Stillwater Area Public Schools is considering a change to start times for the 2019-2020 school year.
According to the preliminary proposal:
- Start times would be earlier for Oak-Land and Stillwater middle school students, as well as two elementary schools;
- Move the start time for Stillwater Area High School back 40 minutes for an 8:20 a.m. start time;
- Move five elementary school start times back about 30 minutes; and
- Impact local charter and non-public schools with possible start times beginning near 10 a.m.
According to Stillwater Area Public Schools:
“School board members are considering a change to school start times that would allow for high school students to begin school later in the day. Medical evidence and research suggests that a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would better align with teens’ unique sleep needs – improving both the physical and mental health of high school students.”
The district could see a financial benefit from adjusting start times, according to the district’s website, by “allow the district to better balance the number of buses needed during each tier of bussing.”
- Link: School board considering start time changes for 2019-2020
- Link: Start Time Research on stillwaterschools.org
- Link: Preliminary Proposal shared with Board of Education
The preliminary proposal would move the district to a four tier busing system, instead of the current modified three tier system.
- Tier 1: (7:30 a.m.) Both middle schools and two elementary schools. Elementary schools with shorter bus routes and the fewest walkers would be chosen for an early start – minimizing the number of students waking up earlier and walking to school or bus stops in the dark.
- Tier 2: (8:20 a.m.) Stillwater Area High School
- Tier 3: (9:10 a.m.) All other district elementary schools
- Tier 4: (9:50 a.m.) All charter and non-public schools
A decision has not been made about school start times for the 2019-202 school year, according to the district.
The School Board will share a proposal with the community in the coming weeks, and hold a series of meetings before spring break to gather feedback from parents, staff and students.