In a major win for night-owl students, most Seattle public schools will start at 8:45 a.m. effective next school year. The decision makes Seattle Public Schools one of the nation’s largest districts to begin classes later than 8:30 a.m.
The later start time is supposed to better suit teens’ biological clocks. For years, parents and teachers in Seattle have been campaigning for the change.
“The proposal to change bell times is the result of a research-based community initiative,” the Seattle teachers union said. “It will improve learning, health and equity for thousands of Seattle students.”
Seattle isn’t alone in seeking later start dates for schools. Nationwide, the Start School Later movement is supported by health care professionals, teachers, legislators and students who argue that later start times for schools make sense because teens naturally undergo a sleep-later, wake-later shift in their circadian rhythms during puberty. And the movement’s claims are backed by several scientific studies.