AMES, Iowa — The Ames Community School District leaders and board members agreed to change the start of the school day.
According to the district, elementary schools and Northwood Preschool Center will start earlier next school year, and secondary schools will start later.
District leaders identified several reasons for the change. The district wants to maintain 6 hours and 35 minutes of instructional time per day of instruction. Second, the district aimed to establish a 50-minute gap between elementary and secondary school start times. The district believes the time gap will allow the district to gain efficiencies and cost savings in transportation costs.
Ames CSD also said research concerning sleep patterns and helping secondary students influenced the district’s decision.
Some parents are happy about the change.
“The science has been there forever. The high school students need more sleep,” said Ames High School parent Beth Boyle.
“The elementary students are already up early. They should be going to school earlier, and the high school students should be able to sleep a little later.”
Ames Community School District is not the first district to adjust its start times. In the past, the Des Moines Public School District, the West Des Moines Community School District, and the Ankeny Community School District have adjusted their start times.
However, students have mixed feelings about the change.
“Sleeping in and getting up later would be better for me,” said sophomore Kyra Anderson.
“But I do like after-school activities, and I don’t know how I feel like being at the high school until like 6’o clock because of sports and stuff.”
Junior Sarah Stott also feels uneasy about the district change at the start of the school day.
“I work at four, so like ending at 3:30, that’s kind of hard. I have to rush home and then go to work.”
The new start times will be for the 2022-2023 school year and are as follows:
- Ames High School – 8:30 AM – 3:35 PM (early release 1:35 PM)
- Ames Middle School – 8:40 AM – 3:45 PM (early release 1:45 PM)
- Elementary Schools – 7:40 AM – 2:45 PM (early release 12:45 PM)
- Northwood Preschool Center – 8:15 AM – 11:15 AM and 12:15 PM – 3:15 PM (No school on Wednesday for both preschool and early kindergarten)