By Kate Tobiasson, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Many districts across the country are moving start times for middle and high school students. This past year, Westborough Public Schools moved the middle and high school start times 40 minutes later, adjusting the elementary start times to compensate. The change took adjustment for many, and had mixed reviews, although most of those surveyed by the district had positive feedback.
This change was made when considering compelling research indicating that teenagers circadian rhythms and sleep schedules set them up to succeed with later start times.
Interestingly, the 2019-2020 school year, Hudson Public Schools will be moving middle school start times 13 minutes earlier. The school committee has been discussing this change in past months, surrounding conversations about bussing.
School Superintendent Dr. Marco Rodrigues did not respond to requests for an interview, but an administrator at David J. Quinn Middle School confirmed that it seems the district will be making this change in September.
“As far as I know, Quinn Middle School will be starting school at 7:47 a.m. next year,” stated Assistant Principal Matt Gaffney.
The structure of school times in Hudson means that rising fifth grade students will have a 43 minute change in start time when moving to the middle school, as elementary schools start at 8:30 a.m. This change is intended to help better bus students to school, but doesn’t consider the increased sleep requirements and natural rhythms of the adolescent mind.
To best prepare students for the upcoming school year, parents may want to try adjusting wake times for their middle schoolers in Hudson well ahead of the start of the school year.