MMSD moving forward with later start time for middle schools

Published: Mar. 9, 2018 at 5:42 PM CST
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On March 5th the Madison Metropolitan School District School Board voted to move forward with a plan to push back start times for middle school students.

would change start times from 7:35 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. or so.

The plan still needs to be finalized. A final vote is expected in May.

The district says they are basing the decision on surveys completed by district families. According to the district, they completed two rounds of surveys. The results showed that parents were in favor of a later start time, but were not in favor of a time of 9:15 a.m. or later.

The district says they are also considering research done by the American Academy of Pediatrics. A report from that organization says the recommended start time for middle and high school students is 8:30 a.m. or later.

Current proposals by the district show that the change in start time would be phased in over several years, starting in 2019.

Some parents say the 7:35 a.m. start time for middle school students is too early.

"Usually, because you have to eat right away, you have to get up much earlier to get dressed, do all of the prepping. So I think it's better to have it later in the day," parent Kimberly Chirldress said.

"I think it would help because, like I said, my daughter is always exhausted early in the morning. She's always like 'I need to sleep another hour, five more minutes, ten more minutes,' so I think if it's going to help them be more productive in school, it's awesome," parent Clinisha Washington said.

Under this plan, some late-start elementary schools would need to shift from their current 8:30 a.m. start time to an earlier start time, at approximately 7:50 a.m.

The change in middle school start times would not impact high school start times.

For details on the MMSD's report and planning, click