Better Schedules for Teens’ Sleep and Health Next School Year

This is a reminder that our elementary and high schools will move to new start and end times in August:

School Start and End Times for 2017-18

Elementary K-5
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Middle Schools
9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

High Schools
8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

 

These bell times were determined following a multi-year process and input from students, families and staff (to view previous communications on this topic, click here and scroll).

The biggest motivation behind this change is to align our bell times with medical research that shows teens are healthier and learn better when secondary schools start later.

A group of staff has been meeting throughout this school year to prepare for our new bell times and address a variety of issues for:

 

Elementary

Currently, we partner with the YMCA to provide before and after-school childcare at our schools. Because elementary school begins at 8 a.m. starting next school year, the YMCA is planning to provide after-school childcare only. Elementary schools will have staff supervising students who are arriving starting at 7:30 a.m. If your family still has before-school childcare needs (before 7:30 a.m.), please complete this quick survey by noon Monday, Feb. 6 so that we may determine the number of families affected and our partners’ ability to possibly meet this need.

At the current time, we are planning on maintaining the weekly Thursday elementary early dismissal schedule, but we need to change the release time on these days to accommodate the new school start and end times. The new Thursday release time has not been decided yet; we will share the updated early dismissal schedule as soon as it is finalized.

 

Middle School

Middle school start and end times will not change. Middle school will end at 3:45 p.m.

For middle school students who ride the bus, buses will arrive at our middle schools at approximately 4 p.m. This will allow us to complete the drop-off of high school students and maintain the 45 minutes required between our bus runs. It will also give middle school students who are waiting for the bus extra time to meet with teachers, and gather and organize their school work. Students will be supervised by school staff until they board the buses.

We are currently working on the early dismissal schedule for next school year and will share it as soon as it is finalized.

 

High School

This new bell schedule aligns better with teens’ sleep cycles and supports an eight-period day, which results in more course opportunities for students. We are not planning on having (zero-hour) before-school courses because students will have room for many more electives in their schedules. Please find more information about the new eight-period high school schedule here.

We anticipate the number of high school early dismissals for next school year will be about the same amount as this year, but are working to determine what time students will be released for early dismissals to accommodate the new school start and end times.

We will share another update later this school year as our planning work progresses.