North Ridgeville students' test scores improved with later school day start time

North Ridgeville students' test scores improved with later school day start time

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH (WOIO) - North Ridgeville High School students will report to class at 8 a.m., a little later than many other area school districts.

"It really does make a difference, especially when you have a lot of homework or classes that you have to do stuff for," said Rachel Wysocky, a senior at North Ridgeville High.

The North Ridgeville City Schools made the change to a later start time last year.

School used to start at 7:20 a.m., but research shows teens need about nine and a half hours of sleep, so officials made the change.

"Knowing that students have afterschool commitments, students have sports that keep them up later. Even their own natural sleeping cycles start a little bit later. The idea is to push it back, which makes them more alert when they show up in class," said David Pitt, director of curriculum and instruction for North Ridgeville City Schools.

Cutting down on teen drowsy driving was also a factor.

Aside from the health benefits and the safety benefits of later school start times, the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement did a study that showed when school start times were later in the morning, students were absent less often.

They were late less often, and their test scores improved in their first period classes.

School officials in North Ridgeville say they saw an immediate improvement in test scores at the high school.

It's not clear just yet if the later school start time is directly related to the improved test scores.

"When I start at eight, I feel a lot better. I feel refreshed," said Gwen Dominak, a junior at North Ridgeville High.

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