Madison Schools Study Later Start Time for Middle Schoolers

Teacher waking up a dozed off student. Indoor studio shot.

The Madison School District plans to spend the next year or so seriously studying whether to push back school start times for adolescent students, particularly those in middle school.

The topic has gained traction nationally due to research suggesting later middle and high school start times can lead to higher attendance rates, fewer behavior problems, and an increase in state assessment scores and grade-point averages.

Although no vote was taken Monday, Madison School Board members directed administrators to come back with a formal plan for studying the issue, with an eye toward making any changes for the 2017-18 school year. Possible next steps include surveying parents, assembling a study team that includes community members, and holding in-depth consultations with transportation providers.

“I really do think that if we start now and lay out these next steps carefully, by this time next year, we can be talking about our new middle school start times,” said board member TJ Mertz, who brought the matter forward.

Read more about the proposal at

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