ASD Explores Potential Changes to School Start Times

  • General Information

     

    ASD Explores Student Performance and Wellness

    National and university research, hospital studies, and observation on optimized school start times suggest:

    • Middle and high schools should start after 8:30 a.m.
    • Elementary students rise early and tire by mid-afternoon and could benefit from earlier start

     

     

    Later School Start Time Outcomes

    • Many U.S. school districts are implementing changes to later secondary start times and earlier elementary starts Better academic outcomes
    • Students achieve better academic results and realize other health benefits when they get eight hours or more sleep
    • Better attendance rates
    • Higher graduation rates
    • Reduced tardiness
    • Less depression
    • Less caffeine use
    • Fewer car crashes

     

    Some sources:

     

    Boergers, Julie, et al. “Later School Start Time Is Associated with Improved Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents.” Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, vol. 35, no. 1, 2014, pp. 11–17.

    Danner F; Phillips B. Adolescent sleep, school start times, and teen motor vehicle crashes. J Clin Sleep Med 2008;4(6):533–535.

    Pamela Malaspina McKeever and Linda Clark, PM, “Delayed high school start times later than 8:30 a.m. and impact on graduation rates and attendance rates,” Sleep Health 3, No. 2 (2017).

    Owens, Judith A., “Sleep Habits and Sleep Disturbance in Elementary School-Aged Children,” Division of Pediatric Ambulatory Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Vol. 21, No. 1, February 2000.

    Wahlstrom, Kyla, “Changing Times: Findings From the First Longitundinal Study of Later High School Start Times,” NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 86, Issue 633, December 1, 2002, pp. 3-21.

     

    Next Steps

    • Anchorage School Board decision in 2018
    • Implementarion in 2019-20 school year
cartoon image of alarm clock
  • Opportunity for Public to Provide Feedback on School Start Times

     

    View the dates

  • ASD School Start Time Potential Alternatives (see table below)

    • The proposed change is the exchange of elementary start time for high school
    • Elementary students start earlier and high school students start later
ASD School Start Time Potential Alternatives
  • Frequently Asked Questions

     

    Why is ASD considering a change?

    • National research on optimized school start times suggest that middle and high school students should not start school until after 8:30.
    • Research suggests elementary students rise early and tire by mid-afternoon—an earlier start could be beneficial.
    • University research and hospital studies indicate improvements in middle and high school student performance and wellness given later start times.
    • A significant Rand Corporation study indicates that high school student safety could improve dramatically with later start times.

     

    What are some of the academic and student performance benefits experiences elsewhere?

    • Later start times result in middle and high school students getting 8 hours or more sleep
    • Middle and high school students experienced less sleepiness from later starts
    • Middle and high school students experienced improved grades and GPA’s
    • Most elementary school studies found improvements from earlier starts
    • Middle and high school test scores improved
    • Graduation and attendance rates improved—tardiness is reduced

     

    What are some of the student wellness benefits experienced elsewhere?

    • Middle and high school students have experienced health benefits including:
      • Less depression
      • Fewer visits to clinics because of fatigue
      • Less caffeine, tobacco, and junk food use
      • Fewer car accidents
      • Fewer negative behaviors
    • The academic environment in numerous sites that have moved to later middle and high school start times have significantly improved.

     

     

    Why doesn't ASD start all schools at the same time?

    ASD uses a three-tiered school start and end schedule so that we may use buses and drivers for multiple routes. This saves the District millions of dollars and is the typical practice throughout the U.S. Starting all the schools at the same time would require us to purchase dozens of buses and hire additional drivers.

     

    When would adjusted start times take effect if the Anchorage School Board decides a change is warranted?

    • Anchorage School Board decision in 2018
    • Implementation will begin with the 2019-20 school year