District 196 Reluctant to Implement Later Start Times

Ramani Arunachalam, Administrator

Later school start times are beneficial to students. However, there are many obstacles for District 196 to implement them.


Late start times are clinically shown to improve students’ focus throughout the school day, but obstacles such as evening sports and busing make it difficult for District 196 to implement later start times.


According to Chad Terry, Counselor at Rosemount High School, compared to the former year’s start time, the ten minutes delayed start is beneficial. Terry states:“The ten minutes is helpful; it gets people up a little bit more. It gives folks a chance to wake up more.” 


The more sleep students get the night prior, the more awake students are the next day. It’s a positively correlated relationship between sleep time and alertness in school. If the whole point of school is to learn and succeed, why wouldn’t we do what we can to help students improve their academic performance?


Mia Donnay, the president of the Rosemount High School Student Council agreed with the sentiment that later start times are beneficial for students. “I’m sure we could try to start a movement, there’s definitely power in the student body and the student council could possibly use that as a platform.” 


There are many challenges that could be faced by later start times. “There are complexities involved in later start times with athletics in the evenings.” Terry said. “And if the times are switched with the high schools going later, then the elementary school children would have to go earlier…what little kid wants to be waiting for their bus at 6:30 am potentially without their parents there?”


Deciding on later start times involves many people and is truly a big decision, even though we may not consider it to be. “Later start times are even bigger than them.” Mr Terry referred to the Rosemount High School administration. “It would be a district wide decision going to the Superintendent or the school board.”