Skip to main content

Starting classes earlier in the day doesn’t negatively affect elementary school students’ academic performance, which could be another incentive for some districts that need to stagger start times to delay school start times for secondary students, according to new research.

In a pair of studies, released Thursday by the American Educational Research Association, researchers determined that beginning the school day earlier had “near-zero effects” on the youngest learners.

“Earlier start times really have the least consequences and make the most sense at the elementary school level,” said Kevin Bastian, the director of the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina (EPIC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He co-authored the report with Sarah Fuller, a research associate professor in UNC’s department of public policy and at EPIC.

Ed Week