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Here’s What You Need to Know about the New Start Times

     

     It is common knowledge that teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep each night. But between sports, jobs, and homework, teens are not getting the sleep they need, and the Cherry Creek School district has the earliest high school start times compared to Aurora and Denver Public Schools.

     Following recent studies and communication with students and parents, Cherry Creek Schools has made drastic changes to its school start times for the 2017-18 school year.

      “When you read the research, it’s hard…to not have made a decision like this.” Eaglecrest Principal Gwen Hansen-Vigil said. “To me it was very clear, that kids this age need something else in terms of…their academic environment.

      The Cherry Creek School Board unanimously approved these changes during its regular meeting on March 13.

      “I believe that this reasonable and sound decision will be the best choice moving forward.” Board member Dave Willman said.

     The change comes following the Cherry Creek 2021 Initiative; a plan that reevaluates structure, curriculum, and graduation requirements throughout the district by the year 2021 (this year’s seventh graders).

     Hansen-Vigil sat on a task force for more than two years, looking at research and evaluating the best way to address the need for a new start time.

      “Parents were coming forward to say ‘this is too early for our kids’…that was a result of a lot of conversation happening in the community.” Hansen-Vigil said.

      These updates are the culmination of several months worth of community research to decide how to best introduce these new start times. Online surveys, interviews with student leadership, and public forums with parents all showed overwhelming support of the later high school start times.

     The start times are widely supported by the staff and students at Eaglecrest, but there are still concerns about how they will affect afterschool activities, as well as how students in elementary schools will be cared for if they have working parents, or siblings in high school.

  • High schools will now start at 8:20 and end at 3:30.
  • For Eaglecrest the new times are not expected to have an effect on after school activities, particularly ones that would be affected by sunrise and sunset times.
  • Clubs and practices that did not previously take place in the mornings will not be allowed to change with the later schedule.
  • Classes will now be 94 minutes instead of 99, and the loss of class time will be made up by getting rid of the late start schedule on Wednesdays.

 

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