Banner Pattern


Start and Stop Times Proposed Adjustments for the 2022-2023 School Year

The Ames CSD is proposing adjustments to start and stop times across the District starting in August for the 2022-2023 school year. These adjustments are being proposed as a result of several factors, including the work from the Calendar Committee, financial savings, research related to this topic, and previous community feedback. 

Proposed Start and Stop Times

The proposed start and stop times are as follows:

  • Ames High School – 8:30 AM – 3:35 PM (early release 1:35 PM)
  • Ames Middle School – 8:40 AM – 3:45 PM (early release 1:45 PM)
  • Elementary Schools – 7:40 AM – 2:45 PM (early release 12:45 PM)
  • Northwood Preschool Center – 8:15 AM – 11:15 AM and 12:15 PM – 3:15 PM (No school on Wednesday for both preschool and early kindergarten)

This proposal essentially flips the start and stop times of our elementary and secondary schools. Currently, our secondary buildings start the day with Ames High beginning at 7:50 AM and Ames Middle School starting at 8:00 AM. Elementary schools follow that with an 8:30 AM start time. 

Financial Efficiencies

Ames CSD can gain efficiencies in transportation costs related to start and stop times for students. To do so, the District needs to expand the start and stop time between elementary school and secondary schools to 50 minutes. Each bus route run (morning and afternoon) costs $200 per route per day. By increasing the time to 50 minutes between elementary and secondary times, 10 routes can be reduced each day (10 routes x $200 = $2,000 savings per day; 169 instructional days x $2,000 = $338,000 saving per year). Currently, there is a 30 minute split between elementary and secondary start and stop times. 

Research Articles

There are a number of research articles that note benefits of delaying secondary school start times based on student sleep patterns. Below are a number of linked articles:

Previous Community Feedback

In March of 2020, the District explored this topic and sought feedback from stakeholders about possible adjusted school start times. The survey did not specify any proposed start times but asked if there was support moving elementary to an earlier start time and secondary buildings later. The topic was paused as a result of the pandemic at around the same time. The results outlined below show a positive response at the time.

  • Staff – Participation Rate – 296 Participants, 143 Thoughts, 2,793 Ratings
    • Support: 70% Yes, 30% No
  • Students – Participation Rate – 997 Participants, 519 Thoughts, 5,648 Ratings
    • Support: 87% Yes, 13% No
  • Parents – Participation Rate – 1,157 Participants, 582 Thoughts, 11,271 Ratings
    • Support: 73% Yes, 27% No

Because things have changed significantly in the past two years in schools, and because these results were based on general principles rather than specific times, the district intends to collect feedback again from our students, staff, and community. 

If you would like to provide feedback on this proposal, you can do so by filling out this Google Form. Responses will be collected through Wednesday, April 6, 2022. 

Key Contacts

Amy DeLashmutt

Director - Communications