Start/End Time Decision

School Board Approves Flipped Schedule for 2019-2020
Posted on 10/23/2018
School busesOver the past two years, the ISD 199 School Start and End Time Review Committee has been compiling sleep research and community feedback to determine if a school start and end time change could significantly benefit student learning while maintaining student safety. After receiving a recommendation from the committee, the ISD 199 School Board approved a school start and end time change that will flip the current elementary and secondary school schedules. The change will be implemented starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

In recent years, more and more research has suggested that school start times of 8:30 AM or later significantly benefit teenage students in terms of learning, safety, and decision-making. In 2016, ISD 199 assembled a School Start and End Time Review Committee of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. The committee aimed to determine if a school schedule change would significantly benefit learning and maintain or increase opportunities while maintaining safety for district students. Committee members heard from sleep science experts about how the different sleep cycles of young children, adolescents, and adults affect their brain function and learning.

The district also invited the community to learn about the research and provide feedback in informational sessions, surveys, and a special board meeting for public comment. Through these opportunities, the committee and school board gained a better understanding of the impact a school start and end time change could have on families and the committee developed the most workable school schedule options.

The committee chose to recommend a flipped schedule to the school board this spring. The flipped schedule, which the school board approved on October 22, will have ISD 199 elementary schools start at 7:50 AM and end at 2:30 PM and have the secondary schools start at 8:30 AM and end at 3:20 PM, beginning at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. During the 10 months before the new start and end times go into effect, ISD 199 will work on a transition plan to help students, parents, and staff adjust. Look for updates on the transition plan in the coming months.

Families and community members can learn more about the research and surveys behind this school board decision on the Start Time Review webpage at www.isd199.org/district/start_time_review.