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New start and end times proposed for 2019-2020 school year

April 23, 2019 – Changes to school start and end times have been proposed throughout Brooklyn Center Community Schools. The school board will vote to approve the changes at the May 13 regular meeting. A change is being considered so we can better meet the needs of our students and because of research that shows best practices for school day lengths and start times.

The below table shows the proposed start and end times for Pre-K, Earle Brown Elementary STEAM (EBE), Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM (BCS), and the Early College Academy (ECA).

Start and end time changes overview

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While drafting a proposed schedule change, it was important that the district maintain the two-tier bus system, meaning elementary students are not on the same routes as our middle and high school system. We also knew it was important that changes be made at both sites so elementary students have a shortened school day and middle and high school students start school later than the current schedule. Please read below for information specific to our programs and schools.

Earle Brown Elementary STEAM and Pre-K

In the proposed schedule, the student school day would begin at 7:45 a.m. for students in grades PreK-5 at Earle Brown Elementary STEAM. The school day would end at 2:05 p.m. for grades K-5. Pre-K students would end their school day at 1:45 p.m.

Below is a list of changes that would occur with the proposed start and end times:

  • Shortened school day. Students are currently in school for seven hours. The school day would be shortened to six hours and 20 minutes.
  • Hot breakfast. The staggered bus drop, at 7:15 and 7:30 a.m., would allow for students to have a hot breakfast in the cafeteria. Currently, students eat a pre-packaged breakfast in their classrooms.
  • Evening meal. We would be able to offer an evening meal to all students who participate in before-and after-school programs.
  • Teacher collaboration. Staff have provided feedback that they would prefer time to collaborate outside of the school day. With the proposed schedule, staff would be able to meet before school starts.
  • STEP 21 program. Currently, the STEP targeted services program is offered before and after school. With the proposed schedule, STEP 21 would be offered in a larger block of time at the end of the school day, from 2:15-4:30 p.m.

Please see the below table for programming specific to EBE.

Proposed changes at Earle Brown

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Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM and the Early College Academy

In the proposed schedule, the student school day for grades 6-12 students at Brooklyn Center Middle and High School STEAM would begin at 8:45 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. at south campus and 3:35 p.m. at north campus. ECA students would also be in school from 8:45 a.m. – 3:35 p.m. and will be on the same schedule as BCS north and south campuses. ECA students receive special services at both campuses and would need to maintain the same daily schedule. 

Below is a list of changes that would occur with the proposed start and end times:

  • Later start time. Research suggests teenagers should not be in school until after 8:30 a.m. so that they can get the recommended eight and a half hours or more of sleep. Studies of districts that have implemented later start times for middle and high school students show that students have improved alertness and better memory retention and cognitive processing. Click here to learn about a study conducted in Seattle Public Schools.
  • Decreased tardies. Studies also show that a later start time results in fewer first-hour tardies. As of April 1, 2019, there are 301 BCS students who have nine or more first hour tardies. By starting one hour and 20 minutes later, students will be able to be on time for school consistently. Click here to view a study from the University of Minnesota about later school start times.
  • After-school programming. Athletics, activities and other after-school programs would continue but on a slightly later schedule (as seen in the below table). An evening meal still be provided for students who participate in after-school activities and athletics.
  • Daily schedule. There may also be changes made to the daily schedule for students to address potential challenges with the proposed start and end times. More information about the daily BCS and ECA schedules will be shared with staff, students and families over the next few weeks.

Proposed changes for BCS/ECA

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Additional Information

The district will host two information sessions for families about start and end time changes. Families are invited to learn more on Thursday, May 2 at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, May 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the district office. District and school leadership will be present to answer questions about the proposed schedule change. 21st Century staff will also be available to talk about before-and after-school programming options for families. Families are also invited to participate in a brief survey about the proposed start and end time changes. Click here to take the start and end times survey.