Teens Need More Sleep - Task Force Recommends Later Start Time for High Schoolers

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Did you know that most teens don’t get enough sleep because their biological sleep clocks have changed? It’s harder for them to go to bed at night, and they end up sleep deprived because they have to rise early for school. This isn’t true for younger children, whose sleep schedules are much more flexible.

Numerous studies show the benefits of increased sleep for teens, including improved attendance, grades and graduation rates. And according to Dr. Conrad Iber, sleep expert from the University of Minnesota and Fairview Health, “Teenagers’ risk-taking behaviors increase as sleep decreases, due to impaired judgement. Each hour of additional sleep reduces feelings of depression and unhappiness.” 

Based on this and other sleep research, a 19-member task force of parents, staff and community members has recommended the district change school start-end times to ensure the school day for EP high school students begins later in the morning. Because 6th graders will be moving into Central Middle School next fall, and preschool will be added to all elementary schools, it’s an opportune time to review start times across the district. 

Planned start time changes will be presented to the public after the Dec. 14 School Board meeting, with a period for parents/guardians and the community to review and make comments. The superintendent and district staff will take the input and consider revisions before announcing in January the final school times for the 2021-22 school year.

Learn more on the district's start/end time web page.