“MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/12/2014) —Later high school start times improve student grades and overall health, according to a new University of Minnesota study, released today.
The three-year project, using data from more than 9,000 students attending eight high schools in three states, found that, when switching to a later start time:
- attendance, standardized test scores and academic performance in math, English, science and social studies improved.
- tardiness, substance abuse, symptoms of depression, and consumption of caffeinated drinks decreased.
In addition, the study found that there was a 70 percent drop in the number of car crashes involving teen drivers at Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming, which shifted to the latest start time of the eight schools (8:55 a.m.).
“The research confirmed what has been suspected for some time,” said Kyla Wahlstrom, Ph.D., director of the U of M’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), which conducted the study. “High schools across the country that have later start times show significant improvements in many areas. The reduction of teen car crashes may be the most important finding of all, as the well-being of teens and the safety of the general public are interrelated.”
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