District considers later start times for Madison middle schools

District considers later start times for Madison middle schools

Thursday was the last day of school in Madison, but district officials are starting to look into the future of start times at its middle schools.

Administrators are considering pushing the start time almost two hours later to 9:15 a.m.

Officials said a big reason behind the push is performance, referencing a number of studies that suggest a later start time could improve students’ performance, lead to more students in classes, higher GPAs and less disciplinary action.

Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said she fully supports a later start time.

“I think the research is incredibly solid. It stands on its own,” Cheatham said. “It is better for students to get sufficient sleep, and a later start time would be better for them. I just don’t think that there’s anything to argue with there.”

District officials will have to look at the cost of transportation for students and how this could push after-school activities to start even later.

Some parents are already worried school starting late will conflict with their work schedules.

Cheatham said they’ll consider adding before- and after-school care.

The earliest a change would go into effect would be for the 2018-19 school year.