Under Consideration: Start Time Changes for 2019-2020

School board members are considering a change to school start times for the 2019-2020 school year that would 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.

The district could also see a financial benefit from adjusting start times. 


Watch for more details about the start time proposal and opportunities for you to weigh in with your feedback coming soon. Share your initial thoughts.


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.

The current school board has expressed interest in further exploring this topic and engaging in a conversation about start times with the community.  During a January 30, 2018 work session, district administrators officially approached the topic with the school board for the first time. 

We recognize there would be benefits and challenges to a change in start times. Ultimately, it is up to the board to consider the pros and cons and determine if this is a change they wish to make. Administration is not formally recommending a start time change at this time. Instead, we will work to share information, create scenarios for consideration, and gather feedback from all stakeholders.

The board will hold a series of meetings in March/April to gather feedback from parents, staff and students. Watch for more details coming soon.

Start Time Research

View research related to high school start times.