Next community forum about school start time scenarios is Sept. 27 at Rocky Mountain High School

Starting next school year, start times across Poudre School District could be quite a bit different.

But before PSD staff and the Board of Education make any decisions, they're asking the community for its perspective on different proposals to change school start times.

Last month, the Board reviewed four proposed school start-time scenarios and next steps in the process. The four scenarios include PSD’s current bell schedule, as well as proposals that would change start times. The new options could impact students in elementary, middle and high school.

Since January, PSD has been exploring whether the district should alter school start times to better align with recommendations from the American Medical Association, which recommends that teenagers start school after 8:30 a.m. Research shows these later start times for secondary students support better learning by allowing students to get sufficient rest before class. 

After months of preliminary discussions, PSD’s School Start Times Committee has narrowed down possible start times to four proposed scenarios. The committee relied on feedback gathered through an initial community survey. Parents, staff and a sleep expert served on the committee. 

See the four proposed scenarios for start times in the table below (click on the table for a zoom image). A detailed list of the proposed start times by school is also available, as well as the committee's full summary report.

 

School start times side by side comparison chart

 

Changing school start times can affect extracurricular activities, child care needs, after-school jobs and time with family. It can also affect the district’s budget, as changing start times can require additional busses and bus drivers. 

PSD currently uses a three-tiered system, which staggers start times and allows a single bus driver to transport elementary, middle and high school students to and from school on the same day. Starting more schools at the same time would require PSD to hire additional bus drivers, and possibly purchase new buses. An additional consideration is that PSD has struggled to fill bus driver vacancies throughout the year, like many school districts. 

Before PSD staff make a final recommendation to the Board, the District is asking the community to offer feedback on the proposed start times through a second survey and four community engagement forums.

Next steps: 

  • Survey: In late August, PSD will send out a second survey asking for perspective on the different start time scenarios. (The survey will remain open throughout September).
     
  • Community forums: Starting Sept. 6, PSD will host community forums about the start time scenarios. These forums, which will be streamed live, are designed to provide further context and information for those with questions. (Note: Please wait to fill out the survey if you plan on attending a forum).

          Forums (click on links below for the live stream) will be held:

          Sept. 6, Fort Collins High School Auditorium Q & A from Sept. 6 session

          Sept. 13, Poudre High School Auditorium Q & A from Sept. 13 session

          Sept. 20, Fossil Ridge High School Auditorium Q & A from Sept. 20 session

          Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 -7:30 p.m., Rocky Mountain High School Auditorium 
 

  • Recommendation: Late fall 2018: PSD staff will present a final recommendation about school start times to the Board of Education.
  • Board vote: The Board of Education will vote on the issue by early 2019
  • Implementation: August 2019: New start times (if applicable) will be implemented for the 2019-20 school year