The Des Moines School Board has been discussing new start times for more than a year and on Tuesday board members decided to give Superintendent Tom Ahart the responsibility of setting the school day schedule. Ahart told the Des Moines Register he plans to move the opening bell for elementary school to as early at 7:30 a.m., which would be 45-to-75 minutes earlier than right now.
Middle and high school students could start their school day at 8:30 a.m., about 45 minutes later than the current start time. The Des Moines School Board is expected to discuss the matter further at a meeting in December. The changes, if approved, would take effect for the 2018-19 school year.
More school districts across the country are altering start times following research on sleep patterns of children at different ages and how it impacts their performance in the classroom.