School Start Time Survey Results

School Start Time Survey Results
Posted on 03/28/2022
Dear LS Students, Families, and Staff,

After an extended period of reviewing research on later school start times and providing opportunities to receive input through open forums followed by several public presentations the SPS and LS School Committees each voted to change the school start time from 7:50 to 8:25 am effective the 2020-21 school year. The vote was done in coordination with SPS since LS and SPS share the same bus contract and inventory. No change could be done unless both school districts agreed.

There has always been concern that a later start time would move school traffic closer to the height of non-school commuter traffic, which would affect our school traffic negatively. While we did change the start time in 2020-21 as planned we could not assess this impact accurately since students attended on a hybrid attendance model. Not surprisingly, we did not experience late buses or much traffic during last year’s hybrid model.

Therefore it was not until this year when we returned fully in person that we have been able to assess the impact of traffic and school arrival times. As you may recall we had tremendous difficulty with bus arrival at the start of school. The start time was shifted another 5 minutes later as result from 8:25 to 8:30 am.

As a measure of the impact of school start time on school arrival time, participation in later after school activities and hours of sleep we surveyed LS students in February. February was chosen to allow for a full semester of experience. The survey was given during history class time to ensure fuller student participation and representation.

I am sharing the data with you for your interest. Slides with greater detail are attached for your reference. The change has largely achieved the intended goal of increasing student hours of sleep while participation in after school activities has remained largely, though not absolutely, unaffected.

Here are some general highlights. Less than 10% of students surveyed in 2017 versus at least 50% of students now report getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Many students find morning traffic a challenge to timely arrival to school. Delaying the start time by 5 minutes significantly improved timely arrival to school for bus riders. Many student drivers have adjusted to arriving at school earlier to avoid the congestion close to the start of school. Only 5% report that the delayed end of school day has caused them not to participate in after school activities.

Thank you to all of students for their responses. Thank you to Sandy Crawford who analyzed and collected the data into helpful pie charts for us. Thank you to everyone who helped facilitate a change to school start time. We will continue to work on traffic mitigations to improve on time arrival to school.

Enjoy your weekend,

Bella Wong

February 2022 Student Check-in Schedules and Sleep.pdf