February 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 42 F

This year 16 states are starting school later in the day

Start School LaterSchools in at least sixteen states are planning to ring the first bell later this fall, according to the national non-profit organization Start School Later.

“More and more schools are delaying bell times specifically to improve student sleep, health, and learning,” states Start School Later’s Executive Director Dr. Terra Ziporyn Snider. “While some of these schools will still be starting classes too early, or moving high schools later by moving other kids earlier, the fact that they are making changes to help teens get healthier sleep is impressive and a clear sign of progress.”

Snider expects numbers to climb now that the American Medical Association has joined the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control in calling for start times no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for middle and high schools. Schools reportedly planning to start later in the morning for the 2016/2017 school year include, by state:

  • California: Morago Middle School
  • Florida: Leon County Schools (offering optional late arrival)
  • Illinois: Normal (Unit 5)
  • Indiana: Monroe County Community Schools
  • Iowa: Iowa City
  • Maine: Biddeford, Saco, Dayton, Orchard Beach districts, plus the Thornton Academy
  • Massachusetts: Canton and Hanover
  • Michigan: Ewen-Trouth Creek Schools
  • Minnesota: Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools, Wayzata
  • North Carolina: Durham
  • Rhode Island: East Greenwich
  • South Carolina: Charleston County
  • Tennessee: Germantown
  • Vermont: Bennignton
  • Virginia: Montgomery County
  • Washington: Bellevue, Seattle

While no official reporting of school start times occurs in the U.S., Start School Later regularly tracks progress toward healthier school-day start times and provides support to communities making these changes. School leaders and community members who wish to learn more about the research and success stories can visit Start School Later’s website at www.startschoollater.net .

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