JeffCo postpones decision on pushing back school start times

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools said the district needs more time to figure out logistics of pushing back start times for high schools in the district before making a final decision on if it'll happen.

Dr. Jason Glass said the community has made it clear that it would like to see school start times changed. Dr. Glass said data continues to show that this is a good move for older students -- high school students perform better with more sleep and pushing back start times helps the school schedule sync up with their natural sleep schedule.

Despite these findings and community support, Dr. Glass said the decision is complicated and he's postponed making a decision until the district can work out the logistics of changing start times.

Also, Dr. Glass said changing start times is more complicated in a district like JeffCo that covers more than 800 square miles.

School district buses run multiple routes every morning. If start times are compressed and schools start closer together, the district would likely have to add more buses and that costs money. There are other logistical problems that arise as well from changing start times.

"When you back up the school day, you impact athletics, activities, High School students that take care of younger siblings, students who are working. All of that has an impact on those other events and activities so we have to think about how all that works if we move start times back," said Dr. Glass.

JeffCo has put in a budget request to hire a logistical consultant.

The consultant would help the district sort through these issues. After receiving that information, Dr.Glass said school district leaders would re-visit the topic and make a final decision in the spring of next year.

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