School Start Times

Start Time Change Discussion in Stillwater:

During the winter of 2018 school board members engaged in a conversation about changing school start times for the 2019-2020 school year to allow for high school students to begin school later in the day. Medical evidence and research suggests that a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would better align with teens’ unique sleep needs - improving both the physical and mental health of high school students.

Ultimately, board members have decided not to pursue making a change - at least not for now. Instead, they’ve decided to continue working with the community to educate parents and students about sleep health and the unique sleep needs of teenagers. The board will also consider creating a group of parents, students and staff to further research start times and develop possible solutions for the future. 

Board says "no" to start time changes - at least for now


 

Background:
For several years now, school districts across the state have been engaging in conversations about high school start times. Many school districts, including the majority of districts in our conference, have already made the change to high school start times due to the reported positive impacts on students’ physical and emotional/mental health, particularly at the secondary level.

Community members and parents in the Stillwater Area Public Schools have raised the issue when responding to surveys and in conversations with building and district leaders. We’ve been watching other districts, learning from their experiences, and reviewing data and research for the past several years.

Learn more about teenage sleep patterns and the benefits of later start times:

  • Watch a presentation by a University of Minnesota researcher and a representative from the Minnesota Sleep Society.
  • View additional research on start times and teen sleep health.
  • Watch the March 8 school board meeting to hear a discussion on the impact of start time changes in the district.

Start Time Research

View research related to high school start times.