Start Time Review FAQ

ISD 199 School Start/End Times Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Posted 10/03/2016
 

1.  What are the start times being considered?

  • Option 1: Secondary: 7:40 a.m.-2:30 p.m./Elementary: 8:30 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
  • Option 2: Secondary: 8:10 a.m.-3:10 p.m./Elementary: 9:15 a.m.-3:55 p.m.
  • Option 3: Elementary: 7:50 a.m.-2:30 p.m./Secondary: 8:35 a.m.-3:25 p.m.   


2.  Why is ISD 199 considering changing school start/end times?

A School Start/End Times Review is being conducted based on research showing high school students could benefit from additional sleep that may be afforded with later start times.  The research cites biological reasons, beginning with the onset of puberty and progressing through high school, as to why adolescents have a more difficult time going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning.
 

There have been a number of studies on adolescent sleep and school start times, including a number by The Center for Applied Research and Education Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota.  These studies have concluded later high school start times optimize student learning.  The most recent review by CAREI in 2014 also concluded that later start high schools allow for more than 60% of students to obtain at least eight hours of sleep per school night.  Teens getting fewer than eight hours of sleep are at greater risk for making poor choices with substance use and reported significantly higher depression symptoms and greater use of caffeine. School start times of 8:35 AM and later show significant improvement in students’ state and national achievement test performance, attendance rates, and academic performance outcomes, including grades earned in core subject areas such as math and English. The later start time also resulted in significantly reduced tardiness, and the number of car crashes for teen drivers ages 16 to 18 reduced by 70% when a school shifted start times from 7:35 a.m. to 8:55 a.m.

3.  What is a two-tier busing system?

A two-tier system has two different start/end times. This allows buses to run two routes at the beginning of the day and two at the end. This is efficient, as it takes fewer buses and drivers to transport students to school.


4.   Are there other school districts in Minnesota that have or are considering this switch?

Minneapolis and Edina were the first two districts to make the adjustment based on sleep research. There are a number of districts in the metro area, state and nation that have made the change.
 

5.  What are the school start/end times of Metro East Conference Schools? 

High School Start Times

Start Time

End Time

ISD 200 Hastings

7:50 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

ISD 197 Henry Sibley

8:30 a.m.

3:04 p.m.

Hill-Murray 6-12 Grade

7:40 a.m.

2:10 p.m.

ISD 832 Mahtomedi

8:00 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

ISD 622 North

8:15 a.m.

2:45 p.m.

Saint Thomas Academy

8:00 a.m.

3:00 p.m.

Simley

7:40 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

South St. Paul

7:50 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

ISD 622 Tartan

8:15 a.m.

2:45 p.m.


Middle School Start Times

Start Time

End Time

ISD 200

7:55 a.m.

2:35 p.m.

ISD 197

8:40 a.m.

3:15 p.m.

Hill-Murray 6-12 Grade

7:40 a.m.

2:10 p.m.

ISD 832

8:00 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

ISD 622

7:45 a.m.

2:15 p.m.

Saint Thomas Academy

8:00 a.m.

2:40 p.m.

IGH Middle School

7:40 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

Special District 6

7:50 a.m.

2:30 p.m.

See ISD 622 Above

NA

NA

 

Elementary School Start Times

Start Time

End Time

ISD 200

8:50 a.m.

3:25 p.m.

ISD 197

7:45 a.m.

2:15 p.m.

NA

NA

NA

ISD 832

9:00 a.m.

3:30 p.m.

ISD 622

9:15 a.m.

3:45 p.m.

NA

NA

NA

ISD 199

8:30 a.m.

3:10 p.m.

Special District 6

8:20 a.m.

2:55 p.m.

See ISD 622 Above

NA

NA



6.  Why can’t everyone have the same school start/end times?

A one-tier busing system would mean the bus fleet and number of drivers would need to be doubled. Hiring bus drivers has been a challenge for some time. This would be a significant budget challenge. In a one-tier system, it would be likely that K-12 students would ride the same bus.

7.  Is it possible with an earlier start time for elementary that some students would be waiting for the bus in the dark during parts of the school year?

Yes, the earliest pick up times for each option are as follows: 

Option 1: Current Schedule

Option 2: 

  • 7:15-7:25 Number of Students: 21
  • 7:26-7:30 Number of Students: 70
  • 7:31-7:45 Number of Students: 1070

Option 3:

  • 6:55-7:04 Number of Students: 17
  • 7:05-7:14 Number of Students: 192
  • 7:15-7:24 Number of Students: 625
  • 7:25-7:34 Number of Students: 500

8.  Wouldn’t teens get more sleep if parents just made them go to bed earlier and take away television, computer and cell phone access?

While it is advantageous for parents to limit access time to TV and cell phones in the evening, the research states that’s not enough. According to research done by the University of Minnesota, teenagers’ brains during adolescence have a shift in their sleep cycles that is due to the developmental changes which signal the brain to feel tired. As a result, teens are generally unable to fall asleep before about 10:45 p.m. and the brain remains in sleep mode until about 8:00 a.m.

9.  With the later school start time for middle and high school, won’t kids just stay up later at night?

CAREI (Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement) findings were contrary to the fears and expectations that a later start time would result in students staying awake an hour later on school nights. Students included in the study reported getting an extra hour of sleep each night even after four years into the school start time change.

10.  Our older kids watch our younger ones after school, and daycare can be expensive.  How are families supposed to adjust for this?

The school board plans to make a decision on a change in school start times at their November board meetings. While we know every family situation is different, we believe this will give families enough time to make adjustments if changes are approved. The decisions the board will make will always focus on what is in the best interest of all students as a whole.

11.  With a later start, will there be a shift to early morning meetings/practices at the middle and high schools? 

Activities will continue to meet after school. The current activity buses run at 4:00 p.m. Time would be adjusted to have buses run 90 minutes after school is dismissed.

12.  Will elementary targeted services (i.e. Hilltop University, Pine Bend University, Salem Hills University) transportation be impacted by a change in elementary school start/end times? 

Transportation for targeted services with option 2 could be provided as it is currently. Elementary programs would be the last routes in the afternoon, so the bus drivers have the ability to go back to elementary schools offering targeted services without any further adjustments or additional bus routes. Targeted services for option 3 would have to end 90 minutes after dismissal for buses. This is due to the fact that buses will be running secondary routes and will not be available until 90 minutes after elementary dismissal.

13.  Because students will get out of school later at the middle and high school, will students miss class if they are in an event that begins late in the afternoon? (e.g. track meets, tennis matches, cross country meets, etc.)?

Yes. Simley Athletics students already miss a portion of the school day (e.g. golf, tennis, track and field) and they are responsible for getting their school work completed. However, the time most students will miss is anticipated to be minimal. A later end time would require additional adjustment. Students who participate in co-curricular activities must maintain appropriate grades in order to participate.

14.  What about students who work after school?  Will their hours be reduced or will they have to work later into the evening?

The district will make a decision on the school start/end times based on educational research and what is in the best interest of the student. Other districts have already made this change and there are currently others looking to make the change. Employers in those communities have made adjustments.  

15.  Will morning traffic be impacted by a later middle and high school start time?

According to the Inver Grove Heights Police Department, daily traffic patterns are typically heavier between 6:30am-7:30am on 80th Street and Cahill Avenue. There would be an improvement in traffic with a later start time for secondary schools.

16.  Will the schedule during the school day be impacted by a change in start/end times?

School day schedules will be adjusted at the elementary and secondary schools as appropriate to maximize student learning opportunities.

17.  Will a change in school start/end times impact high school students taking PSEO, AP, concurrent enrollment classes?

Analysis of the master schedule at the high school indicates that there will be minimal or no impact for students taking these courses.

18.  Will a change in school start time/end time incur a cost increase?

No. The district would run the same number of routes with any of the proposed options.