Collierville Can THRIVE with Optimal School Start Times!

Collierville School Board meeting Nov. 29th, 2018

The Collierville School Board voted 3-2 in favor of changing to a later school start time for the next school year, beginning August 2019. (video set to minute 38:19 for the decision.) Watch the end, or start at the beginning for the full meeting with comments and questions from board members. We applaud this decision! No child will be picked up before 6:45 am with this change! (Current 6 am) For kids to wait for school buses in the daylight, it’s a tremendous improvement for safety too!

Statement from our Start Time Later Initiative:

Statement from Dan Osborn - spokesperson for our grassroots parent group in support of a later school start time for Collierville High School:


Collierville schools explore later school start time

Newspaper Feature - Part 1

Memphis Commercial Appeal Article:

Collierville psychologist: Teens benefit from later school start time

Katie Fretland, Memphis Commercial Appeal Published 7:00 a.m. CT Sept. 28, 2018 | Updated 9:49 a.m. CT Sept. 28, 2018

Newspaper follow up stories - parts 2 and 3

Memphis Commercial Appeal Articles:

Collierville committee recommends 7:30 a.m. start time for high school:

Divided Collierville board moves to start school later

Katie Fretland, Memphis Commercial Appeal Published 6:13 p.m. CT Nov. 29, 2018 | Updated 5:47 p.m. CT Nov. 30, 2018:

What you need to know!

Why is this a problem?

Poster designed by Clayton Cavanaugh, Muskego High School, Wisconsin

Over 10% of U.S. high schools currently start before 7:30 a.m., 43% start before 8 a.m., and under 15% start after 8:30 a.m. Over 20% of U.S. middle schools start class at 7:45 a.m. or earlier. Bus pick-ups start shortly after 5:30 a.m. in some districts, and teens must wake at 5 or 6 a.m. to get to school on time. Meanwhile, the school day ends in the early afternoon, sometimes even before 2 p.m. These schedules are out-of-sync with the sleep needs and patterns of middle and high school students, whose brains and bodies are still growing, and create a huge sleep debt every week of the school year.

Public health concern!

Many schools start too early in the morning!

 Too-early school start times are a national public health concern with consequences impacting children, families, and the community at large. Besides forcing many children to walk and drive to school in pre-dawn darkness, these hours are creating a generation deprived of the sleep that growing brains and bodies require. 

Early school hours PREVENT many students and young teachers from getting the 9 or so hours of sleep per night that most teenagers and young adults need

The health, safety, and equity benefits to starting middle and high school at times more in sync with the sleep needs and patterns of students are irrefutable.   

What's the big deal?

A National Sleep Foundation poll found 59 percent of 6th through 8th graders and 87 percent of U.S.

 Compelling evidence now shows that starting middle and high school before the sun rises is out of sync with the biological clocks of young people (people ages 12-25, which includes young teachers). Even more disturbingly, starting school at these hours has now been linked not only to widespread sleep deprivation but also to a host of physical, psychological, and educational problems. 

School Board Meeting Videos - Public comments:

CDR Justin Long, Executive Assistant Commander, Navy Recruiting Command addressed the Collierville School Board in support of a later school start time at CHS. 10/25/18

adequate sleep is critical for our children!

As supporters of a later school start time for Collierville, we urge you to learn more about the research on health benefits for proper sleep in teens. #StartSchoolLater 

Kathi Wright - Kyle Kiihnl Foundation/Don't Drive Drowsy

Kathi Wright addressed the Collierville School Board in support of a later school start time for the safety of children/teens. (Sept. 2018) 

Please take the time to understand the deadly impact of Drowsy Drivers in the lives of so many families. To learn more:

Dr. Jaya Venkataraman, pediatrician - School Board Mtg.

Dr. Jaya Venkataraman, pediatrician, addressed the Collierville School Board in support of a later school start time for the health of adolescents and teens. (Sept. 2018 meeting)  

Dan Osborne, CHS Parent, Adresses the School Board

Dan Osborne, CHS Parent, and group spokesperson addressed the Collierville School Board in support of a later school start time for the health of adolescents and teens. (Sept. 2018 meeting)  

Decreased absenteeism/tardiness & increased graduation rate

We urge the school board and committee to also consider cost savings that are shown in case studies throughout the country in the form of reduced tardiness, absenteeism, suspensions and possibly dropout rates when times are shifted to become optimal for students academically, mentally and physically.

For example, an article was published October. 2018 showing that Eldon High School in Jefferson City, Missouri is quickly seeing improvements in attendance due to their start time shift this year. The high school’s average daily attendance for the 2018-19 school year so far is 95.4%, compared to the previous year’s 92.3%. They shifted the HS start time from 7:55 am to 8:30 am. 

Each day a student is in school, the school receives funding - a cost savings is realized with a reduction in absenteeism and drop out rates. 

Important considerations about school start times:

"The reality is that districts of all shapes and sizes, all over the country and the world, have found ways to run at safe, healthy hours. While none of these ways is identical, each of them shares one critical element: they regard start times that allow students to get healthy sleep to be critical." 


"Many districts poll communities about changing schedules. This can be a great way to identify potential concerns. But offering “no change” as an option is a great way to kill change of any sort. Our natural “status quo bias” leads us overestimate the cost of any change while overlooking the cost of keeping things the way they are.

Assuming the district has already set a goal of starting school later, keeping the status quo has to be off the table. Again, since the goal has been set, the question is no longer whether to change, but how."


"Time and time again, a district that does not particularly want to change bell times will generate a sky-high figure about the cost of change, usually involving adding new buses. 

Interestingly, when these estimates are reconsidered by a district committed to the change— sometimes with the help of routing software and always with the help of creative thinking and political will—these numbers often if not always plummet.

In fact, there is almost always a no-cost (and sometimes cost-saving) way to start schools at later, healthier times. Finding it just means reassessing priorities."

Quoted article - additional insight in THIS LINK.

Dr. Valerie Crabtree Pediatric Psychologist

Dr. Valerie Crabtree Pediatric Psychologist addressed the Collierville School Board in support of a later school start time for the health of adolescents and teens. (Sept. 2018 meeting)

Kathi wright reads teen submitted drowsy driving crashes

Kathi read scholarship submissions to the board - real examples of teens driving drowsy and how it impacted their lives.

Why school should start later for teens | TED TALK

Teens don't get enough sleep, and it's not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones -- it's because of public policy, says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.