September 26, 2018

GASD School Start Time Committee Meeting Notes

September 26, 2018

Introductions were made.
Bob gave a brief history of where GASD was a few years ago and that this approach with a committee is a good way to go.
Watched video –

Discussion from Video

  • Is there a pattern with Singapore, Japan or Taiwan in regards to start times? Is this something that is just an American question or a worldwide epidemic?
  • Scotland begins at 8:30/9:00 AM – there is a cultural expectation on education than here in America.
  • Soccer season – getting home late – I have chemistry, biology – I prefer that you go to bed and get some sleep. Please don’t stay up until 1 AM.
  • Junior/senior year – it is rough
  • Third grader up at 6:30 AM in the morning – “let’s go” – it doesn’t make sense with our current school schedules
  • HS student – vehicle rates going down – everyone here knows the parking lot can get crazy; therefore, the alertness going up would be good
  • There is more light for secondary students walking and trying to walk along the sidewalk if schedules are switched – wondering if they feel safe with the current schedule?
  • There are different sleep cycles throughout the night. Are they going to be the cycles of sleep the students need? Is it the better cycle of sleep?
  • Release of melatonin at 11:00 PM
  • Discussion from Let Them Sleep: AAP Recommends Delaying Start Times of Middle and High Schools to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation
  • We should be starting with the 8:30 start time just to hit the minimum of start time – melatonin release typically begins at 11:00 PM
  • No one can change biological make-up and how our adolescents work. We somehow think we will beat this – on the weekend we will get more sleep or more caffeine – none of these will restore all of the benefits of longer sleep.
  • I sat in two different meetings today with multiple professionals discussing sleep – one is using melatonin and one to a sleep clinic
  • Is there any research on elementary start times? Not much that we are aware of.
  • Biggest concern is primary and elementary students waiting in the dark for the bus – more vulnerability than middle/high school
  • If a student has an early class, are they are not retaining the information because it is too early?
  • There are a lot of people that are tired early in the morning – substitutions that they use to make that up – they look like zombies in the hallway. They feel they are curing the sleep issue, but a routine like this is unhealthy.
  • Cycle of sleeping in and then not tired at night – the cycle begins again
  • The younger going to school earlier might be beneficial for families and their work schedules
  • The 8:30 time slot stands out – take the full plunge and do what is best for the students
  • If do it, dive in fully
  • Are there other areas we need to look at besides the sleep issue – such as extra-curricular activities and homework?


Too Late to bed, too early to rise: District officials need to seriously consider later school start times for teens.

  • Expense of bus routes
  • Concern that band and choir go in the morning – start 6:30 – 7 – that would continue plus we have to get Career Tech up there at a certain time- these would be additional expense
  • Can you rethink band and choir?
  • Concern from elementary students in the dark
  • Increase budget is a concern to add buses
  • Discipline – probably deal with less discipline in the morning
  • Comments from teachers as far as students falling asleep in the morning? Students are seemingly staying awake in class – not sure what they are doing to stay awake, but falling asleep isn’t a major concern
  • Article addressed absences – decreased when 45 minute later start time
  • Educationally the teachers love the morning for primary and elementary students – prime time to teach
  • Discipline – unstructured times – bus, lunch and recess – another concern these students are home for another 1.5 hours later will they come with more baggage to school?
  • Start School Later Website Exploration