High School Start Times - Issue Summary

Should NH consider later high school starts?

Later high school starts?By: LFDA Editor

As of fall 2010, Windham High School students were given an extra 24 minutes to get to class in the morning.

The reason? This will give them more time to sleep. It's been a national topic, and it's gaining some traction in New Hampshire.

The National Sleep Foundation says it bluntly: "Teens' natural sleep cycle puts them in conflict with school start times."

"If teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep to do their best and naturally go to sleep around 11:00 pm, one way to get more sleep is to start school later," advises the foundation in a statement.

The Windham School Board voted to push back the start time for high schoolers 24 minutes -- from 7:28 a.m. to 7:52 a.m. 

However, later start times have downsides.  A later school start may cut into the afternoon responsibilities of students, such as part-time jobs or babysitting younger siblings.  Start times also impact after school extra-curricular activities, such as sports. 

Anthony Pastelis, a member of the Rochester School Board, has also argued that early high school start times better train students for adult life.

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Take Action

If you are interested in later high school starts and want to take action here are some choices:

  • If you are new to contacting your government, please visit our page on How to Take Action

  • Contact one of the organizations listed in Learn More. These groups represent the pro or con positions of issues.

  • Contact a government official as follows:

1. Contact members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives or the New Hampshire Senate

2. Give your opinion to Governor Maggie Hassan

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Are you for later high school starts?  Whatever your thoughts are, we urge you to make your voice heard. See the "Learn More/Take Action" section on this page for more information.

Issue Status

No bills regarding school start times are evident in 2015.