Jefferson County Public Schools mulls pushing back start times for high schools

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Students in Jefferson County Public Schools soon could be getting a little more sleep in the mornings.

Research shows high school students still need about nine hours of sleep every night, a number that's not always possible with classes starting at 7:15 a.m.

District officials are considering pushing start times back and will discuss the matter at a meeting on Monday night.

District officials are looking to get input from parents on what it would mean for their schedules and whether they think it's a good idea for their children.

The idea is nothing new. Districts in Greeley and Cherry Creek pushed back their start times this school year. High Schools in Cherry Creek Schools now start at 8:20 a.m. after previously beginning at 7:10 a.m.

“As students hit puberty and they turn into young adults, their sleep patterns change," Cherry Creek Schools deputy superintendent Scott Siegfried said in August.

"And older students 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."

The Jefferson County superintendent warns it's a complex decision that would impact athletics, transportation and students who work after school.

The public input meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Jefferson County Education Center.

A task force will be formed after the meeting to pursue the idea further.

If the school board approved the change, it would start with the 2019-20 school year at the earliest.

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