The Need for Sleep

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Running head: IMPROVING STUDENT PERFORMANCE WITH LATER START TIMES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

Improving Student Performance with Later Start Times in
Secondary Schools Action Research Project
Brad Barton
University of Phoenix
REMAEDAS22 EDD 577
June Gronert
February 19, 2008

Chapter I: Introduction
Problem Statement
The problem is that Kelsey High School was in its third year as a “school in needs of improvement.” The state formed an intervention team, and was evaluating the school’s improvement plan. The district was examining avenues to improve academic success in an effort to meet federal benchmarks for No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Purpose Statement

The purpose of this action research project was to study the effects of later start times at secondary high schools on academic achievement and behavior as measured by truancy, absenteeism, norm referenced scores on the high school proficiency exams, and student and teacher perceptions of a later start time on the school’s learning environment. Description of the Community

At the time of this study, the community of Kelsey was located in the western United States with a city population of 8,300 and a county population of 24,000. Kelsey was a one-hour drive from a major city and was identified as a rural agricultural community. As such, ethnicity in the community was influenced by migrant and transient seasonal workers. The economy of Kelsey was reliant on farms and local diaries and was supported by a military naval base. The average family income in Kelsey was $41,000 and 12% of the population in Kelsey lived below the poverty line. Another element of the community was a nearby Native American reservation whose students commuted into town to attend the county’s only high school along with the students who commuted from the naval base. The community’s identity was largely influenced by the local schools’ successes, and the community was heavily involved in the school’s extracurricular activities. Most residents in the community associated with a strong family influence, and had a sense of safety within the community and the school. Description of Work Setting

At the time of this study, Kelsey Unified School District was composed of four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. There was one private kindergarten through twelfth (k-12) grade school in the community, along with a satellite campus of a nearby community college. The school district was one of the smaller districts in the state comprised of 4100 students in the district with 1,290 located at the target school in the study. The school was smaller in total student population than the other high schools within the region and was the smallest 4A (the largest classification in the state) school in the state. Kelsey High School’s mission statement was “to provide a safe, respectful environment conducive to a learning experience, which produces motivated and independent lifelong achievers.” (Kelsey High School Student Handbook, p. 3). Kelsey High School was 69% Caucasian, 13% American Indian, 12% Hispanic, and the remainder of the schools population was 4% Asian, and 2% Black/African American. The start time at Kelsey High was 8:10 am with a 0 (zero) hour that begins at 7:00 am. At the time, 38% of students attended a 0 hour class, and the school day ended at 2:45 pm. Writers Role

At the time of this study, the writer held a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix, Salt Lake City Campus, and was completing a second Master’s degree in Administration and Leadership from the University of Phoenix Reno, Nevada campus. He had four years classroom teaching experience as an English as a second language specialists in a secondary school setting and two additional years teaching foreign language at private secondary school. In his school, the writer sat on the school...
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