Rethinking School Start Times

School Start Time Study Committee


Following a yearlong study by the Simsbury High School Leadership Team on student stress in the 2016-2017 school year, the topic of school start times emerged. Given this, the district has engaged a committee of stakeholders, inclusive of K-12 administrators, teachers, and students representing the middle and high school, and parents to study the issue of later school start times for secondary students. Our goal for the 2017-2018 school year was to identify the potential benefits and questions associated with moving the middle and high school start times to later in the morning. Over the course of the year, the committee reviewed research, heard from sleep experts, better understood the impact on athletics and extracurricular opportunities for students, and discussed how transportation issues can influence future decisions regarding K-12 school start times. The long-range planning for this committee rests on the answer to the following question: How might a change in start time occur if our exploration shows that the benefits outweigh our questions? The results of this exploration will be shared with the Simsbury Board of Education (BOE). If the BOE decides that there is enough information to continue this study, then further planning will be defined, inclusive of other stakeholder input, in the 2018-2019 school year. Should a change in start time become a reality, the change would be targeted for implementation in the 2019-2020 school year.


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