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IPS moving start time for middle school in 2024-25 school year

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Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-12 23:34:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A change is coming for Indianapolis Public Middle School students next school year. Superintendent Dr. Alessia Johnson announced they'll start class later in 2024-25.

“You can get kids to school around 7, but you're not going to get a lot out of them," Maggie McGrann said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later to let students get the sleep they need.

"The middle school I worked at started really early. We had such a difficult time. We always said the first period in middle school was like a throwaway. They were not awake and ready to learn," McGrann said.

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Starting next school year, IPS will fall in line with that recommendation.

"I think it's been a long time coming for a lot of schools to recognize this does not help learning and development," McGrann said."

IPS will move its middle school start time to 9 a.m. more than an hour and a half later than its current time, 7:20 a.m.

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A change in scheduling for some, but for former IPS Middle School counselor and mother Maggie McGrann, this bit of news is a relief.

"There's nothing that works for everybody. There are people that work third shift, there's nothing that works for everybody. But it's a matter of taking parents feedback which I’m glad that they did that," McGrann said.

"As we think about creating the best enabling conditions for success in our middle schools, that later start time along with the fact that families were giving us the feedback that they were align to that idea, also this body of research that says that that is better for students led us to make the decision to move those times," Johnson said.

A later start time means IPS Middle School students will get out at 4 p.m. instead of 2:10 p.m. The change applies to middle schools only, K-8 schools already start at 9 a.m.