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News from 2022-2023

Posted: April 17, 2023

APS Instituting Later Start Times for Middle and High School Students

Task force recommended change, saying current start times interfere with natural sleep patterns, which leads to negative consequences.

APS is moving forward with implementing later start and end times for high school and middle school students, but the move will mean earlier days at elementary schools.

APS high school students currently begin class at around 7:25 a.m., although some schools have a Zero Hour period at 6 a.m.

Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year:

  • High schools will begin at 8:40 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m. Athletics practices and games will still take place after school, as will other extracurricular activities.
  • Middle schools will start at 9:15 a.m. and release students at 4:15 p.m. (They currently begin at around 8:15 a.m. and end class just after 3 p.m.)
  • Most elementary schools will operate under two bell schedules. Some will begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. Other elementary students will begin at 8:05 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m. (Elementary schools currently have a range of start and end times with the earliest ones beginning at around 7:45 a.m. and ending just before 2 p.m. and other schools starting after 9 a.m. and ending just before 4 p.m.)

The staggered bell schedules are necessary to accommodate students who ride buses. APS doesn’t have enough buses or drivers to consolidate start times.

“We recognize that this change will be disruptive to our families, but the research is clear that this is the right thing to do,” said Superintendent Scott Elder. “It will take some getting used to, but our kids will be better off for it.”

A joint APS/Albuquerque Teachers Federation task force has been studying best practices for high schools since the fall and recommended the change for the upcoming school year.

“The group considered a wide breadth of research on the importance of adolescents starting school later than the current APS schedule,” the task force wrote in its recommendation. “The body of research agrees that adolescents should not begin school prior to 8:30 a.m. in order to support productive, healthy sleep patterns and brain development.”

Researchers note that adolescents are wired to fall asleep later each night and to wake up later each morning. But early school start times interfere with that natural rhythm and result in many middle and high school students not getting enough sleep because while they go to bed late they’re having to wake up early.

The task force that recommended the change cited research that shows that early start times contribute to absences, tardies, and lower test scores and graduation rates and that students with the lowest scores tend to show the biggest gains with later start times. Early start times can also lead to negative health outcomes for high school students.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in 2014 that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to allow adolescents to get more sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) echoes that recommendation, noting that lack of sleep in adolescents is associated with such health risks as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs. The CDC also notes that failure to get enough sleep is associated with poor academic performance.

“We’ve been tasked with improving student outcomes, and part of that is taking a hard look at what’s working and what’s not working in our schools,” said Dr. Channell Segura, APS chief of Schools. “Early start times for high school students are not working, and it’s time for us to step up and do something about it.”

California has enacted a state law requiring that most of its public high schools begin classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and Florida lawmakers are considering similar legislation. Closer to home, Santa Fe and Las Cruces public schools have already instituted later start times for their high school students.

New Bell Schedules for APS

Elementary Schools

7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

  • Arroyo del Oso
  • Bandelier
  • Chaparral
  • Chelwood
  • Cien Aguas
  • Collet Park
  • Comanche
  • Dennis Chavez
  • Double Eagle
  • EG Ross
  • George I. Sanchez
  • Governor Bent
  • Hodgin
  • Janet Kahn
  • John Baker
  • Marie Hughes
  • Manzano Mesa
  • McCollum
  • Mission
  • Mitchell
  • Monte Vista
  • Montezuma
  • NACA
  • Navajo
  • Oñate
  • Painted Sky
  • Petroglyph
  • Sandia Base
  • Sombre del Monte
  • Sunset View
  • Tierra Antigua
  • Valle Vista
  • Zia
  • Zuni

7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Alamosa
  • Atrisco
  • Carlos Rey
  • Lavaland
  • Mary Ann Binford

7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

  • A. Montoya

8:05 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.

  • Alameda
  • Adobe Acres
  • Alvarado
  • Apache
  • Armijo
  • Barcelona
  • Chamiza
  • Christine Duncan Charter
  • Cochiti
  • Corrales
  • Dolores Gonzales
  • Duranes
  • Edward Gonzales/Helen Cordero
  • Eugene Field
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Griegos
  • Hubert Humphrey
  • Kit Carson
  • MacArthur
  • La Mesa
  • Mark Twain
  • Mountain View
  • North Star
  • Osuna
  • Rudolfo Anaya
  • Seven Bar
  • Sierra Vista
  • South Valley
  • SR Marmon
  • SY Jackson
  • Tomasita
  • Tres Volcanes
  • Ventana Ranch
  • Wherry

8:05 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.

  • Bel-Air
  • Bellhaven
  • E. San Jose
  • Emerson
  • Hawthorne
  • Inez
  • Kirtland
  • Lew Wallace
  • Longfellow
  • Los Padillas
  • Los Ranchos
  • Lowell
  • Matheson Park
  • Pajarito
  • Reginald Chavez
  • Whittier

8:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

  • San Antonito

Middle Schools

7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

  • Roosevelt

9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

  • Cleveland
  • Desert Ridge
  • Eisenhower
  • Ernie Pyle
  • Garfield
  • Grant
  • Harrison
  • Hayes
  • Hoover
  • Jackson
  • John Adams
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Jefferson
  • James Monroe
  • Kennedy
  • L.B. Johnson
  • Madison
  • McKinley
  • Polk
  • Taft
  • Taylor
  • Tony Hillerman
  • Truman
  • Van Buren
  • Washington
  • Wilson

High Schools

8:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

  • Albuquerque High
  • Atrisco Heritage Academy
  • Cibola
  • Del Norte
  • Eldorado
  • Highland
  • La Cueva
  • Manzano
  • Rio Grande
  • Sandia
  • Valley
  • Volcano Vista
  • West Mesa

9:15 - 4:15 p.m.

  • New Futures

Non-Boundary Magnet Schools

7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • College and Career High School

7:50 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Desert Willow (80% Program)

7:50 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. 

  • Desert Willow (50% a.m. Session)

8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  • Coyote Willow (50% Program)

8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Coyote Willow (80% Program)

8:05 a.m. - 3:05 p.m.

  • eCademy K-8

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • Coronado

8:40 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.

  • Early College Academy
  • Freedom High School
  • Nex+Gen
  • School on Wheels

9 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.

  • eCademy High School (BlendEd)

11:20 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Desert Willow (50% p.m. Session)