School Start Time Committee

Later high school start times proven to improve student mental health, academic performance and safety

Our vision: That every teenager has sufficient sleep to maintain mental health, succeed in school, and stay safe.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adolescents and young adults receive 8-10 hours of sleep per night. The biologic clock of teens causes them to fall asleep later.

Research conducted by Kyla Wahlstrom Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota has clearly revealed that school start times beginning no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for grades 9 through 12 improve outcomes in three important areas:

  • decreased car crashes in some cases by as much as 70%
  • decreased depression and fewer poor choices about substance abuse
  • improved academic performance on state and national achievement tests


Later Start Times Graph

The School Start Time Committee is comprised of sleep medicine experts who understand the benefits of a later school start time as well as the unfortunate and avoidable negative consequences of an early start times for teenagers.

School Start Time Committee Members

Keith Cavanaugh, MD

Julie Dahl, APRN,CNP

John Garcia, MD

Con Iber, MD

Wendy Meyers, APRN,CNP

Jonathan Parker, DDS

Kyla Wahlstrom, PhD


LaterStartTimesGrads“Changing the school start time was one of the most important achievements I made as a superintendent.”

–Kenneth Dragseth,Ph.D, former superintendent of Edina High School

Districts who have adopted this proven change for their students:
Edina (1996)
Alexandria (2015)
Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose (2016)
Wayzata ( 2016)



Email the MN Sleep Secretary to be added to the list of schools interested in changing start times.




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