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High School Start Time Working Group

Since Fall 2015, the district has been engaged in a thorough exploration of later start times for Newton high schools. This work was predicated on the significant research demonstrating the importance of adequate sleep for adolescents at appropriate times. Surveys of students, faculty, and families, as well as input from other stakeholders, led to the formulation of six potential scenarios. Feedback on those scenarios was gathered and analyzed this fall and shared in the winter of 2017. A recommendation was made to School Committee in March 2017 and was accepted. The next steps are described below.

District Recommendation - March 2017

The feedback was clear. There is support for a later start time, but that support is tempered by the impact to end times. End times after 3:00 p.m. create significant challenges as they encroach upon important student activities, as well as the schedules of families and faculty.

Given that we feel it is important to continue to pursue later start times, we need to take the following next steps:

  • Create a shorter high school day
  • Consider funding mechanism for later start times
Revising a high school schedule is no small task. It is an incredibly complex process that must be done thoughtfully and carefully in order to meet the needs of students and staff. This is especially complicated given the trade-offs that will need to be considered to shorten the day. To that end, we expect the process of revising our high school schedules to take two years.
To read the full recommendation and message to the community please follow this link. 

Surveys and Data

Feedback - All Stakeholders - January 23, 2017 - 
Student data results #1 - January 25, 2016
Student data results #2 - April 11, 2016
Staff data results #1 - March 14, 2016
Parent data results #2 - June 20, 2016
Response Frequencies for student survey
Response Frequencies for teacher/staff survey
Response Frequencies for parent survey   

School Committee Presentations

Feedback - All Stakeholders - January 23, 2017 

January 23, 2017 - Presentation
December 12, 2016 - Update on Community Feedback

December 12, 2016 - Presentation

School Committee Update - April 11, 2016
School Committee Update - March 14, 2016
School Committee Update - January 25, 2016
School Committee Update - December 14, 2015
School Committee Update - October 26, 2015
School Committee Update - September 16, 2015 Introduction


Presentations and Scenarios

Superintendent's Update - Fall 2016

Superintendent's Introductory (Fall 2015) Community Letter
Year-end Report - June 20, 2016
Presentation/Report Overview June 20, 2016
Next Steps - Timeline

Community Forum/Update: May 23, 2016 



Questions? Comments? Please email the high school start time working group at: laterstart@newton.k12.ma.us

School Committee Representatives

School Committee Representatives are actively soliciting input on this issue. Please feel free to contact:

Ellen Gibson, School Committee, Ward 1

Ruth Goldman, School Committee, Ward 6

Or, email the full School Committee.

Public comment also may be sent to the working group email

Activity in the MA Legislature

Bill S.254 - An Act authorizing a study of starting times and schedules

Experiences in Other Communities

School Districts with recent or current explorations of high school start time:
The list of links is not intended to be comprehensive. 

Health and Wellness Information

There is a significant body of research in the area of adolescent sleep and the impact of later school start times on sleep. The links provided below are not meant to be comprehensive, only helpful starting places.
Current school start timesHigh School Start Time
      NNHS         NSHS
     7:50 am       7:40 am