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Results of a Later School Start Time

  • ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
    Results of an earlier start time for elementary schools

    • Students are more attentive in class.
    • More elementary students choose to eat breakfast.
    • Schools will be able to structure more core classes in the morning when elementary students learn best.
    • Some families may see a decreased need for childcare, which means fewer morning transitions before school.
    • Anecdotal evidence shows that after the first year, a majority of families and school staff prefer their new routine. 

     

    SECONDARY STUDENTS*
    Results of a later start time for secondary schools

      SLEEP

    Science behind teen sleep patterns

    • Later sleep patterns are biological, not necessarily behavioral
    • 9 or more hours of sleep is best for teenagers
    • However, 69% of high school students do not receive 8 hours of sleep
    • Delayed onset of melatonin (a chemical in the brain that regulates sleep) for teens makes it difficult to go to sleep earlier
    • Melatonin release and natural sleep cycle begins between 10:45 – 11 p.m.
    • Later school start times show no impact on when teens fall asleep. 

     
       SCHOOL

    When students begin school at 8:30 a.m. or later
    • Improved attendance and decreased tardiness
    • Improvement in continuous enrollment
    • Improved health and fewer trips to the nurse
    • Improved alertness
    • Increase in percent of students scoring “proficient” on MCA math
    • Increase in secondary students eating breakfast

    *Source: Examining the Impact of Later High School Start Times on the Health and Academic Performance of High School Students: A Multi-Site Study, Kyla L. Wahlstrom, Ph.D., University of Minnesota.

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