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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about School Start Times

Why change start times?

District leaders are looking for ways to improve achievement and address student and staff mental health concerns. Medical evidence and research compiled over 25 years suggests that later start times for secondary schools better align with teens’ unique sleep needs. Schools that have made the change have seen significantly improved grades, reduced tardiness, reduced absenteeism, and improved graduation rates. Later start times for teens also results in less reported depression, fewer discipline incidents, fewer emotional outbursts, reduced risky behavior, and fewer car accidents. 

Research also suggests an early start for elementary students increases prime morning instructional time, which is advantageous to younger learners, especially children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Learn more about the research.

Requests to change high school start times in Stillwater schools have been made by community, parents and students through various district surveys and conversations with building and district leaders.  Start time changes were considered as part of both Vision 2014 and Bridge to Excellence strategic planning processes in 2011 and 2013. In 2016-2017 a School Start Time Study was shared with school board. No action was taken at that time due to other district initiatives (grade reconfiguration, etc.).