BHM School Start Times Task Force

BHM has convened a task force in Fall 2014 to examine our school start times and consider any necessary revisions. We are contemplating revising the start times for the elementary to an earlier start and the secondary to a later start time, based on the multiple research studies of adolescents, sleep cycles, and the positive effects for students in schools where they have implemented a later start time for secondary students. Later start times for secondary students have been shown to increase student achievement, decrease traffic accidents, and increase the amount of reported sleep for adolescents. Teens also reported better overall emotional health, including a decrease in depression and even suicidal thoughts.

The school start times topic is not new to BHM Administrators this school year. University of Minnesota professors Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom and Dr. Conrad Iber joined the BHM Administrative Team in December 2013 to share the presentation of the U of M research through the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement around changing school start times for secondary students, and Sleep & Biology of the Human Brain, outlining the changes to the adolescent circadian rhythm and the biological effects of inadequate sleep. After processing that information, we convened a smaller administrative subcommittee to continue to further examine the information and to begin to discuss local implications if we were to make a change in our district. After speaking with several other school districts, it was determined to create a task force with additional stakeholders.

Task force members include BHM administrators, teachers, and parents. A recommendation from the task force will be presented to the School Board in January 2015. At that time, the board will determine what additional next steps, if any, are necessary before any action would be taken.

The links below include a few of the several resources the task force has reviewed to become familiar with the research and information on this topic.

If you have any questions about the task force or the school start times topic, please contact Director of Teaching & Learning Pam Miller at 763-682-8777 or on email at pmiller@bhmschools.org.

University of Minnesota CAREI Research

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement

Hanover Research

Start School Later

Adolescents & Sleep

Wall Street Journal

Eight Major Obstacles to Delaying School Start Times

Earlier school start times may be tied to teen driving accidents

Backgrounder:  Later school start times

Almost All US Teens Are Sleep Deprived, Study Finds