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Changing the Start of School? What to know.
Rochester Public Schools

Bell times for the 2020-2021 school year have yet to be determined. Conversations on bell times will continue through the month of February, first with a study session on February 10 at the Facilities Services Center (3935 Hwy. 14 E.), and a tentative presentation to the school board on February 18, 2020 at the Edison Board Room (615 7thStreet SW).


The District has been researching changes to our bell times for years. We are considering a later start time for our students as early as Fall 2020, but it is important to hear from our students, parents, staff, and community members before we make any decision. Initially, the District studied the cost of one start time across the district for elementary and secondary students. This would require changes to our busing schedule which would cost us an additional six million dollars per year.

So, a committee of approximately 15 individuals throughout the District studied the pros and cons of two different start time options. We presented these options to the school board on November 12th. 

We’re exploring both options for a variety of reasons including our increased emphasis on social and emotional health. We believe sleep is a major contributor to our students’ wellness.

On December 11, the District hosted a community meeting in order to seek feedback on these options. A replay of the community meeting is available on our YouTube Channel. The meeting began with a sleep presentation by Dr. Robert Auger from Mayo Clinic. The District's information on both options was presented as well. 

We're asking our parents, staff, students, and community members to provide their feedback through a Thoughtexchange. This exchange will be open until December 20, 2019. The District will compile the themes from the exchange, along with the feedback from the community meeting, and present them to the RPS School Board in late January. 

A side-by-side comparison of the current bell times, compared with the proposed options is a helpful resource when considering which option is more favorable to you.