D51 calendar survey asks about school start times

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- District 51 sent out a survey last week to let parents and school staff weigh in on the calendar for the 2019 - 2020 school year.

A big question on the survey is school start times for middle and high schools, and the district wants to know if people would support moving start times back.

Back in 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study showing that middle school and high school students who don't get enough sleep can suffer from physical, and mental health problems, and they recommended schools start delaying their start times.

It's a concept that D51 is aware of, and that's one of the reasons why they sent out this new calendar survey.

Doctors say teenagers' circadian rhythms change during the middle, and high school years, and they need more sleep so their bodies and minds can develop.

Officials with D51 say they are willing to make some changes.

"The adolescent mind is supposed to go to bed around 11, that's just kind of how they are built. And so when you have students getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning, that can be a little tough. So we wanted to look at something that would be more optimal to how the kid's circadian rhythm already works," said Spokesperson for District 51, Emily Shockley.

The survey that D51 sent out will be open until December 31, and the results will be looked at the first week of January.

Once the results are in, they will be sent to the D51 Calendar Committee, and they will present their calendar changes and ideas to the school board on January 22.

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