School Start Time (SST)

FALL 2019 FAQs - Click here to view the latest FAQs


School Start Times Task Force Presentation TRANSITIONING TO FALL 2020

California Becomes First State to Mandate Late Start Times for Middle / High Schools

Community Voices

"I think [the start time change] is good because kids, before puberty, are always up earlier where as kids in middle and high school need to sleep more [in the morning] and may stay up later studying, so the extra time is a good thing in my opinion."  - 6th Grader, Dover.

"I am looking forward to [the start time change] because not everyone can get up at 6 am easily and this adds to the fact that people need a while to get ready.  I need 45 minutes to get ready and I only have 20 to 30 right now.  It's also tough on parents and disrupts the entire household because everyone is tired.  Because of this, people sleep more on weekends instead of getting what they need to do done."  - 8th Grader, Sherborn.

"I feel like people are just going to get up at the same time and just do homework instead of getting the sleep they need.  And there is not as much time to do homework after school."  - 8th Grader, Sherborn



Fall 2019 News

last update: 11/05/19

School Start Time Task Force subcommittees have been busy this summer working on Phase II --  planning for implementation of flipped elementary and secondary start times in the fall of 2020.  

Toward that end, Dawn Fattore worked over the summer to review current bus operations and incorporate effective and efficient changes that will make for a smoother transition next year as well providing benefits to students this upcoming school year.  In tightening up bus schedules and consolidating bus stops where safe and effective, many bus pick ups have been moved later and travel time has been minimized. One morning Region route in Sherborn was added to align total travel time with our other bus routes. The Task Force is working toward sharing more details about implementation, including firmer start times, at the Joint School Committee Meeting in October. Each subcommittee includes representation from across the community where appropriate and aims to involve the greater community through communication and surveys this fall. If you’d like to share something with any one of the subcommittees, please email

Please continue to check this web site and follow our Twitter (@d_szzzs) for the latest news regarding Phase II.  As always, we welcome your input. Email us at

Spring 2019 News

On Tuesday, April 30,  the Dover, Sherborn, and Dover Sherborn Regional School Committees voted 14-0 in favor of changing our school start times for the 2020-2021 school year.  Specifically, the motion read:

“…to adopt the recommendation of the Superintendent to pursue the FLIP option with the start time for elementary schools to be no earlier than 7:50 am and the start time for the middle school/high schools to be no later than 8:35 am beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.“

Based on this the preliminary schedules will be:


This vote came at the end of a very detailed and lengthy process.  Research was conducted, thousands of comments were submitted and reviewed through District-wide surveys and email, conversations were held with our stakeholders, and a variety of possibilities were considered.  

We recognize the magnitude of this change and the potential impacts it will have on our system and intend to implement the new model properly.  In phase two of this process, which essentially begins now, we will be developing working groups under the Start Times Task Force that will seek to mitigate impacts on school schedules, teacher and family lives, athletics, performing arts, extra help and other critical before/after school activities, transportation, and much more.

Stay tuned for more information on how you might participate in the process moving forward and be sure to continue submitting feedback to the Task Force as needed (   We look forward to exploring the many opportunities to make this change a positive experience for all DS families.


In accordance with the District Strategic Plan Goal: Social and Emotional Wellness of Staff and Students, Superintendent Dr. Andrew Keough convened a Task Force in the fall of 2018 to investigate whether Dover-Sherborn should consider adjustments to its district start times. Though this issue was investigated during the 2015-16 school year, Superintendent Bliss ultimately opted not to recommend a change to the school committees. Click here to view the 2015 School Start Time Final Report

Experts agree that shifting start times later gives adolescents an opportunity to get the rest they need to be healthy, balanced, and successful students. Given the science-related to this issue and the desire by many in the community to revisit the subject of school start times, the Task Force looked at current scientific research as well as what other systems are doing in order to examine what might be in the best interests of Dover Sherborn students.

To investigate this issue, over the course of this academic year, the Start Time Task Force

  • Conducted an extensive literature review regarding (x) sleep science relative to school-aged students and (y) school start time changes

  • Held extensive discussions with leaders at more than 12 MA school districts regarding start time change activities

  • Surveyed MA superintendents of districts that include middle schools or high schools regarding start time change activity

  • Surveyed DS elementary, middle, and high school families, staff and HS students (over 1,800 participants) and analyzed results, including several hundred comments (2019 Survey Results)

  • Conducted over 2 dozen stakeholder meetings and open coffees including 6 at elementary schools

  • Curated and updated school start time web page reflecting research and activities

  • Established dedicated email address for comments and questions (over 50 emails received)

  • Presented community cable channel Q&A

  • Produced and distributed student-created start time video clip

  • Attended 3 sleep expert presentations in other MA districts

  • Engaged in 1:1 discussions with 2 internationally-renown sleep experts

  • Attended MASC start time planning workshop

  • Met as group or in subgroups extensively

  • Presented in three Joint School Committee Meetings

Feel free to reach out to the School Start Time Task Force at with any questions and/or concerns.



Sleepy teens:
A public health epidemic
Wendy Troxel, TEDx
Manhattan Beach
School Start Time
Healthy Hours on Vimeo
Dr. Keough's Presentation

The Dover Sherborn Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness.

  • Dover-Sherborn Public Schools
  • 157 Farm Street, Dover, MA 02030
  • Phone (508) 785-0036
  • Fax (508) 785-2239
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