School Start Times 2020-21
Many Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) families have shared a preference for later school start times for secondary students. Based on several factors, Johnson High School was selected to pilot an 8:30 a.m. start time in fall 2015, with the additional benefit of using Metro Transit to get to and from school.
This pilot program is a direct result of feedback received during our Rethinking School Start Time engagement process.
Johnson High School was selected because:
- The school is in a good location to use Metro Transit's current bus routes.
- Principal Micheal Thompson has experience working with Metro Transit.
- SPPS will be able to understand how a Metro Transit partnership will work with a district-wide magnet school.
Benefits to Changing Start Times:
Results of a later start time for secondary schools
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
When students receive fewer than 8 hours of sleep
- Increased rates of depression, anxiety and fatigue
- Interference with brain development (memory formation)
- Increased rates of auto accidents
- Decreased athletic and motor skills
- Weight gain and/or elevated blood pressure
- Increased likelihood of risk-taking behaviors
- Increased risk of suicide
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 GPA
- 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.
Family and Student Based
- High school students would not be able to watch younger siblings after school
- Students will get home later from after-school activities
- Student athletes likely to miss last period for non-conference games
- Less time for after school student employment
Letter: Later Start Time Plan --12-2-14 -- Through a year-long community feedback process, many Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) families shared a preference for later school start times for secondary students. Based on several factors, Johnson High School was selected to pilot an 8:30 a.m. start time in fall 2015, with the additional benefit of using Metro Transit to get to and from school. | READ MORE
- After school activities, including athletic practices and competitions, will run later
- Schedule shifts may be needed for evening high school or credit recovery programs
- Disruption to staff routines