More sleep: Some Hilliard schools will be starting later in 2017

HILLIARD, OH (WCMH/NBC News) --Hilliard City Schools have announced a later start time for some elementary and middle school students starting next year.

Last year, Hilliard City Schools created a task force to help study the start times of the schools in the district.

After the study, the district decided that starting in the 2017-2018 school year, sixth grade and middle school start times will move back to 8:00am with a dismissal at 2:45pm. The district also pushed back Alton Darby, Norwich and Scioto Darby elementary schools start time 15 minutes to 9:20am.

A study released by the CDC in 2015 said that most schools are starting too early, and that fewer than one in five middle and high schools rang the first bell at 8:30 or later - the time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Among an estimated 39,700 public middle, high, and combined schools in the United States, the average start time was 8:03 a.m. Overall, only 17.7 percent of these public schools started school at 8:30 a.m. or later," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in the agency's weekly report.

It's not the real-time data - the survey covers the 2011-2012 school year, because it takes time to gather and analyze the information. The AAP made its recommendation in 2014.

"Getting enough sleep is important for students' health, safety, and academic performance," said Anne Wheaton, a CDC epidemiologist who led the study. "Early school start times, however, are preventing many adolescents from getting the sleep they need."

As of now, there are no start time changes expected for any of the Hillard high schools, despite the CDC stating that insufficient sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance.

Hilliard City Schools also noted the later starts will cost the district an extra $130,000, and add three additional bus routes.

NBC4 is reaching out to the district for more information.


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