Michigan school district to examine pushing back start times for high school students

Posted at 8:37 AM, Feb 20, 2020

A Detroit-area school district says it's looking into pushing start times back for its high schools.

Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Glenn Maleyko says pushing back start times would allow students to be more alert and get more out of class.

"Nationally, the discussion on start times is focused on starting high schools later to align with teen sleep patterns. It's not just about the amount of time teens spend sleeping; rather, adolescent brain function and body rhythms are more alert during a later time period of the day. Many high schools, including a few local high schools, have moved start times to after 8:00 a.m.," Maleyko said.

The discussion would also need to take into account after-school activities, district contracts and the start times of elementary and middle schools.

"Of course changing high school start times in Dearborn couldn't be done unless the start times of elementary and/or middle school were also adjusted," Maleyko said in a blog post on the Dearborn Public School's website. "This is due to several factors, including the three-tier busing system used in the district."

"Busing schedules are just one of many logistical items that will need to be part of any discussion on changing high school start times," Maleyko's post read. "Other considerations include after-school activities, family obligations, dual enrollment schedules, student work responsibilities, and honoring current union contract language. All of these items are important issues, but should not prevent a thoughtful examination of changing start times."

Maleyko says it's unlikely that any decision would be made before the new school year starts in the fall.

Most high schools in the U.S., including those in Michigan, start between 7:00 and 7:45 a.m.

Read the superintendent's full report here.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.