Des Moines School Board Discussing Possible Changes to Start Times

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The Des Moines School Board tried tackling the controversial matter of school start times on Tuesday.

For years, school leaders have argued that changes need to be made in order to benefit students and better align with sleep patterns of children at different ages.

The new proposal would shift elementary start times to 7:30 in the morning. High schools would start almost an hour later at 8:25, and middle schools at 8:30.

The plan appears to be gaining momentum.

"National organizations are literally pleading with us in K-12 education to make this change. Everyone from the Pediatrics Association, the Psychology Association, the Sleep Foundation folks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, all of these folks have written position papers essentially pleading with K-12 education to make this structural change to help adolescents learn," said Tim Schott, Executive Director of Secondary Schools in the DMPS district.

The board indicated they wanted to move forward on the proposal, but no vote was set. They meet again on December 12th.