Welcome to Start School Later
Metro Nashville, TN!
Start School Later is thrilled to introduce their 84th local chapter and the fifth chapter in Tennessee.
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) includes approximately 89,000 students. Nashville has the one of the earliest start times in the country on record. All Metro high schools start at 7:05 a.m., with the exceptions of two academic magnets, one performing arts high school, East Literature High School, and Big Picture High School. None of these exceptions use public school buses for transportation, so they "get" to start at 8.
Students commute from all over Davidson County to get to school, with some kids getting on a bus before 6:00 a.m. Given the AAP and CDC's recommendations on sleep, it's impossible for high schoolers to get the recommended sleep during the school week. They would have to be in bed by 7:00 p.m. for those who get up at 5:00 a.m. to catch early buses to be in class by 7:05 a.m.
Several high schools in MNPS are home to large percentages of socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Research clearly indicates that later start times improve graduation rates, improves test scores, reduces tardiness, not to mention the positive effects on health. The positive effects of later start times on students living below the poverty line is even greater than for the rest of the student population.
A group of concerned parents developed a petition at the beginning of the 2016 school year in an effort to gauge interest in later start times for high schoolers. Since that time, the School Board has heard the plea and the science behind the benefits of later start times. Faculty members and students across the city have expressed interest in this conversation. As of October, the School Board has agreed to have further research done by an intern to gather information about other large districts that have successfully made the transition to later start times.
Given the large # of students and lack of buses, changing to later start times has never been seriously considered. Additionally, after school jobs and assisting with childcare of younger siblings have been barriers in continuing the effort to mandate later start times.
Chapter Leader Katherine Brown heard about Start School Later and knew she wanted to be involved with her new school district.
To contact Katherine and the Metro Nashville chapter of Start School Later, please fill out the contact form on this page or join us on Facebook.