ACTION ITEM: Please stay engaged! Continue to support the school board's decision to provide high school start times of 8:10 a.m. and secondary school start times of 8:00 a.m. to benefit the health, well-being, and performance of students.
On October 23, 2014, with strong consensus from the community, the board voted to implement this new schedule, which is a significant improvement over the 2014-15 (and previous) bell times of 7:20 a.m. In addition, Dr. Garza and the school board indicated a desire to continue working to get the middle school start times closer to 8 a.m. in the future!
TALKING POINTS TO SHARE to ensure that friends and neighbors understand the benefits:
72 of 95 counties in Virginia start high schools at 8 am or later!
Results for students with later high school start times:
- Fewer teen car crashes
- Less depression and a decreased need for medications to treat depression
- Decreased drop-out rates and improved attendance
- Fewer behavior problems or disciplinary referrals (interruptions to instruction)
- High school students gain sleep - gains are commensurate with the shift in start times
- Students are less likely to fall asleep in class or while doing homework and the school day better coincides with a time of day when students are awake and alert and prepared to learn
- More sleep means better sports performance and fewer sports injuries
- The return on investment is worthwhile: Brookings Institutution economists report that improved performance is equivalent to two extra months in school and estimated that the benefits to cost ratio is 9:1.
Thank you so much for your support for later start times!