. Educational Institute of Scotland Secretary Hugh Donnelly stated, “We would be interested in any research which might suggest a late start improves learning. [¶] The majority of teachers would suggest that the opposite is true. It is very unlikely that such an initiative would find favour with parents and teachers. [¶] Any such move would involve consultation with parents and teachers over a period time. [¶] We are baffled, yet curious and certainly unconvinced.” The UCL Academy in London, sponsored by the University College London, was the first in Britain to change its start time to 10 a.m. Pupil and teacher surveys “have so far been positive[.]” In 2009, Monkseaton High School in North Tyneside also reported positive changes following a one hour delay to 10 a.m. Councillor Baker’s motion was defeated. (McKay, Call to let school pupils stay in bed an extra hour (Jun. 26, 2013) The Herald Scotland; McKay, Councillor in ‘wake-up call’ on school start times (Jun. 26, 2013) Evening Times; Gault, 9am is too early for school day start – councilor (Jun. 25, 2013) The Scotsman; McCall, Glasgow pupils could start at 10am under plans to scrap early bell (Jun. 24, 2013) stv news; see also, Bradford, Half of teenagers sleep deprived, say experts (Aug. 25, 2013) BBC News.)

SOUTH CAROLINA — In the fall of 2014, Beaufort County School District delayed the start time at Hilton Head Island High School by 50 minutes to 8:35 a.m. The change was made based upon the “mounting body of research — and the number of sleepy students[.]” Teachers report decreased tardiness and sleeping in class. Students report feeling “much more alert and are (gasp) even finding time to eat breakfast before heading to class.” Other district high schools begin at 7:40 a.m. or 7:45 a.m. Middle schools commence during the 7 o’clock hour, with classes at Whale Middle School beginning at 7:15 a.m. Elementary schools begin at 8:30 a.m. (Staff, Let teen students sleep; they’ll do better in class (Aug. 31, 2014) Island Packet.)

In September 2013, Georgetown County School District School Board Chairman Jim Dumm asked the district to look into later start times for high school students. Dumm, who also serves as executive director of Tara Hall Home for Boys, stated information continues to demonstrate that teens have trouble getting to sleep early and getting up early to meet school schedules and still get the sleep they need. Superintendent Randy Dozier said the district could put together a study committee, but recalled that a superintendent in Greenville once proposed a similar change. “He’s no longer with them[.]” The 2013-2014 bell schedule reflects start times ranging from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. for the district’s four high schools. Middle schools begin between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.; elementary schools begin at 7:40 a.m. or 7:45 a.m. In November 2013, the study committee tabled consideration of later start times due to lack of interest. According to Dumm, less than half of the people selected for the committee showed up to meetings. (Norris, Committee drops plan to delayed school start time in Georgetown County (Nov. 18, 2013) WBTW News 13; Harper, Plan to delay school start times dead – at least for now (Nov. 15, 2013) Georgetown Times; Swenson, Panel wants more data on impact of later starts (2013) Coastal Observer; Somers, Chairman ask district to look at starting high school classes later in day (Sept. 20, 2013) WFMB News; Swenson, School chairman asks district to look at later start for high schools (2013) Coastal Observer.)

SOUTH KOREA — In August 2014, in an effort to promote sufficient sleep among students, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education proposed that schools in their districts delay the start of classes until 9 a.m. Typical Korean high schools generally start classes at 7:30 a.m. and finish late, up to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. for semi-mandatory supplementary study sessions. Most middle schools begin at 8 a.m., and elementary schools at 8:30 a.m., with variations by region. After the Provincial Office issued statements demanding that elementary, middle and high schools in Gyeonggi start the day at 9 a.m., the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association accused the education office of exceeding its authority, citing that the law entitled school principals to decide start times. The teachers’ organization vowed to seek legal and administrative recourse to oppose it. The Gyeonggi education office has since taken a step back, indicating that the statement was more of a “recommendation rather than an enforcement.” Talks among the parties will continue. (Eun-Jee, Talk of later start time in schools draws backlash (Aug. 20, 2014) Korea JoongAng Daily.)

TENNESSEE — When the interim superintendent of Shelby County Schools, Dorsey Hopson, proposed a $1.18 billion district budget to the Shelby County Commission, Shelby Commissioner Steve Mulroy urged reconsideration of the district’s 7 a.m. high school start time. Mulroy stated, “Unfortunately this system has it exactly backwards[.]” Mulroy advised this is a problem and lack of sleep causes older students to struggle in the classroom. “Studies show the academic performance is significantly enhanced by allowing teenagers an extra few hours of sleep. They should be the ones starting later in the morning not at the crack of dawn[.]” The school district says it uses staggered busing so that younger children aren’t waiting in the dark in the mornings, and so older children can be at home with their younger siblings in the afternoon. It also frees up teen’s afternoons for jobs and extracurricular activities. Mulroy notes, “For years we’ve been saying we’re going to remake the unified system, start from scratch and make a world-class system, and our sole focus is going to be on educational outcomes, the students, what will help them learn the best[.]” Mulroy says if they’re serious about that the district should flip the start times, but he doesn’t expect they will change it. The 2013-2014 bell schedule shows that Shelby County high schools begin at 7 a.m., middle schools at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., and elementary schools at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. (Hammond, Some Argue School Start Times Could Hurt Academic Success (May 27, 2013) WREG Memphis; Dries, Funding Conundrum (May 24, 2013) The Daily News.)

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, however, the board voted again to advance the elementary and high school start times. (Higgins, Cleveland School start, stop times change slightly (Jun. 6, 2012) Chattanooga Times Free Press; 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.)

The superintendent of Kingsport City Schools made a presentation to the Board of Education detailing the benefits to students of delaying middle and high school start times. The current schedule has middle school students beginning classes at 7:45 a.m. and high school students at 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. In September, the tentative plan proposed delaying morning classes until sometime between 8:25 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. for the 2012-2013 school year. In October, the tentative plan was to begin middle school students at 8:30 a.m. and high school students at 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. (Wagner, Later start for Dobyns-Bennett students drawing support (Oct. 14, 2011) timesnews.net; Wagner, Kingsport BOE mulls later start time for middle schools, D-B (Sept. 16, 2011) timesnews.net; see also, Wagner, Kingsport BOE opposes state-mandated starting date (Nov. 3, 2011) timesnews.net [district may survey parents re flipping elementary school start time with middle/high school start times; many in attendance opposed the idea].)

The Howard School of Academics and Technology will retain its 9 a.m. start time after seeing improvements in attendance, graduation rates, and academic performance. The school’s principal reported, “Well, the nine o’clock start afforded us the opportunity to have students actually awake during first block. Attendance has gone up … just slightly, but grades and student achievement have been greatly affected, as well.” The Hamilton County bell schedule shows other district middle and high schools beginning as early as 7:15 a.m. (Mitchell, Howard to Keep 9 am Start Time & Stay With Goal of a Quality Education (Sept. 13, 2011) WDEF.com.)

TEXAS — In November 2013, citing a a national trend for later high school start times, Garland Independent School District School Board President Larry Glick asked to place the issue of delaying the district’s 7:30 a.m. high school start time on the school board’s meeting agenda. Glick pointed to the 2011 Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD start time changes, noting “all reports there have been positive.” Garland ISD middle schools begin at 8:50 a.m., elementary schools start as early as 7:50 a.m. (Leszcynski, Garland ISD ponders later high school start times (Nov. 27, 2013) dallasnews.) Parent Debbie Moore’s October 2012 online petition to delay the start of morning high school classes in the Arlington Independent School District has prompted school officials to include start times in a review of the district’s three-year strategic plan, “Achieve Today. Excel Tomorrow.” District high schools begin classes at 7:35 a.m., middle schools at 8:55 a.m. School officials report no change will be implemented before 2014. Ms. Moore has been invited to participate in the district’s instructional model committee. Ms. Moore has also formed an Arlington Chapter of the national Start School Later campaign. Austin has its own Chapter. (Walker, Two Arlington moms still pushing for later high school start time (Apr. 8, 2013) Arlington Citizen-J.; Walker, Arlington school district says it will include start times in planned review (Oct. 29, 2012) Arlington Citizen-J.; Walker, Arlington moms pushing for later high school start (Oct. 21, 2012) Star-Telegram; see also, Doost, Arlington Students Risking Their Lives On Walk To School (Feb. 20, 2013) CBS.)

In early November 2011, the superintendent of College Station Independent School District (CSISD) announced a tentative plan to delay middle school start times to 8:45 a.m. in order to eliminate certain bus routes and reduce future bus purchases, saving approximately $200,000 annually and an estimated $1.1 million over the next 3 years. CSISD middle schools currently begin between 8:20 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. 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 advanced high school start times to 7:25 a.m.]; Superintendent’s Monday Message (Nov. 7, 2011) CSISD.)

To address budget cuts, the Ector County Independent School District will consolidate bus routes, delaying high school start times from 8:39 a.m. to 8:54 a.m. (New School Things (Aug. 21, 2011) OA online.) The Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District will push back high school start times from 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. to improve academic performance and benefit students. Elementary school students will begin at 7:40 a.m., middle school students at 9 a.m. Officials state that the start-time changes cost the district nothing. (Zeeble, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Shifts School Start Times (Aug. 18, 2011) KERA News; Roth, New Start Times for C-FB schools (Jun. 8, 2011) Star Local News.)

UTAH — Launched in 2012, Innovations High School, an Early College High School in the Salt City School District, allows flexible scheduling for students. Principal Kenneth Grover reports that most students arrive at about 8:45 a.m. “We almost see a direct correlation with the research[.]” With respect to earlier starting schools, Grover opines, “We as adults stand in the way of students succeeding[.] It’s clear we’re going against proven research. We know, but act opposite of our knowledge.” Other district high schools begin at 7:45 a.m., middle schools at 8:10 a.m. or 8:25 a.m. (Moulton, Z’s to A’s: Do Utah students suffer from lack of sleep? (Aug. 11, 2013) Salt Lake Tribune.)

VERMONT — Scientific research persuaded the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union to push back start times at Brattleboro Union High School by one hour, to 8:45 a.m. (Cone, New school start time is OK’d for BUHS (Jun. 11, 2011) Brattleboro Reformer; WSESU 2011-2012 Start Time Memo.)

VIETNAM — Tuoi Tre News, based in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), reports that parents of elementary school children oppose the 6:45 a.m. or 7 a.m. local school start times, citing sleep deprivation and its impact on learning as their primary concern. Students awaken as early as 5:30 a.m. to ensure they will not be left outside the school gates. Sixth-graders may return home from school by 5:30 p.m., then engage in homework until 10 or 11 p.m. A “doctor” advised the newpaper that school hours in Vietnam are set in an “unscientific” manner and cause a lot of stress for students. Luong Le Hoang, from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Center for the Treatment of High-Pressure Oxygen, said that lack of sleep can harm one’s intelligence, hinder height development, and prevent effective learning in school. (Vietnamese parents oppose early school hours (Oct. 9, 2013) Tuoi Tre News.)

VIRGINIA — To give adolescent students an opportunity to obtain sufficient sleep, for 2014-2015, Charlotsville City Schools will delay middle school start times by 50 minutes to 8:30 a.m. High school students will begin 5 minutes later, at 9:05 a.m. Elementary school schedules will be advanced by 30 minutes to 8 a.m. District officials report that the new schedule is also practical because all elementary students live in neighborhoods adjoining their elementary schools, while the older students live farther away from the schools they attend. (Owens, Charlottesville students facing new schedule (Aug. 11, 2014) The Daily Progress.)

York County School Division board member Cindy Kirschke raised the issue of exploring a later high school start time at a February 25, 2013 board meeting. Kirschke met recently with a group of parents, pediatricians and teachers to discuss how the 7:20 a.m. high school start time affects students. Kirschke stated that studies have shown teenagers need more than 9 hours of sleep but that many only get 7. Kirschke reports that York County’s high school start time means students are getting up at 5:30 a.m. to catch buses at 6:30 a.m. Kirschke would like to hear from parents concerning whether the high schools should delay morning classes. On June 3, 2013, the school board looked at six proposed schedules to delay the high school start time without any additional cost to the district. At a September 23, 2013 school board meeting, Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters Pediatrician David Holzsager reported that he’s been reading about later school day start times for about two decades, and he is in favor of the change. In addition, “I’ve listened to a lot of teenagers who come in my office and they complain about fatigue[.] I know that a lot of their problem is because they’re having to get up very early in the morning.” On December 9, 2013, the school board considered two proposed schedules, the first of which would delay the high school start time to 8:30 a.m., delay the middle school start time to about 9 a.m., and advance the elementary school start time to 7:50 a.m. The second proposal would delay the high school and middle school start times to 7:50 a.m. and 9:25 a.m., respectively, and schedule the elementary schools to start at 8:30 a.m. or 8:45 a.m. Surveys of parents and staff will be conducted at a later date. The district’s school hours page reflects 8 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. middle school start times; 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. elementary school start times. (Neeham, York County to Bring Later School Start Times Issue to Public (Dec. 10, 2013) Williamsburg Yorktown Daily; Needham, Citizens Speak in Favor of Later School Start Times; YCSD Board Unsure (Sept. 24, 2013) Williamsburg Yorktown Daily; Editors, A later start to school days could improve our teens ability to learn (Sept. 21, 2013) Daily Press; Kerr & Williams, York School Board weighs later start time for high school (Jun. 6, 2013) Daily Press; Kennedy, York SB Member Wants to Explore Later H.S. Start Time (Mar. 11, 2013) WYDaily; Kerr & Williams, Do York high schools start too early? (Feb. 28, 2013) Daily Press.)

Fairfax County Public Schools has considered delaying its 7:20 a.m. high school start time on 8 occasions over more than a decade. County buses pick up students as early as 5:45 a.m. In August of 2011, the district launched an online survey in which votes favoring a start time delay garnered more responses than any other subject with 2,600 votes. A school representative, however, stated the survey was not secure, meaning nothing prevented individuals from voting more than once. In response to the online survey, one school board member stated, “Nothing is going to happen right now, but it’s not an issue that’s going to go away.” A 2009 county health youth survey showed 90 percent of Fairfax County secondary school students were not getting enough sleep. For a decade or more, Phyllis Payne, M.P.H., and Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal (SLEEP), have pressed the district for later school scheduling. SLEEP‘s petition for later start times has garnered over 9,000 signatures. With half of the school board’s 12 incumbents not seeking re-election, SLEEP surveyed board candidates as to their plans to address “healthier” start times. The election saw six new members seated on the board, prompting an April 12, 2012 vote on a measure to declare later high school start times (after 8 a.m.) as a goal. The measure passed on a 10-2 vote. A 2011 district survey of students in grades 8, 10 and 12 found two-thirds slept 7 hours or less each school night. Among seniors, 84 percent routinely slept less than 7 hours each night. That prompted the school district to partner with the Children’s National Medical Center’s Division of Sleep Medicine to develop a plan for later school scheduling. In nearby Arlington, the high schools begin at 8:19 a.m., and in Loudoun high schools begin at 8:55 a.m. or later. With 194 schools and 130,000 students to manage, Fairfax is looking to retain an outside consultant to assist in addressing transportation issues. In the fall of 2013, the district implemented a plan allowing seniors to start school late. To participate, students must be on track to graduate and get permission from their principal and parents. A physician must also endorse the change. The seniors can drop as many as two first-period classes so long as they do not need the credits to graduate. And they need to find their own way to school without relying on buses. About 650 students (5% of the class of 2014), began the program, with numbers steadily growing. According to the district bell schedule, middle school start times range from 7:25 a.m. to 8:05 a.m., and elementary school start times range from 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. The West Springfield High School website notes that the school 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. The district memorializes its progress on the start time issue here. The plan is to implement new start times in 2015. (Shapiro, Garza recommends later start time for Fairfax high schools (Jul. 15, 2014) Wash. Post; Shapiro, In Fairfax County, extra sleep is a privilege for some students (Sept. 29, 2013) Wash. Post; Elliot, Education chief: Maybe start school later in day (Sept. 23, 2013) State J. Register; Clarkson, Resetting the Clock: High School Start Times (Apr. 1, 2013) Wash. Parent; Larson, Spartan Spree Kicks Off School Year at West Springfield (Aug. 21, 2012) Burke Patch; Hendry, Consultant Next Step in Start Time Discussion (Jun. 12, 2012) Huntington-Belle Haven Patch; Strauss, Fairfax asleep on high school start time (Jun. 13, 2012) Wash. Post; Williams & Hendry, Board To Take Up Later Start Times Monday (Jun. 8, 2012) Vienna Patch; Edit. Board, Fairfax revisits high school start times (Apr. 18, 2012) Wash. Post; St. George, Fairfax School Board wants to change school start time (Apr. 12, 2012) Wash. Post; Brown, Fairfax takes small step in debate over high-school start times (Jun. 12, 2012) Wash. Post; Hendry, Board to Revisit Later School Start Times (Apr. 4, 2012) Fairfax Station Patch; Group Pushes Later School Start Time (Apr. 2, 2012) One News Page; Fairfax County School Board Considers Later Start Times (Apr. 2, 2012) NBC Wash.; Brown, Fairfax reopens debate over high school start times (Apr. 1, 2012) Wash. Post; Klimko, FCPS Says Schools Survey Lacks Credibility Because of Security Issue (Sept. 30, 2011) Fairfax City Patch; Klimko, SLEEP Pressures Candidates on School Starting Times (Sept. 19, 2011) Cenreville Patch; Klimko, Student Sleep Issue Keeps Resurfacing, Survey Shows (Aug. 12, 2011) Centreville Patch; Chandler, Board Rejects Change of High School Bell Times (Mar. 20, 2009) Wash. Post; see also, Lavaas, Commentary: Teens Deserve Sleep Before School (Jun. 19, 2013) The Connection.)

WASHINGTON — Following issuance of the American Academy of Pediatrics adolescent school start time Policy Statement in August 2014, the press began inquiring whether leaders of early starting schools contemplated any scheduling changes. In the Vashon Island School District, where middle and high school classes begin at 8 a.m., later than in previous years, Superintendent Michael Soltman stated that the district looked into implementing a common start time, but the expense of adding the required buses was prohibitive at $250,000 to $300,000. Parents of elementary school students expressed concern that flipping school schedules would have young children waiting for buses in the dark. District nurse Sarah Day offered “strong support for later start times,” from her perspective as a mother and as a school district health professional, where she said she sees many district students who are fatigued and struggling with considerable stress. “I am very concerned about the mental health of kids in our district. Stress and fatigue add to that,” she said. “I support the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics, absolutely.” Math teacher and coach Andy Sears noted that gym and field space for the island’s athletes is limited, and if the high school were to push back its practice times, that would also affect community sports activities, potentially making them end too late for younger kids. He also noted the large number of off-island students who attend the high school, and he wonders if later high school practices would mean those students would get home too late in the evening. “We have to make it so that students can learn some things out of the classroom as well,” he said. Superintendent Soltman and school board members Bob Hennessey and Laura Wishik also said they would be open to further discussion, and Hennessey noted he is willing to explore the subject with the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association, regarding how later start times might affect sports games. “We have long known this to be true,” Vashon High School Principal Danny Rock said about the benefits of later starts. “We do not structure school as a society based on what we know will help students learn. We have not structured school to meet their physiological needs. We have compromised our students’ physical needs for other needs and values.” Rock added he believes the 8 a.m. start time is a good compromise currently, but he is open to conversation about it. The tardy bell for elementary school students rings at 9:10 a.m. (Riemer, As school begins, many consider the science of teen sleep (Sept. 17, 2014) Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber.)

On July 2, 2014, the Seattle Public Schools School Board voted 6 to 1 to study the possibility of a later start time for high school students and an earlier start time for elementary school students. The 2014-2015 bell schedule shows 10 of the district’s 14 high schools beginning classes at 7:50 a.m., with 2 beginning at 8:30 a.m., and two beginning at 8:40 a.m. Middle schools begin morning classes at 7:50 a.m. K-8 schools begin at 8:40 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., except South Shore K-8 which begins at 7:50 a.m. Elementary schools start at 8:40 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. The school district may spend up to $500,000 looking at the possibility of a start time change. The board has been looking at changing start times for two years. If approved, the new schedule could be implemented for the 2016-2017 academic year. High school teacher Cynthia Jatul started pushing for a change when her daughter was in the sixth grade. Jatul supports the board’s ruling, but does not believe the research should be so costly. “What are we going to get for $500,000?” As a taxpayer I’d like to know what we are going to get for $500,000.” The district reports that its analysis will consider how new start times would affect athletic programs, daycare providers, and student employment opportunities. In 2012, the 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. (See, Bell schedule (2011-2012) Seattle Public Schools.) 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. Jatul’s petition drive against the proposal garnered over 2,600 signatures (now over 4,100). 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. At the request of StartSchoolLater-Seattle, the district surveyed parents to determine whether they would approve a 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. elementary school start time so that high school students may begin later. Notably, Start School Later proposes that no student at any grade level begin morning classes before 8 a.m. (See, e.g., Flyer, (2011) Start School Later.) Nathan Hale High School previously delayed its start time to 8:30 a.m. (now 8:40 a.m.) based on adolescent sleep research and feedback from parents who said it would be better for students. Dean of students, Mike Linett, described the change as a “rewarding experience” for both teachers and students at the school. Students are more awake and teachers no longer adjust curricula for the first few hours of school. “We have since increased attendance, increased achievement and created a better learning environment.” (King 5 News, Seattle Public Schools to invest big money in start times study (Jul. 2, 2014) King5.com; Staff, Sound Off for June 17th: Should school start an hour later? (Jun. 17, 2013) KXLY.com; 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) W. Seattle Blog; Seattle Public Schools start times back in play – board meets tonight (May 2, 2012) W. Seattle Blog; Amodei, Powering up your teen’s brain (Feb. 26, 2008) ParentMap.)

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. (Editorial, Don’t change start times (May 15, 2013) Herald Net; Salyer, ‘Early to rise’ may be holding back high school students (May 12, 2013) HeraldNet; 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; see also, Morgan, Add more periods for flexibility (May 21, 2013) Herald Net; cf. Milton, High school students would benefit from later start times (Apr. 10, 2013) News Tribune [proposing Tacoma Public Schools delay 7:35 a.m. high school start time].)

On June 11, 2012, the Olympia School District school board approved a new bell schedule delaying start times at Reeves and Washington middle schools, from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., respectively. The start time at Jefferson/Marshall middle school will remain at 8 a.m. Start times at the high schools will advance by 15 minutes to 7:45 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.)

The Northshore School District has rebuffed pleas from the Parent Advocates for a Later Start (PALS) to delay the 7:10 a.m. 2012-2013 high school start time with a series of excuses reasons concerning “variables, fiscal concerns, complexity of the system and number of stakeholders impacted[.]” The board “expressed a desire for later high school start time options to remain a consideration in future decisions, wherever relevant.”

On May 21, 2012, the Port Angeles School District school board approved a timeline to consider delaying start times from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The High School Start Times Task Force recommended the 45 minute shift, anticipating improvements in attendance and academic performance. The Task Force noted that Bainbridge High School and several Seattle high schools already use a delayed schedule. The board will take up the matter again on July 9, 2012, with a final decision expected by November 26, 2012. (Rice, Port Angeles accepts timeline for later school start (May 22, 2012) Peninsuladailynews.com [the statement to the effect that the board is considering “moving the morning bell … ahead one hour[,]” appears to be an error].)

Castle Rock High School is delaying the starting bell until 8:50 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday to provide time before school for students to get help with homework. (Garrison, Earlier start times set to kick in for Longview schools (Aug. 13, 2011) The Daily News.)

Relying upon “clear and overwhelming” evidence of “sleep-deprived” adolescents, Battle Ground Public Schools Superintendent Shonny Bria announced middle and high school students would begin school days 30 minutes later, at 8:15 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively. (Njus, Battle Ground Schools to shift start time so students can get more sleep (Jul. 14, 2011) OregonLive.com.)

Bellingham Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Baker prepared a webpage, video, and three page summary addressing considerations pertinent to determining 2011-2012 start times for all district schools. Baker noted the goals as follows: “Provide an earlier elementary school start time other than 9:30 a.m. and resolve transportation issues of buses picking up students late, and; Explore a later high school start time other than the current 7:45 a.m.” The district settled on a 2011-2012 bell schedule which retains the 7:45 a.m. high school start time, but allows for some “flexible scheduling with some students starting second period [8:45 a.m.] and ending seventh period or through online learning.” Middle school start times were delayed from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., and elementary school start times advanced from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

WISCONSIN — Parents speaking at a community forum in April 2013 at Shawano Community High School in the Shawano School District urged the district should start secondary school students later. In 2013, classes at the middle and high schools started at 7:30 a.m. Elementary school students started at 8:15 a.m. The parents proposed that the elementary schools should be in session first. One parent pointed out that studies show the earlier the start time for teenagers, the harder it is for them to focus in school. Attention, memory retention, decision making and creativity can be impacted, he said. Another parent, who supported the switch, was concerned students have to be out at the bus stop by 6 a.m. “I don’t think a 12-year-old should have to get up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for school[.]” Superintendent Todd Carlson explained the district does double bus runs to reduce the number of buses used to transport students. He estimated at least six more buses would be needed if the district went to single runs before and after school. Carlson explained the rational for the present schedule: “The thought behind it was to have older siblings at home when the younger ones get home instead of the younger ones arriving first and perhaps having latchkey child at home without supervision[.]” In 2014, a Community Health Action Team spearheaded by ThedaCare sent a letter to the board asking it to consider pushing back the schools’ start times to later than the current 7:45 a.m. In July 2014, the board announced plans to form a committee to review school start times for middle and high school students. (Arndt, District plans to review school start times (Jul. 15, 2014) Wisconsin-Buzz; Pulaski, School start times among parents’ concerns (Apr. 23, 2013) Shawano Leader.)

At a July 2013 Eau Claire Area School District school board meeting, board member Wendy Sue Johnson stated that if attending school later in the day would help students learn more effectively, the district should consider later start times. “From the research, it seems older kids in middle school and high school could benefit significantly from starting later in the day,” Johnson said. “It would be a big undertaking, but if we’re looking to prepare all kids and doing everything to meet all their needs, we should at least take a look at it.” Board member Chris Hambuch Boyle said she too would like the district to look into the issue, although she’s not convinced it would be worth it. “I think the conversation is well worth having … but I think as you look at the study, you got to look at the big picture. [¶] These are really conversations communities have to have because there are huge changes when you do that sort of thing and there are economic considerations as well.” Johnson said she’d like the Eau Claire school board to consider whether it’s worth it to swap start times for elementary and high school students. The bell schedules posted at the district website show middle and high schools starting at 7:40 a.m., elementary schools at 8:40 a.m. (Swedien, Eau Claire school board members say district should consider later start (Jul. 28, 2013) Leader-Telegram.)

For 2013-2014, The School District of Delavan-Darien is considering adding time to the school day and delaying middle and high school start times by 10 minutes to 7:30 a.m. The school board is considering extending the high school day by 15 minutes, the middle school day by 14 minutes, and the elementary school day by 30 minutes. Elementary school schedules would advance by 5 minutes to 8:15 a.m. According to Superintendent Robert Crist, “Extra instructional minutes means extra time for learning for our students. … We want all our students to achieve to their maximum potential and these added minutes will help us achieve that goal.” Crist believes the proposed new time schedule is better than what the district has currently, but it could be better. “Ideally, I’d like to see adolescent middle and high school students starting later in the mornings, with elementary students starting about when they do now. … Studies have shown that adolescent students perform best when their brains receive enough sleep and sufficient time to ‘wake up’ before the school day. Also, starting later would improve the safety of our students who must to leave for school or wait for the bus in the dark.” Crist reported that busing costs limited the district’s options. (Staff, Delavan-Darien students may have longer school days next year (May 22, 2013) Walworth County Today.)

On May 10, 2011, following “months of debate,” the School District of Greenfield school board voted not to change the district’s school start times, retaining the current 7:10 a.m. high school start time and 7:42 a.m. middle school start time. (District elementary schools begin at 8:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.) The plan calling for the high school to begin at 8:10 a.m., middle school at 8:25 a.m., and elementary schools at 7:30 a.m., received zero votes. The plan calling for the high school to begin at 7:45 a.m., middle school at 7:30 a.m., and the elementary schools at 8:45 a.m., received 2 votes. Reasons in opposition to changing start times include busing costs ($208,000), the concern that primary school children would wait for buses in the dark, and the impact on extra-curricular participation, after-school jobs, and families that rely on older students to watch younger sibling. In defending the high school’s 7:10 a.m. start time, School Board President Bruce Bailey asserted, “Students need to ‘join the real world,’… and get used to rising early to be successful, …” In October 2012, board member Cathy Walsh, a member of the committee which previously recommended a start time delay, requested that the subject be added to the board’s future agenda. Dolores Skowronek, MLIS, who serves on the Steering Board of the national advocacy group Start School Later, also served with Walsh on the start time committee and noted that the preliminary report card from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) gave the high school a grade of 59.6 in student achievement. As defined by DPI, the score correlates to “meets few expectations.” Skowronek attributed the low grade at least partially to the school’s early start time. School records show 9,671 documented instances of first-hour tardies at the high school for the 2011-2012 academic year. In March 2013, the school board voted 4-3 to delay 2013-2014 high school start times by 20 minutes to 7:30 a.m., and to advance the middle school start time by 12 minutes to 7:30 a.m. 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 after school 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. (No later start time for Onalaska middle & high school (Feb. 19, 2013) News8000.com; 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.)

On April 10, 2012, the Superior School District Board of Education voted to postpone a decision on whether to change the start and dismissal times of its eight schools. The new schedule would “streamline” bus routes, saving $170,000 in transportation costs. The proposal: delay Superior Middle School start time 15 minutes to 8:30 a.m.; delay Superior High School start time 25 minutes to 8:35 a.m. Four Corners elementary school would delay its schedule by 30 minutes to 9:15 a.m. All other elementary schools would advance start times by 30 minutes to 8:15 a.m. The proposed new start and dismissal times for Four Corners was a “major concern for parents and teachers[.]” Teachers and parents expressed concern over child safety, increased childcare costs, excessively lengthening the school day for elementary school children with some compelled to await 6:30 a.m. buses. On May 7, 2102, the board scrapped the plan to change bell times after learning of windfall healthcare savings. (Kram, Board scraps start time switch (May 9, 2012) Superior Telegram; Kram, Board delays decision on start times (Apr. 11, 2012) Superior Telegram.)

After receiving the results of a parent survey, Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Phillip Ertl’s proposal to advance middle and high school start times in order to address a traffic congestion problem was scrapped in favor of a plan to leave high school start times at 8 a.m. while delaying middle school start times by 5 minutes to 8:10 a.m. 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.)

A plan to add 16 minutes of instructional time to the 2012-2013 school day in the Sun Prarie Area School District would delay the start time of Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School from 7:55 a.m. to 7:58 a.m., and Sun Prairie High School from 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. (Wittrock, Concerns raised about school start time changes (Apr. 5, 2012) STARONLINE.com [start times for two middle schools would be advanced].)

The Racine Unified School District will delay 2012-2013 middle school start times by 10 minutes to 8:35 a.m. for Gilmore Middle School, Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School, McKinley Middle School, Mitchell Middle School and Starbuck Middle School. The district start/end time schedule indicates that Walden III Middle School will retain its 7:10 a.m. start time, and REAL Charter School will begin at 7:15 a.m. The change is expected to allow the district to better utilize the city bus for the middle schools. For high schools, the start/end time schedule shows the following: Walden III High, 7:10 a.m.; Case, Horlick, Park, and REAL Charter School, 7:15 a.m; Keith R. Mack Alternative Program, 8 a.m. Elementary school start times range from 7:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. (Lockwood, Several Area Schools Will Have A New Start And End Time This Fall (Jul. 1, 2012) Caledonia Patch; Some Racine Unified School Day Schedules Will Change Next Year (Mar. 22, 2012) Caledonia Patch.)

The Eau Claire Area School District Parent Advisory Council has proposed pushing back high school start times by an hour or two. Currently classes begin “around 7:30 a.m.” Superintendent Ron Heilmann noted that the idea is to allow high school students time to sleep in so they can be more alert during school. “The research is very clear about the adolescent brain, especially as they get into middle school and high school, that starting slightly later, there does seem to be pretty clear research evidence that there is a benefit.” The superintendent noted the decision will be made by the board of education. (District looking into starting high school two hours later (Feb. 16, 2012) WEAU.com; Wiebold, Proposal could change start times for Eau Claire schools (Feb. 16, 2012) WQOW.com.)

By 4 to 3 vote, the Witnall School District school board approved a measure to delay high school start times from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and middle school start times from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. for 2012-2013. The director of special education and human resources noted the current high school start time is “very early for teenagers to get up, be motivated and be listening.” Superintendent Lowell Holtz, apparently unaware the earliest start time proposed for this population by any expert is 8:30 a.m., stated, “Our sole purpose for doing this is not to inconvenience anybody, but to provide improved educational opportunities for our kids.” Many parents expressed dissatisfaction the plan also provides for middle and high school start times to be delayed by an additional hour twice monthly. The late start days are intended to permit professional learning communities among teachers and administrators. (Cotey, Whitnall School Board Split on 2012-13 Calendar (Jan. 23, 2012) Greenfield Patch; School schedules may get a wake-up call (Jan. 17, 2012) Franklin Now; Cotey, Should Whitnall Change its School Start Times? (Dec. 13, 2011) Greenfield Patch.)

The Menomonee Falls School District is considering a plan to delay the start time of North Middle School from 7:30 a.m. to 7:59 a.m. in an effort “to ease transportation of students” as the high school start time advances. (Engelking, Rise and Shine! School Could Start Earlier Next Year at MFHS (Nov. 28, 2011) Menomonee Falls Patch.)

The School District of River Falls adopted a citizen’s group recommendation to “[c]reate a more effective school start time for all students.” A committee composed of staff members, parents, high school students, community members, and administrators researched the start time issue, finding, “consequences to students for sleep deprivation associated with starting school at 7:30 AM. The consequences include: impairments of mood, attention, and memory; behavior control; lower academic performance and motivation to learn; and health-related effects, including weight gain, lack of exercise, use of stimulants, and more vehicle accidents.” An October 2011 survey of parents found 7:45 a.m. to be the most preferred start time. On November 28, 2011, the board voted to delay both the middle and high school start times from 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Board member Barb Kolpin was the only “no” vote. Kolpin believed the change did not “go far enough. It’s not a big enough step to meet the needs of our adolescents.” Board members acknowledged the start time committee was constrained by the directive not to add to existing transportation costs. Board member Manny Kenny “conceded the 15-minute later start was only ‘incremental,’ but added that even such a baby step was going in the right direction.” (Pfuehler, River Falls students gain more sleep-in time (Dec. 1, 2011) Pierce County Herald; Westerhaus, School District of River Falls; Your Schools: School district’s parents should look for, complete sleep survey in October (Sept. 19, 2011) River Falls J.)

WYOMING — On May 9, 2012, the Teton County School District No. 1 school board voted unanimously to delay 2012-2013 start times for Summit High School and Jackson Hole High School to 8:55 a.m. from 7:40 a.m. and 7:35 a.m., respectively. Jackson Hole Middle School will change from 7:40 a.m. to 9 a.m. Superintendent Pamela Shea, Ed.D., stated the change was undertaken to improve academic outcomes and the mental health of adolescent students. Start times at two elementary schools will advance; Colter by 30 minutes to 8:15 a.m. and Wilson by 5 minutes to 8:25 a.m. Start times at the remaining elementary schools will not change; Jackson (8:30 a.m.), Moran (8:30 a.m.), Kelly (8:30 a.m.), and Alta (8 a.m.). The Stop and Start Times Task Force prepared a report and addressed obstacles to the change. The effect of the delays at Jackson Hole High School were examined by CAREI in a study published here. (Schaeffer, Schools to start later (May 11, 2012) jhnewsandguide.com; Shaeffer, School days could shift (Mar. 17, 2012) jhnewsandguide.com; see also, Assoc. Press, Teton Students Take Part In Nationwide Sleep Study (May 29, 2012) LocalNews8.com.)

This site’s lists of schools delaying or advancing start times etc., offer only a very limited accounting of nation-wide start time activity. The lists are derived from Google alerts, rather than data from the Nationl Center for Education Statistics. Moreover, this site is a weekend only project, which leaves us generally waaay behind the pace of Google alerts. Our first priority is incorporating discussion of pertinent new literature into the main text.

In 2005, Paula Long compiled a limited list of U.S. schools considering or actually making the change to later start times. As noted in the main text (see, § IV, supra), although it appears the information has not been updated in a very long time, the National Sleep Foundation reports “individual schools or districts in 19 states have pushed back their start times, and more than 100 school districts in an additional 17 states are considering delaying their start times.” Volunteers working for Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal (SLEEP) compiled a list of large territory suburban high schools with 8 a.m. or later start times receiving U.S. News & World Report’s top ranking. In August of 2012, Kyla Wahlstrom reported that “more than 250 schools throughout the country have changed to a later school start time.” (But see, Wolfson & Richards, Young Adolescents: Struggles with Insufficient Sleep, publish. in, Sleep and Development (Oxford Univ. Press., El Sheikh edit. 2011) p. 275 [noting need for “empirically based monitoring and reporting system” to track start time changes; reported delays in start times may be as short as 7:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. versus 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.].)

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§ 2 Responses to Schools Recently Delaying Start Times, etc.

  • Could you alphabetize by state? As this list gets bigger it would make the search easier.

  • Tom Nelson says:

    Teachers at Rio Americano high school are voting this week whether to change the start time. Some of the teachers are taking umbrage that your web site states it is planned when the vote has not yet been taken.
    Thank you,
    Tom Nelson

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You are currently reading Schools Recently Delaying Start Times, etc. at The Impact of School Start Times on Adolescent Health and Academic Performance.

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