Students return to Cherry Creek schools with new start times

AURORA, Colo. -- It's back to school on Monday morning for students in the Cherry Creek School District and this year's start comes with a twist.

School start times have been changed -- and for high school students, the start has been pushed way back.

It's a welcomed move for students who don't have to drag themselves out of bed before the sun comes up, but it could be a wrench in the morning plans for some parents.

The new start time will give high school students in the district plenty of extra time to get things going in the morning, with the start time being pushed back from 7:10 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.

Officials say research shows the extra time and extra sleep are important for the teenage brain.

“Students hit puberty and they turn into young adults, and their sleep patterns change," deputy superintendent Scott Siegfried said. "And students older need to sleep in more.

"We say they can go to bed , take the phone away, take the TV away, but we can’t. They need to sleep in later in the morning to make sure they get enough sleep overnight."

Many districts already have later starts for high school Cherry Creek officials say parents have reacted positively to the change.

To accommodate transportation needs, elementary school start times switched from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m., while middle schools are starting 30 minutes later at 8:50 a.m.