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Jeffco Start Times: Healthy & Equitable School Start and End Times

All Schools Start at Different Times

Currently, there are over 100 different school start and end times in Jeffco schools. Some of our schools start as early as 7:15 a.m., while others begin their day closer to 9:00 a.m. These varying start times create different lengths of day per school and unequal amounts of in-classroom instruction time for students across the district.

Research shows that healthy school start times result in improved student attendance, more students arriving at school on time, and improved graduation rates.

Happening Now

What We Want to Achieve

ALIGN ALL SCHOOL START AND END TIMES FOR EQUITABLE LEARNING AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IMPROVEMENT

  • Later start time for middle and high school students for better mental and physical health
  • Establish an equitable school day with the same start and end time across grade levels, as there are approximately 100 different combinations of start and end times in Jeffco
  • Set daily instructional hours by grade level, as the length of a school day varies between grade levels and schools
    • Elementary - 6:50 hours
    • Middle - 7 hours
    • High - 7:15 hours
  • Provide a 30-minute lunch break for all schools
  • Cost savings for Jeffco Public Schools

The Why:
Mental Health and Equitable Instruction

Student Mental Health

Research shows that healthy school start times result in improved student attendance, more students arriving at school on time, and improved graduation rates.

Healthcare professionals, mental health organizations, and sleep experts agree on the benefits of later start times for students:

District-Wide Consistency = Equitable Instruction

Varying start and end times create different lengths of day per school and unequal amounts of in-classroom instruction time for students across the district. With some schools starting at 7:45am, and others at 8:00am, that extra 15 minutes per day can add up to months of educational time that some students have and some don't.

Our goal is to eliminate this inequity by aligning start and end times across all schools.

Proposed Schedules and Exceptions

Below are proposed start and end times. Please note that times may change slightly as plans are developed and finalized with community input over the next few months. These times will not apply to charter schools who are governed by their own Board of Directors.

These are the proposed changes for schools located in the north, central, and south bus terminal areas. Bell Middle School must align with Golden High School for efficient shared bussing between schools in that particular community with some geographic challenges.

A.M.
START
FINAL BELL LENGTH OF DAY
Elementary 7:45 a.m. 2:35 p.m. 6:50
High 8:15 a.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:15
K-8 8:20 a.m. 3:10 p.m. 6:50
Bell Middle 8:20 a.m. 3:20 p.m. 7:00
Middle 8:55 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:00
A.M.
START
FINAL BELL LENGTH OF DAY
Fletcher Miller 9:00 a.m. 3:35 p.m. 6:35
Jeffco Transitions 8:40 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:15
Sobesky Academy 8:55 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:00
Longview 8:40 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:00
McLain 8:40 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:00

This is not a comprehensive list of option school suggested times. These are example schedules. Final times will be addressed after further community engagement and needs assessment.

A.M.
START
FINAL BELL LENGTH OF DAY
Elementary 7:55 a.m. 2:45 p.m. 6:50
High 8:40 a.m. 3:55 p.m. 7:15
Middle 8:50 a.m. 3:50 p.m. 7:00

Mountain Schools in the Conifer and Evergreen Articulation Areas

These schools are: Conifer High School, Evergreen High School, Evergreen Middle School, Bergen Valley Intermediate, West Jefferson Middle School, Bergen Meadow Primary, Elk Creek Elementary, Marshdale Elementary, Parmalee Elementary, West Jefferson Elementary,  and Wilmot Elementary.

In order to accomodate the challenging topography of the Conifer and Evergreen mountain communities, which greatly affects length of travel time between student homes, bus stops, and schools, the mountain area schools will be served with area Hub Stops

Community feedback and engagement will help develop the Hub Stop concept and locations, and information will be shared with the mountain school communities as it becomes available. 

HUB STOPS EXPLAINED

Morning Bus Hub Stop Pick-Up locations for Middle and High School Students
  • Hub stop pick up locations established for middle and high school students in the morning only
  • Middle and high school students ride the same bus
  • Elementary schools maintain same morning bus service as currently operating (2022)

Afternoon Bus Hub Stop Drop-Off options for Elementary Students
  • Elementary students can be dropped off at hub stop locations OR they can stay on the bus if not picked up at a hub stop
  • Elementary students who stay on the bus will continue riding the bus as that route picks up middle and high school students
  • Elementary students would be on the bus and additional +/- 30 minutes with middle and high school students, but could be dropped off at home with older siblings/neighbors
  • Middle and high school students maintain same afternoon bus service as currently operating (2022)

Grassroots Community Driven

Image of students arriving at school Conversations about changing and aligning school start times have been happening around Jeffco Public Schools for many years. In 2017, a group of parents inquired the District about setting equitable start times for all schools, which would help ensure equitable learning in the typical school day.

The Start Times Task Force was formed and over the past five years, a diverse group of families, Jeffco Public Schools staff, and community members have studied the issue fully and explored all the options.

In January 2022, the Jeffco Board of Education instructed the superintendent to explore what it would take to launch healthy and equitable start and end times for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. Jeffco Public Schools is not alone in making this shift. Many of our neighboring school districts have either made similar changes to their start and end times, or are in the process of doing so, for the reasons listed above. We are learning from their work as we prepare for this transition.

Coming Soon

Check back soon for new news, upcoming community engagement opportunities and more.

HISTORY TIMELINE

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