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.
Update - April 8, 2019
In April 2019, two updates were presented to the School Committee.
- High School Schedule Recommendation (PDF Document) - This presentation provided the School Committee with the recommendation for the new high school schedule that could facilitate later start times.
- Traffic Report (PDF Document) - This study was designed to determine the cost effectiveness and the efficiency of the current transportation operations and to review various alternatives for later start times for both high schools.
Update - October 2018
In October 2018, the district provided an update on progress toward the adoption of later high school start times. For the message from the superintendent and the School Committee, visit the School Start Time Update page.
Work continues on the revision to the high school schedule, which will facilitate later start times at the high schools. Download the update on the schedule revision progress.
Update - November 2017
In November 2017, the assistant superintendent provided the School Committee with an update on the process to revise the high school schedules to allow for later start times.
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. Read the full recommendation and message to the community.
Surveys and Data
School Committee Presentations
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.
Experiences in Other Communities
Current school start timesNNHS NSHS7:50 am 7:40 am