Pediatricians and sleep experts have long urged later start times for teens
(Severna Park, MD) Today, the Nevada State Board of Education voted to continue to move forward a regulation to “set guidelines and guardrails for high school start times in all school districts and charter schools within the state.” The vote comes during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Under the proposed regulation, Nevada high schools would be required to start no earlier than 8:00 a.m., or districts must provide alternative start time options to families and students. Annual waivers would be available for schools that show they face unique challenges.
“This is exciting news for the Nevada teens who we hope will experience the known benefits of healthy school hours,” said Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD, co-founder and executive director of Start School Later, Inc. “I’m grateful for the leadership of President Felicia Ortiz and other members of the Nevada State Board of Education for shepherding this statewide effort to support student well-being. The ability of Nevada’s children to go to school at sleep-friendly hours shouldn’t vary by zip code.”
Setting a floor on how early high schools can start makes
Growing alarm at the teen mental health crisis along with post-pandemic learning loss is spurring more and more leaders into action
(Severna Park, MD) Decades of research show that when school days start later for middle and high schoolers, students get more sleep, feel better, and perform better – in class, with friends and family, and behind the wheel.
Here are five recent developments in the U.S. movement to start school later.
Nine States Consider School Start Time Legislation in 2023
The movement toward safer, healthier school hours spearheaded by Start School Later Inc. continues to gain traction around the country
This month, Florida joined California in passing a law to start school later
(Severna Park, MD) This month, Florida became the second state in the nation to recognize the negative effects of too-early school start times on teens’ wellbeing. Joining California, Florida legislators overwhelmingly approved CS/HB 733. Now signed by the governor, the new law requires public middle schools and high schools to operate at healthy hours beginning in 2026.
Policymakers in eight other U.S. states are also considering legislation related to delaying secondary school class times, reflecting a growing recognition of the urgent need for school hours that support adolescent physical and mental health, safety, and school performance.
Schools in at least 22 states to delay bell times this year.
[Updated 8/17/19] -- School districts in at least 22 states plan to delay morning bells this year according to the national non-profit Start School Later (SSL). Topping the list are 5 districts in Ohio, 5 in Pennsylvania, and 4 in Massachusetts and Colorado.
“Every year, we see more districts moving bell times back to more reasonable hours in response to the research," observes SSL's Executive Director Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD. “Health professionals have been telling us for years that teenagers cannot get healthy sleep when they have to wake at 5 or 6 a.m. for class. It’s gratifying to see so many communities prioritizing student health and safety by turning these recommendations into school policy.”
Schools in at least 20 states to delay bell times this year
School districts in at least 20 states will be ringing the first bell later this year according to the national non-profit organization Start School Later. These districts include nine in Pennsylvania and seven in Massachusetts.