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View Poll Results: What schedule would be best for a high school?
6:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 1 4.17%
7:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 5 20.83%
8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 2 8.33%
9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 12 50.00%
10:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. 2 8.33%
12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 0 0%
2:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 0 0%
8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. / 2 hr break / 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. 1 4.17%
7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. / 4 hr break / 3:00 to 5:45 p.m. 0 0%
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. / 2 hr break / 4:00 to 6:45 p.m. 0 0%
6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. / 6 hr break / 3:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. 1 4.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:09 AM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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My school district consisted of an elementary school, middle school, and high school, and owned their own school buses. They ran two routes each way: one for the 6th to 12th graders and one for kindergarten to 5th grade. Therefore, K-5 started and ended at a different time than grades 6-12. Classes in upper middle and high school started at 8:00 a.m. and got out at 2:44 p.m.

Assuming the school day, like my high school, was 6 hours and 45 minutes, what do you think the best time is for classes to start and get out? Factor in extracurricular activities, convenience, etc.

Last edited by toobusytoday; 08-20-2011 at 06:55 AM.. Reason: Fixed error in poll - removed comment
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:33 AM
Location: Whoville....
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You really don't have what I'd choose. I'd want a start time of 9:00 or later (10:00 is too late IMO) but I like the idea of a long break in the middle of the day. I know they do this in other countries. I'm not sure how well it works though.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:41 AM
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I taught at a school that operated split sessions. Morning was 7:00 am to 11:30 and the second session was 12:00 to 4:30 pm. Almost every student wanted the morning session.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:12 AM
Location: Central Florida
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Per studies I have read and REAL life for me as a teacher of high schoolers, it is better for them to be the ones who start the latest. Little kids get up earlier so having elementary begin the earliest would be the best for them. Not sure about the split classes if you mean they return to class. I don't think they would not fly here at all.But it has happened (like what another poster said) due to overcrowding before.

When I taught in Belgrade, Serbia, high school rotated 2 session due to not having enough schools. 8-1 and 2-7. Two weeks you would have the morning and then two weeks the afternoon. Students never got confused like they would probably here. BUT too, there are no cafeterias for lunch or gyms for PE or sports, and students were in the school only when they had classes like in college. They would go out to eat if they got hungry. However, I taught in a private school that did have a small gym/stage in it as it was a new one and modeled after an American school as it did have basketball and soccer. Food was brought to the kids (and teachers!) from a restaurant for lunch and both students and teachers even got a morning and afternoon break that included snacks like juice, coffee, fruit and pastries. School began at 8:30 and ended at 4.

Most Americans do not realize that we basically the only country where sports and extra-curricular activities are a daily part of the actual schooling. In Europe, sports are usually done via the town or private clubs in most areas; some schools may have a few clubs, but not definitely not like here. In Serbia, at one high school where my friend taught, there was an English club, drama club(as there were no drama classes nor an auditorium to even house a play; they had to book the local theater), math, science, and tech/computer club and that was it! My students are amazed to hear my exchange students tell of taking 11-13 classes a year and having no sports!! BUT I have heard that newer schools being built do have auditoriums and some gyms and they are slowly moving towards the US in this area (for better or worse!).
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:15 PM
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I don't think there is a clear cut correct answer. There are advantages to early start/end and to late start/end.

Due to budget issues our district changed up start/end times last year in order to run several routes with less drivers and buses. The schedule had the high schools beginning around 9:00 and ending close to 4:00. (I don't recall the exact times) It caused so much issue that the principals requested changes and gave support as to why and this year they are beginning at 7:30 and ending at 2:30. We'll see how it works out.

The main reasons they wanted it changed was due to absences in the last periods of the day. One high school had close to 60 absences each week in the last period alone due to students leaving early for athletics, fine art competitions or other organization events. They also had many who skipped last period in order to get to their jobs. Getting out that late made it very difficult for some to get/maintain a job, and get everything else done they need to. Add to that, I'm in Texas where the heat is a major factor in before/after school practices. Practice is far better at 6 AM than 6 PM.

Tardies in first period were also way up with the later start time than with the previous earlier start time.

So, problems here with that late of a start....we'll see at the end of the year how it worked the other way around.

Oh, and I don't think a split day would work well at all. I know neither of my daughters who are teachers would care to work such a split shift and far too many students would probably not return after that long of a break.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:54 PM
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I think having the high school kids start earlier makes more sense. I attended high school from 7:30 to 2:30 and hated getting up at 6:30 for the bus, but loved being home by 3:00 (I got to watch Oprah!) The day started early but it ended earlier, too. Coming from Texas, it was nice to ride the bus in the morning when it was still fairly cool. The afternoon bus ride sucked, but I don't think it's going to be better later in the day. The athletes were able to do their practice after school and get home shortly after five and were still able to work a job if they wanted/needed to. I had ample time to do my homework in the evenings and could often get it done before my parents got home and spend quality time with them.

Where I currently teach, our school day is 8:30 to 4:15. Our work day is 8:00 to 4:30. We've started around that time for the last four or five years; every year for the past few years we've added a few minutes to the day. Shortest year was 8:30 to 3:45; was 8:30 to 4:00 for a while; last year and this year it is 8:30 to 4:15. The kids hate the extra time in class and it doesn't help - it isn't the TIME in the classroom but the QUALITY of the classroom that matters. If students are in athletics practice keeps them til much later in the day. Trying to teach anything after about 3:30 is a losing battle and incredibly frustrating.

Every year the first period tardies are out of hand - but I think this is true at any school. They are also bad after lunch b/c we have an off-campus lunch that is only 30 minutes long. By the time you drive to get your food and get it you barely have time to get back to school (even the teachers rarely go off campus b/c it's too hard to make it back on time). The kids are constantly falling asleep in class no matter the period b/c of working late at their jobs. I don't think our first period is really that much worse - I had kids falling asleep after lunch, too. Tired is tired no matter the time of the day.

I wish our day was shorter and started earlier. I think in the long run it would be better for the students. The business world starts at 8 in the morning, and so do college classes. Having our high school kids - who are about to enter the higher education and/or working world - practice getting up earlier would better prepare them for their future. Having them get used to starting their day at 8:30 or even later just does them a disservice IMO.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:17 PM
Location: Colorado
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Having high school students start later causes a bad chain reaction. First, many HS'ers work, this would give them much less time to do so. Second, school sports wouldn't end until very late which would require students to need to stay up later to do homework. Last, several high school students go home to watch their younger siblings, this wouldn't be possible if elementary schools got out earlier than the high schoolers.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:45 PM
Location: Florida
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Our local high school is 7:25 to 1:55, and I think it works out well. Yes, they have to get up early, but we're talking about 14-18 year olds, not little children. Getting out at 2:00 means that they can be done with sports practice or play rehearsal by 5:00, so they're home for dinner, then they have plenty of time for homework. Or, they can go home, do some of their homework, go to their afterschool jobs, and make it home in time for some relaxation before bed.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:37 AM
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All the research suggests that teenagers biological clock is really set for a later time. Because of this, it makes sense to have teens start later than the little ones who seem to wake up early no matter what parents would like to do. When my kids were age 4 to 10, they naturally woke up at 6 or 7 am. When they got to be 11 or 12, they were more likely to sleep later.

From Zzzz's To A's - Adolescents And Sleep | Inside The Teenage Brain | FRONTLINE | PBS

Teen sleep: Why is your teen so tired? - MayoClinic.com
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:56 AM
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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Our HS starts @ 820-340p The MS 9-430p The ES start @ 740a & 840a, this is done for with bus, traffic pattern, sports, biology in mind.
MS get home when most parents are home from work. (They have all there pratices, extra cur actives before school). Also MS has drop off startign at 730a) Studies have found the Middle schooler tend to latchkey and get in alot of trouble from the time they get home from school till parents get home.
HS Starts time is a balance, of how late can we start, and how late will after school stuff be. and allow the Teens to get homework done. have family time, and get some sleep.
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