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School Start Time Information

Last revised 2.7.2020

Skylert Information Regarding February 12 School Board Meeting

​Information sent to parents and staff via Skylert on February 7th 

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff: 
 
I want to share an update with you regarding the discussions around a proposed change to school start times.  
 
For the past several months, at the direction of the school board, our administrative team has been researching and identifying outcomes of other neighboring school districts that moved to an earlier start for elementary students and a later start for secondary students.
 
In addition to our research, since November 2019, we have also solicited feedback from the school community in the following ways:
 
  • Community Forum (Nov. 19, 2019)
  • Online Survey (Nov.-Dec. 2019)
  • School Board Meetings (Jan. 15, 2020 and Jan. 29, 2020)
  • Board Work Session (Jan. 27, 2020)
 
I want you to know that a decision still has not been made by our school board. However, the issue is slated for discussion and possible action at the February 12 meeting. Its implementation could begin as soon as the 2020-2021 school year.
 
At the Board’s request, I will be presenting the following two different options. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, which I will discuss further during our meeting.
 
OPTION 1
 
Start times of high school and elementary students will be flipped, and we will utilize a three-tier transportation schedule. 
 
Elementary:                                    7:50 AM – 2:20 PM
Intermediate/Junior High:             8:20 AM – 3:20 PM
High School:                                   8:55 AM – 3:55 PM
 
Advantages of Option 1 include:
  • Supports adolescent sleep pattern research.
  • Provides consistent student day with no need for early release.
  • Provides Professional Development time for teachers and staff.
  • Three-tier transportation schedule relieves demands of the drivers required to transport students and allows for direct bussing for Student Choice at the high schools.
Disadvantages:
  • Will require some families to rethink childcare for younger students and may impact parent and high school student work schedules.
 
OPTION 2
 
We will implement a three-tier transportation schedule with the following start times listed below for 2020-21. Then, we would transition to Option 1 start times for 2021-22. This would give families an additional year to make arrangements in their schedules to accommodate “flipped” start times.
 
High School:                                    7:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Intermediate/Junior High:              8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Elementary:                                     9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
 
Advantages of Option 2 are as follows:
  • Provides consistent student day with no need for early release.
  • Provides Professional Development time for teachers and staff.
  • Three-tier transportation schedule relieves demands of the drivers required to transport students and allows for direct bussing for Student Choice at the high schools. 
Disadvantages:
  • Not supported by adolescent sleep pattern research.
  • Families may still need childcare for their intermediate and junior high-level students.
  • Stair-step approach would cause families to deal with changing start times two consecutive years.

I have given you a lot of information to consider here. I wanted to share this update to be fully transparent about the process and the possible path ahead. I understand the challenges of change and the adjustments that families and staff members face. I encourage you to learn more about this possible upcoming school board decision by reviewing the video recordings of the previous board meetings and by checking for more information posted to this webpage.
 
I have also attached a list of FAQs that may help answer some of your questions.
 
Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff and schools.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Allen B. Bourff
Superintendent
Hamilton Southeastern Schools
 

Previous 3-Tier Busing and School Start Time Discussion

​Information presented at the January 15th Board Meeting
 

On January 15th, the Board of School Trustees reviewed two models of a 3-Tier Transportation System and how those models would impact daily school schedules during Wednesday's meeting. In one model, bus drivers would begin their day picking up students in grades 5-8, then running a second tier of pick-ups involving high school students and a third tier of pick-ups involving students in grades K-4. In the second model, bus drivers would begin their day with high school students, then students in grades 5-8, and in the third tier students in grades K-4. Both models were presented as a topic separate from the discussion of “flipping” high school and elementary start times. However, a 3-Tier model was also used to illustrate a “flipped” high school/ elementary school schedule during the Community Forum on school start times back in November. Superintendent Dr. Bourff explained to board members during the meeting, he was not recommending a “flipped” schedule due to the feedback received from the community, in which approximately 60 percent of the respondents voiced opposition to that concept. Both 3-Tier models presented at the meeting eliminated the need for early-release on Mondays. The models also provided opportunities for teacher development and training that would not impact their instructional time with students. According to Dr. Bourff, the 3-Tier models presented would lead to fewer buses needed for regular routes, enabling HSE Transportation Department to provide a greater number of special routes and a more timely pick-up for after-school activities.  No decision has been made at this time.  Stay tuned for more discussion at the next school board meeting on January 29th. 
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Start Time Research / Information 

​Information presented at the November 19th, 2019 Community Forum

An administrative team at Hamilton Southeastern Schools has been studying the feasibility of shifting our school start times to be better aligned with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Medical Association, among others. All of these organizations supports adjusting our school day timing as what is best for the health and well-being of students and best for their learning.  


Current Start Times Across the District

Elementary Schools 
School District    Start Time      End Time Total Time
Hamilton Southeastern 8:55 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 6 hrs. 45 min.
Carmel Clay Schools 8:05 a.m. 2:35p.m. 6 hrs. 30 min.
Noblesville 7:50 a.m. 2:35 p.m. 6 hrs. 45 min.
Westfield 7:50 a.m. 2:30 p.m. 6 hrs. 40 min.
Zionsville 8:00 a.m. 2:30 p.m. 6 hrs. 30 min.
Lawrence Twp. 8:00 a.m. 2:35 p.m. 6 hrs. 35 min. 

Intermediate Schools
School District Start Time End Time Total Time
Hamilton Southeastern 7:45 a.m. 2:53 p.m. 7 hours 8 min.
Carmel Clay Schools 7:45 a.m. 3:05 p.m. 7 hours 20 min.
Noblesville 8:40 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 7 hours 0 min.
Westfield 8:45 a.m. 3:35 p.m. 6 hours 50 min.
Zionsville 8:45 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 7 hours 0 min.
Lawrence Twp. 8:50 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 6 hours 55 min.

Jr. High Schools
School District Start Time End Time Total Time
Hamilton Southeastern 7:35 a.m. 2:45 p.m. 7 hours 10 min.
Carmel Clay Schools 7:45 a.m. 3:05 p.m. 7 hours 20 min.
Noblesville 8:40 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 7 hours 0 min.
Westfield 8:45 a.m. 3:35 p.m. 6 hours 50 min.
Zionsville 8:45 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 7 hours 0 min.
Lawrence Twp. 8:50 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 6 hours 55 min.
 
High Schools
School District Start Time End Time Total Time
Hamilton Southeastern 7:35 a.m. 2:55 p.m. 7 hours 20 min.
Carmel Clay Schools 7:50 a.m. 3:05 p.m. 7 hours 15 min.
Noblesville 8:40 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 7 hours 0 min.
Westfield 8:35 a.m. 3:45 p.m. 7 hours 10 min.
Zionsville 8:30 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 7 hours 10 min.
Lawrence Twp. 8:50 a.m. 3:40 p.m. 6 hours 50 min.


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Additional Start Time Research

The American Academy of Pediatrics support later middle and high school start times. Click here for more information.
Experts from Harvard, Stanford and Yale who support later middle and high school start times. Click here for more information.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports later start times for adolescents. Click here for more information. 
The American Medical Association supports delayed school start times to improve adolescent wellness. Click here for more information. 

To read additional research links, click HERE
 

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Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.