Healthy Start Times

The DPS Board of Education in May 2021 passed a resolution to have all middle schools and high schools (district-managed and charters) start no earlier than 8:20 a.m. each school day to support healthy sleep habits in adolescents.

The new Healthy Start bell times will go into effect for the 2023-24 school year.

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District Highlights to Support Families

Benefits of Later Start Times

Multiple studies have demonstrated the benefits of changing to a later school start time for middle and high school students, and many reputable organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have shown their support for this initiative. 

When students get more than 8 hours of sleep per night, we see:

  • Better attendance rates

  • Better academic outcomes

  • Higher graduation rates

  • Fewer instances of depression

  • Reduced caffeine use

  • Fewer car accidents 

  • Better physical and mental health overall

Sleep is essential for learning, mood, behavior and health. By moving school start times later for middle and high school students, we will be taking the first step in setting them up for success in school and in life. See the below resources for more information:

Healthy Start Times for the 2023-24 School Year

Beginning in 2023, DPS schools will have new bell times that align with the Board of Education’s Healthy Start Times resolution. We relied on feedback and data collected throughout the district from surveys and conversations with our DPS community to determine the new bell times.

Feedback on bell times and impacts on transportation were weighed against each other to develop an outcome that streamlines future bell times, preserves most general education transportation, helps maintain middle school athletics, and allows space for equity in the approach to transportation cuts.

To reduce the overall impact of transportation cuts, we looked at utilization rates for current ridership to see how many students were using each route. Then we factored in the Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) percentage of riders assigned to each route. By prioritizing rider utilization and FRL percentages, we were able to ensure that our families, who most rely on transportation, will continue to be able to access their buses to the greatest extent possible.

Full or partial transportation cuts will impact six schools.*

School-specific bell times for the 2023-24 school year are in the searchable table below.

*The following schools will have full or partial transportation cuts beginning school year 2023-24:

1) The following schools will have full transportation cuts: Denison Montessori, Denver Language School, Polaris, and STRIVE- Sunnyside.

2) Denver School of the Arts will only receive service to the Far Northeast region.

3) Morey Middle School will maintain HGT transportation services in the Southwest, Central, and Far Northeast regions and will maintain general education and special education routing as well.

School Leaders and FACE will work to engage directly with schools impacted by transportation cuts.

Bell Times for 2023-24 School Year

TBD – These schools use the shuttle or are a school that does not rely on any district transportation. These school’s bell times will be finalized by your school before the choice window opens for the 2023-24 school year.  These HST bell times will fall within the following window​s​: 

  • Elementary School 7:30-7:40, 8:05-8:25, 8:50–9:10

  • Middle School 8:20-8:25, 8:50-9:10 

  • High School 8:20-8:25

Note: End times are determined by your schools length of day

Frequently Asked Questions

Healthy Start Times Advisory Committee

The Healthy Start Times Advisory Committee will work to create engagement and scenario recommendations on how the district should address the need for healthy sleep times for all DPS students. 

This Advisory Committee will engage with their representative groups and with the committee to inform recommendations and decisions and find equitable solutions that minimize potential negative impacts and maximize health benefits for students, families, and staff alike. 

The Advisory Committee is a representative group of the most highly impacted stakeholders. The make-up of the advisory committee consists of school leaders, school-based staff, parents and students. Bi-weekly meetings started mid-October 2021 and through the end of the 2022 school year. 

Name 1

Role 2

Region 3

Adam Creapo

School Leader


Adie Tate



Alexis Lopez

School Staff


Andrew Huber

Network Leader

Charter Network

Anne Rice

School Leader


Amanda Wentz

School Staff


Catalina Gonzales



Ciena Jackson



Cortney Peters

School Staff


Dana Hamed



Hannah Stultz



Heather Abreau



Kamoy Sterling



Meghan Law



Rosie Soto



Tasnim Boukhris



Tiffany Almon

School Leader