Changing School Start Times FAQ

Changing School Start Times FAQ
Posted on 02/01/2020
Changing School Start Times

The mission of Farmington Area Public Schools, District 192, is to ensure each learner continuously achieves one’s highest aspirations. To that end, we are continuously evaluating current practices and making improvements for the benefit of our learners.

Over the past year, we have carefully considered current school hours and whether or not they are arranged in the best possible way to facilitate student learning at every level. Utilizing research from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health organizations we have come to understand that a change to school start times would greatly benefit our learners by engaging them when they are most ready to learn. 

Why change school start times? 

This is an opportunity to improve the health and learning of our students. Elementary-aged children are inclined to go to bed and wake up earlier while teenagers are inclined to go to bed later and wake up later due to their natural physical development. This means that prime learning time, when students are most alert and well rested, begins earlier for elementary students and later for middle and high school students. Changing school start times so that elementary students begin earlier and middle and high school students begin later will provide better learning opportunities at all levels. 

When will the approved school start time changes take effect?

The new start times were unanimously approved by the School Board on December 9, 2019 and will take effect in the fall of 2020. This allows time for families, schools, and community organizations to plan and prepare for the change.

What are the new start times? 

The school district has worked in conjunction with Marschall Lines, our transportation provider, to determine a schedule that serves the needs of all schools. The proposed start times for fall 2020 are:

7:40 a.m. - 2:10 p.m

— Akin Road Elementary 

— Meadowview Elementary 

— North Trail Elementary 

— Riverview Elementary 

8:10 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

— Farmington Elementary 

8:10 a.m. - 2:55 p.m. 

— Farmington High School 

8:40 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

— Robert Boeckman Middle School

— Levi P. Dodge Middle School 


Why is proposed start time for Farmington Elementary later than the other elementary schools?

Farmington Elementary has the largest attendance boundary area with some students having a 45-60 minute bus ride. The later start time proposal for FES is reflective of their longer routes.

How would changing school start times affect the school district budget? 

The current plan for changing school start times is budget neutral, which means that it will have no financial impact on the school district.  

Has the district explored the possibility of reconfiguring bus routes so that all schools could start after 8 a.m.?  What would be the financial impact?

As discussed in other parts of this FAQ document, it benefits learning at the elementary level if younger students begin earlier in the day. When the district first began to explore the possibility of earlier start times, we did consider the possibility of having all schools start around 8 a.m. Since this is not possible with our current busing system (a three-tiered system), the district did ask Marschall Lines to price out a two-tier busing system that would allow for more routes and therefore similar start times at all buildings. The potential additional cost would be around $300,000 per year. In discussions with Marschall Lines they also brought to our attention that staffing the additional routes in a two-tiered system would pose a significant challenge given our state-wide bus driver shortage.

How would this affect elementary students? 

— Earlier start times would allow for literacy block to take place before lunch for our youngest learners.

— Earlier start times would allow prime learning hours, when elementary-aged children are most rested and alert, to be spent with teachers

— Research suggests that earlier start times would allow for more productive and energetic learning in the afternoon as well.

— Earlier release times for elementary students would allow for more outdoor playtime, fresh air and physical exercise before dark.

How would this affect middle school students?

— There is more than two decades worth of research to show that later school start times for adolescents result in better academic performance, improved graduation rates, less depression, tardiness and obesity in students.

Due to natural physical development, teenagers are predisposed to fall asleep later and wake up later than younger children or adults. Research shows that when provided with later school start times middle school students get more sleep overall.

How would this affect middle school activities?

Middle School activities would continue after school and the district would continue to provide an activities shuttle between FHS, BMS, and DMS. We do have a small number of middle school students who participate in high school sports/activities. Advisors and coaches of these programs are aware of the potential change in start times and believe these changes will not negatively impact students’ ability to participate.

How would this affect Tiger Academy?

Tiger Academy would be held after school (at the end of the day) at both the elementary and middle school levels. Transportation would continue to be provided for students in Tiger Academy.

How would this affect high school students?

The change in school start times would have little to no impact on Farmington High School students because the high school already has a later start time. 

What about family schedules?

We recognize that coordinating a family schedule with regard to school hours, work hours, childcare, extra curricular activities, family time and other factors is a big job. For some families a shift in school hours will make things easier and for some it might not. Ultimately, as a school district we must make decisions to best serve students and their learning. The research shows that changing school start times will have a significant overall benefit to student learning. 

Have these proposed changes been shared with Farmington Parks and Recreation so they might be able to consider their evening activity start times and how they can best align with the proposed school start times?

The Farmington Parks and Recreation Department has been made aware of the proposed school start time changes as well as the information our families have brought to our attention regarding their concerns about community activity times for students at various grade levels.

How can I get more information or give feedback?

You are always welcome to reach out to the school or the district office through phone or email. Additionally, there are three information sessions planned for the fall of 2019, all beginning at 6:30 p.m.:

Tuesday, October 8:  Akin Road Elementary Commons Area, 5231 195th Street West, Farmington, MN 55024

Thursday, October 24:  Farmington Elementary Media Center, 500 Maple Street, Farmington, MN 55024

Tuesday, November 5:  North Trail Elementary Media Center, 5580 170th Street West, Farmington, MN 55024 

Community Information Session Presentation

You may also share feedback through this form.

Where can I find research studies on adolescent sleep and school start times?  The American Academy of Pediatrics 
— The Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The Minnesota Sleep Society


How will this affect Kid Connection?

Kid Connection, the Farmington Area Public Schools Community Education before and after school childcare program, will open registration for the 2020-2021 school year on May 1, 2020. While exact pricing for the 2020-2021 school year has yet to be determined, there will be some changes to the current pricing system due to the changing hours of the program. The chart below shows the current prices for Kid Connection and the estimated price changes for the 2020-2021 school year. Please note that the projected prices for the 2020-2021 school year remain subject to change. 

Consistent Schedule Pick Your Day Schedule
(able to change the days per week,
from month to month)
Drop-In Schedule 
(24-48 hours notice)
2019-2020 (Current) 
AM and PM = $25.00 per day
AM only = $12.50 per day 
PM only = $12.50 per day
2019-2020 (Current) 
AM and PM = $26.50 per day
AM only = $13.25 per day 
PM only = $13.25 per day
2019-2020 (Current) 
AM and PM = $29.50 per day
AM only = $14.75 per day 
PM only = $14.75 per day

2020-2021 (Proposed)
AM and PM = $25.00 per day
AM only =  $8.00 per day
PM only =  $17.00 per day
2020-2021 (Proposed)
AM and PM = $26.50 per day
AM only =  $8.75 per day
PM only =  $17.75 per day
2020-2021 (Proposed)
AM and PM = $29.50 per day
AM only =  $10.25 per day
PM only =  $19.25 per day