Reminder: School starts times shift in 2019-20

Reminder: School starts times shift in 2019-20
Posted on 07/31/2019
cartoon image of a flip chart calendar

Grand Junction, CO The 2019-20 school year begins Aug. 12, 2019, in District 51. Changes to start times, early release, and the calendar schedule were announced throughout the winter and spring, with reminders posted this summer. The changes are listed below. 

Middle, high schools to start later
It is natural for teens to have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m., according to the National Sleep Foundation, and school and activities can get them up well before they get a recommended 8-10 hours of sleep. District 51 will give students more time to sleep in the morning without shifting afternoon sports and activities much later into the evening by starting classes at 8 a.m. and dismissing at 3:15 p.m. next year at the majority of D51 middle and high schools. East, Fruita, and West middle schools, however, will start at 7:52 a.m. and dismiss at 3:07 p.m., and R-5 High will go from 7:55 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. (R-5 also starts the year early, on Aug. 9). 

Small change to elementary start times
Most elementary schools will start the school day at 8:55 a.m. – five minutes later in 2019-20 than they did in 2018-19 – and end the day at 4 p.m. (2 p.m. on Fridays). This slight change will give buses enough time to drop off middle and high school students at their new start times and pick up elementary school bus riders before their school day begins. Loma Elementary School will start the day a tad later at 9:05 a.m. and dismiss at 4:10 p.m. (2:10 p.m. on Fridays). Dual Immersion Academy and New Emerson will go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

Early Release on the move
Early Release will move from Wednesdays to Fridays, with elementary schools dismissing two hours early on Fridays. While some families would like to see Early Release come to an end, teachers use this time for planning. The move from Wednesdays to Fridays preserves teacher planning time without disrupting the momentum of student learning during the week. 

More five-day weeks
The number of days when students are not in school during staff planning, training, and conferences has decreased from 14 to 10 in the 2019-20 calendar, and more of those days off are clustered together. As a result, the number of broken weeks (those with more than one and fewer than five school days) has been cut in half for the coming school year.

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