Time and Schedule Study Committee

Elementary Early Release and Start Time Documents


In spring 2022, the administration, School Committee, and union negotiating teams agreed to form a working group based upon two areas of concern that were identified during the negotiations process. Those areas of concern were:
Elementary Schedule

  • Lack of time for coordination of services, PLC, trainings, and curriculum meetings. Currently, work must be done on own time during classroom time
  • Start and end times at elementary level are not the same, creating challenges for cross-district coordination.
  • Current time on learning is very tight, leaving less opportunity for options (recess, etc.)
High School Start Times
  • The district has not responded to data on adolescent sleep patterns and school start times
  • Adolescents in Natick are not able to get adequate sleep due to circadian rhythm shift and early high school start time.
  • Lack off sleep is documented to impact academics, health, social-emotional well-being, and athletic performance
  • District has commitment to improving student health and social-emotional well-being

The working group was charged with exploring the benefits and challenges to implementing a weekly early release day at the elementary level and moving the high school start time later. The working group committed to engaging a broad range of stakeholders including NPS faculty and staff, families, NPS program areas, and students to better understand the impact of changing current schedules. The work included, but was not limited to:

  • Review of scientific sleep research and impact of later high school start times
  • Evaluation of impact on athletics, METCO, ASAP (childcare)
  • Utilization of surveys to gather feedback from families, staff, and students
  • Outreach to other districts to learn about start/end times and early release days
  • Analysis of transportation options

The working group was charged with bringing information to the School Committee by March 2023. A vote in support of the proposed schedule changes would send them back to the administration, School Committee, and EAN to be negotiated. 


  • Spring 2022: Areas of concern identified in union negotiations
  • 2022-23: Working group to research rationale and impact of proposed changes. Decision by March 2023.
  • 2023-24: Mitigate impact of proposed changes
  • 2024-25: Implementation of schedule and start time changes
School Committee Decision
  • March 22, 2023: School Committee to vote on moving forward with proposed changes via negotiations
  • March - May 2023: Negotiations with Education Association of Natick (EAN) Additional feedback from community to inform negotiations
  • June 2023: School Committee to vote on contract modifications related to proposals
  • Fall 2023: Budget impact part of FY25 budget discussions
  • School Year 2023-24: Modifications to school schedules, programs, and community partnerships to support revised schedule
  • School Year 2024-25: Implement revised schedule

Reports & Presentations

Time and Schedule Committee Overview - 2022-23
Time and Schedule Video Cast - March 2023

Time and Schedule Committee Executive Summary - 2022-23

Time and Schedule Committee Background Information - 2022-23

Memo and Decision-Making Matrix - 2022-23

Research on Adolescent Sleep

Sleep in Adolescents

Adolescent Sleep - Literature Review

Dr. Judith Owns - Presentation on Biology of Sleep

Adolescent Health and School Start Times: A Research Summit Summary

Earlier School Start Times May Increase Risk of Adolescent Depression and Anxiety, URMC Study Says

Impact of Delaying School Start Time on Adolescent Sleep, Mood, and Behavior

Elementary Sleep Studies

Benefits of Later Start Times

Seattle study - increased daily sleep, along with higher second-semester science grades

JAMA article - increased sleep duration with significant improvements in measures of adolescent alertness, mood, and health.

Multi-school review paper - students reporting getting at least 8 hours of sleep, were more likely to say they have good overall health and were less likely to report being depressed or using caffeine and other substances; significant reduction in local car crashes, less absenteeism, less tardiness, and higher test scores on national achievement tests.

Wake County, NC - middle school academic improvements in math and reading, stronger effect with lower-performing students

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics - lack of sleep linked to increased sports injuries

National Medical and Health Organization Statements

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement

MIAA supports AAP policy

American Academy of Sleep Medicine Position Statement

American Medical Association

Family, Staff, and Student Surveys Conducted (January 2023)

  • Families
    • 1613 responses
      • Elementary - 710
      • Middle - 467
      • High - 436
  • Staff
    • 595 responses
  • Student
    • 9th grade - 211
    • 10th grade - 220
    • 11th grade - 188
    • 12th grade - 177

Nearby Towns that have changed Middle School and/or High School Start Times

 Acton-Boxborough Concord-Carlisle  Lincoln-Sudbury  Stoneham
 Arlington  Dover-Sherborn  Melrose  Watertown
 Ashland  Hanover  Newton  Winchester
 Burlington  Lexington  Sharon  Weston

Nearby Towns that have regular half days for Elementary School

Arlington - Wednesdays (Calendars & School Hours – Families – Arlington Public Schools)

Lexington - Fridays (Calendar – Lexington Public Schools (lexingtonma.org))

Needham - 2 days per month (2022-2023 School Calendar approved by School Committee 2-15-2022 (sharpschool.com))

Wellesley - Wednesdays (Academic Calendar 2022-23 | Wellesley Public Schools (wellesleyps.org))

Working Group Survey of Other Districts

Working Group Members


Anna Nolin, Superintendent

Art Fergusson, Director, Social-Emotional Learning and Equity

Karen Ghilani, Principal, Ben-Hem Elementary

Jodie Cohen, Principal, Kennedy Middle School

Jason Hoye, Interim Principal, Natick High School

Faculty and Staff

Angelina Gagne, Brown Elementary teacher

Melissa Macinnes, Brown Elementary teacher

Sarah Pallas, Memorial Elementary teacher

Jim Araujo, NHS teacher

Michelle Filer, NHS teacher

Caitlyn Shaddock, NHS teacher

Jen Braman-Parikh, Student Services Staff

Elisabeth Galvin, Student Services Staff

Mark D'Angelo, Student Services Staff


Tim Collins, Director of Athletics

Nicholas DiAntonio, NHS Teacher and Athletic Coach

Rasheedah Clayton, METCO Director

Robin Agostinelli-Solivan, Transportation Director

Megan Cap-Renzi, ASAP Director

School Committee

Julie McDonough

Donna McKenzie

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