The BHS Schedule Change, Helpful or Hurtful?

A rundown on everything you want to know about the new start and end times.


Hampton Traylor and Elliot Graham

The new schedule for the Boulder Valley School District is being tested for the first time this year, and there are mixed feelings about the 8:30-3:45 school day. After switching from the 7:30-3:00 schedule from past years, the subject of the new schedule has been a common topic of discussion in and around Broomfield High School, with the effects being shown through students’ abilities during and after school. Originally, the change was suggested to be tested over multiple years with multiple schedules that progressively got later until 8:30-3:45, but the district decided to enact the full change immediately.

Steven Marchi, a social studies teacher, has been teaching for 22 years and has come to accept the new schedule, though he sees both perspectives. “The only constant in this universe is change,” he said. “It’s more so about the students and less about the teachers and staff. It’s more about students and if they’re benefitting.” With about 10,000 high school students impacted by the changes, it’s hard to really say if it’s benefiting most students.

Jim Zechmann, a PE teacher, who also coaches football, track, and wrestling and runs the weight room, has a few different concerns with the changes made. “After hearing the new schedule was confirmed, I was concerned that they were not getting the information from teachers and students that was required,” Zechmann said. “I was worried personally how it was gonna impact my family, how it was gonna impact my children, and how it was gonna impact me as a teacher and coach. And more importantly, I was worried about how it was going to impact the students here at Broomfield High School. I think that sometimes people that don’t work within the classroom, make choices without really getting as much information as possible.” Relating to Zechmann’s concerns, roughly 1 in 4 high school students over the age of 16 have jobs, and it is very likely a later start time clashes with the schedules of those who work.

 Tyler Martin, a student at Broomfield High and a member of the wrestling team, gave his opinions on the topic. “I thought I wasn’t going to get to class on time but otherwise, I didn’t have any problems,” said Martin, “it would be great for school purposes.” However, his biggest concern was that sports were given less time after school compared to previous years. Despite his initial opinions, Martin pointed out that personally, not much had changed outside of sports, not even how much sleep he gets each night. Though he did have some concerns, overall, he believed that the change was positive.

The University of Washington did a study based on the educational effects a later schedule has on students. The study. Amy R. Wolfson and Mary. A Carskadon also did a study about adolescents and sleepiness depending on the characteristics of students. The study looked at 4 different schools, with over 3,000 students testing whether certain actions affected their sleep.

University of Washington study (education)  Wolfson and Carskadon study (sleep)
  • Students got on average 34 more minutes of sleep with later start times
  • In adolescence, daytime sleepiness can increase in teens, even with the most optimized sleep schedule
  • Teens aligned with their body’s natural wake up times. 
  • Some teens go through a phase where the natural time for them to fall asleep is much later
  • Improvement in students grades, less absences and tardies daily
  • The average time for teenagers to fall asleep is about 11PM or later
  •  Students scored 4.5% higher on their finals
  • By having a later natural sleep time, staying wide awake at night and feeling drowsy in the morning becomes normal
  • Students were found to be more engaged in deeper thoughts and conversation
  • When teens tried to catch up on sleep during the weekend, their sleep schedule gets more random and unnatural

Judging if the new schedule is beneficial or not is challenging, considering there were so many impacted by the changes and how complicated and personal each challenge or benefit has been. The many different effects of this change have also not yet been tested, with the supports and problems of each person affected meaning an equal amount in deciding the future. Depending on opinions, the schedule might stay the same or it might be changed further down the road. Love it or hate it, for now, the 8:30 to 3:45 times are staying.