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High School Start Time Working Group

District Communication and Approach

Given the belief of the Newton Public Schools and the Newton School Committee that a later high school start time has important health and wellness benefits for adolescents, the High School Start Time working group was created in September 2015.  The working group includes School Committee members Ruth Goldman and Ellen Gibson, as well as Superintendent David Fleishman, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Toby Romer, and Long-Range Planning Manager Julie Kirrane.  The school committee’s charge to the group is to define the necessary changes to make a later high school start time happen in Newton.



A Road Map to Guide Future Actions and Decisions:
The group will determine how meaningful progress can be made, formulating action steps, resources and changes into a detailed road map during the 2015-16 school year. The road map will reference cost information and other necessary resources, as well as political, policy and legal implications.  The group will support research, analysis, and the identification of options and action steps, in collaboration with local and regional stakeholders.  Over the course of the year, the group will make bi-monthly reports to the school committee on progress, and plans a year end report in late spring 2016.

Information and Updates

Year-end Report - June 20, 2016 
Presentation/Report Overview - June 20, 2016
Next Steps - Timeline
Community Forum:
Community Status Update - May 23, 2016 
Data Results:
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
Community Surveys:
Response Frequencies for Student Survey
Response Frequencies for Teacher/Staff Survey
Response Frequencies for Parent Survey
School Committee Updates: 
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


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