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Delayed high school start times later than 8:30am and impact on graduation rates and attendance rates

Published:February 01, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2017.01.002

      Abstract

      Objectives

      The first purpose of this study was to investigate changes in high school graduation rates with a delayed school start time of later than 8:30 am. The second aim of the study was to analyze the association between a delayed high school start time later than 8:30 am and attendance rates.

      Design

      In the current study, a pre-post design using a repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to examine changes in attendance and graduation rates 2 years after a delayed start was implemented.

      Setting

      Public high schools from 8 school districts (n = 29 high schools) located throughout 7 different states. Schools were identified using previous research from the Children's National Medical Center's Division of Sleep Medicine Research Team.

      Participants and measurements

      A total membership of more than 30,000 high school students enrolled in the 29 schools identified by the Children's National Medical Center's Research Team. A pre-post design was used for a within-subject design, controlling for any school-to-school difference in the calculation of the response variable. This is the recommended technique for a study that may include data with potential measurement error.

      Results

      Findings from this study linked a start time of later than 8:30 am to improved attendance rates and graduation rates.

      Conclusions

      Attendance rates and graduation rates significantly improved in schools with delayed start times of 8:30 am or later. School officials need to take special notice that this investigation also raises questions about whether later start times are a mechanism for closing the achievement gap due to improved graduation rates.

      Keywords

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