Secondary Time of Day FAQs

1. What changes to the middle school and high school day are being considered?

The district is considering starting the middle school and high school day at 8:45 a.m. and ending the school day at 3:45 p.m. We are also considering expanding the high school “late start” days to the middle and elementary schools. The late start days would occur approximately twice a month. On those specific days, school would begin an hour later at 9:45 a.m. and end at the normal 3:45 p.m. dismissal time  

2. If approved, when will these changes take effect?

The start of the 2020-2021 school year would be the earliest a change would take effect.

3. Why is the district considering this change?

There are numerous studies on adolescent sleep patterns and brain development that support the idea of moving school start times to after 8:30 a.m. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Sleep Foundation, American Psychological Association and other organizations have recommended school districts to push back their school start times for middle and high school students.

Studies have shown that puberty changes a teen’s circadian rhythm, which is the sleep-wake cycle that repeats roughly every 24 hours. This shift causes them to feel alert later at night and in deeper sleep until later into the morning hours.

Research also indicates that teenagers need more sleep due to physical growth and adolescent brain development.  Lack of sleep among teenagers can cause a significant impact on their physical health, mental health, academic achievement and safety.

4. What are the benefits of a later start time for my middle/high school student?

Districts across the country who have adjusted their school schedules have reported the following:

  • ·Higher overall performance from academics, athletics and extracurricular
  • ·Increased class attentiveness/Less falling asleep in class
  • ·Improved attendance and fewer tardies
  • ·Improved cognitive function and decision making
  • ·Decreased rates of adolescent depression, anxiety, obesity, drug & alcohol use
  • ·Fewer automobile accidents & risk taking behavior
  • ·Fewer disciplinary referrals
     

5. What is the purpose of the district late start?

The purpose of the district-wide late start is to provide time for all of our educators to engage in collaborative professional development. Teachers will work in teams called Professional Learning Communities. They will use this time to review current student data and collaborate on best instructional practices to meet the diverse needs of their students. Educational research indicates that collaborative environments typically see higher student achievement and result in productive work environments. We would schedule the district-wide “Late Start Days” on the same day across all grade levels twice a month.

6. What impact will the time change have on instructional time?

The proposed school day length is 7 hours, which is 15 minutes shorter for high school students and 20 minutes shorter for middle school students. We do not anticipate any significant loss of instructional time. Shortening the transition time between classes and throughout the school day will account for most if not all of the reduction in time.

7. My child participates in school-sponsored clubs and/or athletics. Will they meet or have practice before school? How will this affect athletic game schedules and practices?

Extracurricular clubs and athletics that are currently meeting or practicing in the mornings may continue to do so.  It is our expectation that the meetings and practices will begin later in the morning to reflect the change in the start of the school day.  Any additional before school meetings or practices would go through an approval process.

We do not expect the later dismissal time to have any significant impact on after school meetings, practices, or competitions. Many districts have already adjusted their school day to reflect a later start and end time and have not reported major issues. We will continue to monitor those implementing the change this coming school year.

8. What are the current start/dismissal times for other middle and high schools around the area?

Middle Schools

School District

Start Time

End Time

Total Time

Carmel Clay Schools

7:45 a.m.

3:05 p.m.

7 hours 20 min.

Westfield-Washington

8:45 a.m.

3:35 p.m.

6 hours 50 min.

Noblesville

8:40 a.m.

3:40 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

Washington Twp.

9:20 a.m.

4:20 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

Hamilton SE

7:45 a.m.

2:45 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

Zionsville

8:45 a.m.

3:45 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

Lawrence Twp.

8:50 a.m.

3:45 p.m.

6 hours 55 min.

Pike Twp.

8:50 a.m.

3:50 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

 

High Schools

School District

Start Time

End Time

Total Time

Carmel Clay Schools

7:50 a.m.

3:05 p.m.

7 hours 15 min.

Westfield-Washington

8:35 a.m.

3:45 p.m.

7 hours 10 min.

Noblesville

8:40 a.m.

3:40 p.m.

7 hours 0 min.

Washington Twp.

7:20 a.m.

2:35 p.m.

7 hours 15 min.

Hamilton SE

7:35 a.m.

2:55 p.m.

7 hours 10 min.

Zionsville

8:30 a.m.

3:40 p.m.

7 hours 10 min.

Lawrence Twp.

8:50 a.m.

3:40 p.m.

6 hours 50 min.

Pike Twp.

7:15 a.m.

2:23 p.m.

7 hours 8 min.

 

9. What is the financial impact of this change?

We do not anticipate any additional costs associated with this change. There is a potential for some savings due to the slight reduction of the school day.
 

10. With a later school start time, will students stay up later at night?

Research indicates that puberty causes a shift in a teen’s circadian rhythm and that teens are more alert in the late evening and in deeper sleep patterns early in the morning. Studies of school districts that implemented later school start times found that students fell asleep at approximately the same times each night and that their total sleep time increased in relation to a later start in the school day.

11. My child is very busy with sports and other extracurricular activities, plus hours of homework each night. How are we supposed to fit it all in if there is less time in the evening?

We all want our students to do well and be well. Finding the right balance can sometimes be a challenge. Allowing students the time to get the proper amount of quality sleep is one of the key ways a student can thrive academically, socially and emotionally. Healthy sleep habits keep students sharp and focused, making it easier to for them complete goals and tasks throughout the course of the day.

12. As a parent of a middle school student, I need to be at work early. I typically drop my child off in the mornings and this new schedule will mean I need to find childcare.

We currently work with the Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Department (CCPR) who provide a before and after school program called Extended School Enrichment for all K-6 students. If a decision is made to move forward, we may explore a similar before school program if there is a need at the middle school level.

13. How will this potential change affect transportation?

We will adjust bus routes to the new time schedules. We must have a minimum of a 45-minute window between the elementary and secondary start times to give our transportation department time to complete their first route and start their second route on time.

14. How can I submit my feedback on this potential change to the middle school and high school day?

You can submit your feedback by clicking here.         
Feedback submission will end on June 26, 2019.