Timing of high schools: achievement, attendance, and graduation



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This study was conducted as a sequential mixed method design to determine the relationship of school start times with achievement, attendance, and graduation rates among high schools. The misalignment of the internal clocks in teenagers and high school start times has been evident among high school campuses.Teenagers have required at least 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep; however, research has shown that 87% of high school students received less sleep due to the early start times of high schools (Owens, Au, Carskadon, Millman, & Wolfson, 2014a; Wahlstrom, 2002). High schools have not changed their start times in decades; thus, the purpose of this study examined the routines of schools and the collision with the biological needs of adolescents, contributing to sleep deprivation (Owens, Drobnich, Baylor, & Lewin, 2014b); van der Vinne et al., 2015). The high school start times were acquired from 256 high schools in three region centers (Region IV, Region V, and Region VI) in southeast Texas for the 2017 - 2018 school year. These 256 high schools were sorted by size (small, medium, and large) based on student enrollment figures from the 2017 - 2018 school year. Achievement, attendance, and graduation data was collected from the Texas Student Data System (TSDS). This information was analyzed using Pearson's product moment correlations (r) to determine if school start times had an impact on achievement, attendance, and graduation averages.The results of this study found that small sized high schools with an average start time of 7:51 a.m. had a statistically significant relationship with achievement, attendance, and graduation averages which aligned the internal clocks of teenagers with their high schools start times more successfully than medium and large sized high schools. Additionally, interviews from 15 superintendents provided a unique perspective on the process and implementation of altering high school start times.The in-depth responses provided a wealth of information that superintendents encounter when addressing school start times. The results of this study revealed the logistical, practical, and political aspects behind the healthy alignment of school start times and the internal clocks of teenagers.



Sleep deprivation High school start times Attendance Achievement Graduation