SMS and SHS to start later in the morning?

Update: Thank you to everyone who’s commenting on the blog and on Facebook. For your thoughts to be included in the analysis of the thoughts of our school community, please add your thoughts to the Thoughtexchange too. See links below.

Our Board of Education is discussing unifying our school schedules so that elementary, middle and high school students begin and end the day at the same time. As you know, our SMS/SHS students begin their days very early—our MS students enter the building at 7:05 am. We have students boarding our buses as early as 6:20 am. There’s current research (linked within our ThoughtExchanges) that shows this can be problematic for adolescents. We have students waking up to get ready for school as early as 5:30 am. Imagine this for our student athletes who are out late for games, arriving home after 11:00 pm. That is simply not enough sleep.

For elementary school students, we’re not proposing a significant change. We’re considering a change that has our Middle and High School students moving to a schedule that both begins and ends later in the day (for example, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM).

We need to hear from you before we move forward with these discussions. How would this change impact your learning, your schedule and your family life?

Our board is meeting in the next couple of months to discuss this topic further and the feedback you provide in this Thoughtexchange with help inform that conversation as well as our final decision. Please take a few minutes to share what is important to you and rate the thoughts of others.

Our Family/Faculty/Staff Exchange:

Our Student Exchange:

Thank you!

  1. Thank you for commenting. Please add your comment to the Thoughtexchange so that it’s counted in the overall report to the BOE. This change would result in more buses and different routes. We wouldn’t just overcrowd the same bus you ride now.

  2. If the BOE determines they want to move forward with this change, it would include changes to our busing. We did a transportation study that indicated the number of additional buses that will be needed. We would not over-crowd the buses. Bus routes would also change, so there’s no way to know yet if it would be a longer ride or shorter.

    Thanks for commenting–please include your comment in the Thoughtexchange so that it’s counted in the overall report to the BOE.

  3. Thank you for commenting Marc. Please be sure to include your comment in the actual Thoughtexchange too. As I said in my post, the BOE members have been studying the research about sleep for adolescents and thus, are now asking the community–including you–what you think about the idea. We care what you think so please add this to the Exchange.

  4. This idea for a later start time and end time is going to cause more problems than it will solve because we lose most of our personal time with our families. This will also have a big impact on sports and when they start and the duration they last for. For kids that have work after school they would would have to leave early to go and miss important classes. No one seemed to be complaining about his issue before, I don’t understand why we have to fix it now.

  5. Do not do it because I don’t want to ride the bus if elementary kids ride too. You have to basically fight to find a seat and then if they do that then you would have people standing. Also the bus ride would be a lot longer and I already have a really long bus.

  6. I don’t want a bunch of little kids on my bus there’s already no seats as it is, plus my bus ride would be 10 times longer and I can get up for the bus in time anyways.

  7. I would not start school later because it could mess up the students time periods when they wake up and they will be even more tired, also some students work on a farm after school and you would cut into family time and dinner times.

  8. People who have jobs after school may not get the required amount of hours. When you change times it doesn’t just effect school times. This is not a good change for everyone. All in all I would cut the time in half of our in between class time to two minutes instead of four minutes so we would get rid of eighteen minutes to our school day. These are just some ideas to consider for everyone.

  9. Students or teachers that want to have side jobs to school this would cut these hours short. Some people need to support their families and would need that time to go work a different job. Kids also need to save for college and if you cut into their work hours they may not be able to get enough money to achieve their college dreams. This change is not a good change for everyone. It doesn’t affect certain people but you have to look at the other side of things.

  10. I feel like it would not be a good idea at all because it would totally ruin the amount of our own time that we get. Because there are many students to do sports and they may be home at 5 or so naturally and now they will be home around 6 or later which I think is not that reasonable. Another downside to it is that yes you do have to wake up early naturally but if you change to get up later it will cause the students to be even more tired if they have to wake up for there real job at 4 am in their future life. Anyway my opinion is I don’t think it would really change much.

  11. Max and Ben,

    Thanks for commenting! Please be sure to include your comments within the Thoughtexchange too. I don’t know that your bus ride will be longer because we will have more buses. We can’t just cram all of our students onto the same number of buses. We have spare buses that will help and we can use our new buses on additional routes. As for sports, I don’t know that we’d be starting any later. Many of our teams don’t begin until after the elementary schools dismiss anyway.

    Mrs. Moritz

  12. We should not start later because athletic participants will not arrive home till later then now and the start time will just stay the same and they won’t get any more sleep then now

  13. I think it is a great idea and very much needed. There is no educational reason why an 11 year-old needs to be getting up for school at 5:30 in the morning. I believe Pioneer schools have one bus run and it is working well – they may be a great resource for us. I am very excited to see this change happen for us if it is feasible.

  14. Thanks for the comment David! Any chance I can convince you to leave that within the Thoughtexchange?

    We will need more buses, but our transportation study also shows that we have 10 spares–more % wise than other districts so likely a couple of those can go toward this plan. We also have to closely consider ridership–that’s less than our number of students because many have parents who drop off and pick up. And my experience with single tripping is that all students behave really well on buses with mixed K-12 age groups. The older kids look out for those who are younger.

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