Pushing back school start times in Campbell County

If you could make test scores increase, depression decline, suicide decrease, adolescent car accidents decrease and the obesity rate go down, why wouldn’t you? All these factors have to do with the amount of sleep teenagers receive each night. Starting school later for junior high and high school students could potentially be the answer.

Pediatrician, David Fall says that adolescents need around nine hours of sleep a night and they are not getting the recommended amount when schools begin at 7:30 in the morning.

“Circadian rhythm is resent at adolescent mainly because melatonin starts secreting later and also your urge to fall asleep isn’t as strong, so it’s harder for adolescents to fall asleep,” Fall says. “So really, you’re fighting a developmental change in these adolescents by making them go to bed at 9:00 or 10; They’re not going to fall asleep.”

Campbell County School Board is considering pushing back high school and junior high start times to 8 or 8:30 in the morning to help teenagers get the recommended amount of sleep. Fall says that the school board is still working out the kinks but this will have a positive impact on the district.

One other secondary high school in the state has later start times and that is Sheridan High School.  Sheridan High School starts at 8:20am and gets out at 3:35pm.

The new start times could take effect in 2016.

*This article has been updated to include as much accurate information as possible.


  1. TKD

    This just outright ticks me off!!!! It’s statistically proven that the younger you are the more sleep that you need. My kids really struggle if they don’t get 10 hours of sleep at least. Both of my kids are in sports which have played a crucial role in their development and social skills. They don’t get home until 7:00 or later after sports practices, have to shower, go through bedtime routine and are usually in bed about 8:30/9:00 and fall asleep about 9:30ish. So now you’re telling me that my child is going to have to be in bed by 6:30/7:00 to fall asleep by 7:30/8:00 to be up to get ready for school by 6:00/6:30 a.m.? So then you’re saying along with that, that families are going to get ONE hour of family time together because parents don’t get off work until approximately 5:30, get home cook dinner and home in the hour you’re cooking dinner you have the time to help with homework, get ready for bed and more all at the same time? That’s a crock of crap! I’m sorry, but for generation after generation school has started at the same time and we have all grown up to function perfectly fine. So PLEASE tell me how you are preparing a teenager for the real world by babying them? They have to wake up to be at their jobs by 8:30-9:00 and sometimes 7:30 or earlier. My college classes started early. I think this is honestly the dumbest thing ever and it’s only going to effect younger aged kids negatively and families as a whole…more daycare costs because elementary kids are going to be out an hour earlier, more expenses to families, elementary aged kids lacking age appropriate sleep especially if they play sports. They say back that we should just pull our kids out of sports at elementary age….well, you can stick it! The role that sports have played in my kids’ lives far outweighs any damn benefit of a teenager getting to sleep in a little longer!

    • Shesays

      TDK… I’m sorry…. what are you talking about? It doesn’t seem like we even read the same thing.

      I took the article to simply state that the school is realizing that 7:30 is too early to start the school day. That they are pushing the start time of school back, to start at 8:30…. which seems more in line with reality. Throughout my time in school, the usual start time was somewhere between 8:25 and 8:45 when I was in elementary school in Newcastle. I have since moved away from Wyoming, and have 4 children, 3 of whom have graduated from High School… all started school at about 8:25. When I read here that school STARTS at 7:30… I was like no way in hell would I be able to have my kids up and to school in time for the tardy bell.

      • Crystal

        She is referring to the new times that the elementary will now start. If you have followed the story then you know that they will be changing the start times for elementary to 7:40 and get out at 2:40. They have switch the emelementary start times with the jr high and high school start times. That to me is ridiculous! why should we baby the high schoolers when they need to start acting responsible and getting used to being responsible for themselves and maybe going to bed earlier and if they cannot do that then the parents need to step in and parent them. Their TV’s, computers, play stations, xboxes and phones need to be turned off so they can get to bed at a decent time and not make the elementary students suffer!!

  2. mike

    I think the times now are great. Its the big sports bs that cause depresssion and sucide. I have had kids in sports here they push to hard with no respect. They tell kids they are no good or make them set the game. I will not ever have a child play a school sport.

  3. Sam

    The times now are fine!! Leave well enough alone. I take kids to school and pick them up and need to be at work by 8am. Not every mom here is a stay at home with a free open schedule. The bus is not an option for us. Leave the times alone!!! We are all used to the schedule and I cannot afford to be late everyday for work. Younger kids needs more sleep and go in later. Middle and high school are just fine. It is like the board is making up stupid reason just to change the times to appease something-not our kids or families.

  4. Sammi

    I think elementary, jr high and high school should all start at the same time. It’s not fair to my kids that they will have to wake up earlier next year. It’s a fact younger kids need more sleep than teen. Sorry this is a joke

  5. Sarah

    Starting the junior high and high school kids one hour later at the expense of elementary age students loosing one hour makes no sense to me. The younger the child is, the more sleep they need. A child who is 3-6 yrs old needs between 10 – 12 hours of sleep, from 7-12 years needs 10-11 hours, and from 12-18 years old needs 8-9 hours of sleep.

    An elementary child who takes the bus to school would need to get up around 6 am or earlier now. So, to get adequate sleep will need to go to bed between 6- 7 pm! Anyone who has children in activities knows that that’s not going to happen. Plus, that’s dinner time for a lot of families, and of course there are also the studies that you shouldn’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime. Not to mention only seeing your child for an hour or two (at best) if you are a working parent who works until 5pm.

    A Junior high to high school child who needs 8 – 9 hours of sleep would need to go to sleep between 10 and 11 pm with the new start times! How does this make sense? Dr. Fall should know better. Plus lack of sleep is not an end all solution to the problems our teenagers are having!

    If they can keep the elementary start time the same as it is now, then I’d be in favor.

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