Grants Pass High School to Implement Later School Start Time for 2023-2024 Academic Year
Grants Pass High School will begin implementing a later school start time for the 2023-2024 academic year. The decision comes after careful consideration of the benefits of a later start time for high school students, the impacts on busing and instructional time requirements, as well as feedback from parents, students, and staff.
“This change reflects what our parents have voiced, our students prefer, and our staff has embraced,” Principal Ryan Thompson says. “A rested student is a more balanced student who can better engage in learning.”
The change was initiated by Grants Pass High School senior, Aniko LaFrance-Hernandez, who presented research on the health and academic benefits of a later start time to the Superintendent and his leadership team. The research showed that teenagers require more sleep due to their developing brains and that a later start time can positively impact academic performance, attendance, and overall well-being.
“I don’t think it has set in that I helped make this possible,” Aniko LaFrance-Hernandez says.” I am ecstatic knowing that kids will now have what I never had: the chance to sleep longer. I hope this will truly benefit their brains and that they’ll use this extra time wisely.”
“We are excited for the change in our schedule and appreciate all the work Aniko put into sharing her thoughts and research with us,” incoming Principal Michele Napier says. “We believe the new schedule will positively impact our students by allowing them the opportunity to get some more sleep each night, and will positively impact our staff by providing them more time in the morning to prepare for their day and collaborate with their colleagues.”
Beginning in the fall of 2023, Grants Pass High School will begin classes at 8:30 am, which is about 40 minutes later than the current start time. On Wednesdays, school will begin at 9:30 am. The change will be most significant for students who ride the bus. With the schedule change, they will now be dropped off at school an hour later than they had been dropped off previously. This additional time will give students the opportunity to get the rest they need to be more alert and focused in the classroom.
“We believe that this change will have a positive impact on our students’ academic success, attendance, and overall well-being,” Superintendent Tim Sweeney says. “Student voice is valued in the Grants Pass School District, and we are excited to implement this change thanks to Aniko’s efforts.”
With the change to the start time, Grants Pass High School will now end the day at 3:40 PM, which is about 25 minutes later than the current end time. After-school activities will now begin around 4:00 PM.