QSD Start Time

​​Welcome to the Qualicum School District Start Time Webpage!

A recent review of the eight largest school districts on Vancouver Island has shown us that their elementary schools begin their days between 8:10 and 8:50 am, and their secondary schools begin their days between 8:30 and 9:05 am, with Qualicum School District currently having a number of schools beginning their day at the very early end of those ranges. In conjunction with our new District Strategic Plan and our ongoing conversations about equity, student achievement, mental health, student safety, and post-COVID attendance, the possibility of later school start times has emerged as a possible means to provide new support for all of these issues.

The research on the positive impact of more sleep is clear and consistent, offering significant evidence that when school age children get the sleep they need, all manner of factors that contribute to better educational and social outcomes are positively impacted. The research also shows that students do not typically just go to bed later when start times are moved back, as one might assume, but rather that bed times tend to remain the same and sleep time and quality of sleep both tend to improve. For example, even a 30 minute later start is likely to result in at least 15 minutes or more of additional sleep each night for students.

For access to a range of research on the impacts of later start times on students, click here.

It should also be known that we currently have a number of students in our rural areas catching a morning bus prior to 7:00 am. In addition to their wake time being very early and this causing additional stress on those families, visibility and road conditions can also be quite poor through the winter months before the sun rises. Later start times will be of additional benefit in regard to both equity and safety, as morning times will be less rushed in those homes, and both wait and travel time in darkness will be reduced. It would also be expected that later start times would positively impact student attendance, and not just for students who might sometimes miss those early bus times, but for any student no matter how they travel to school.

We do recognize that people’s lives often revolve around school calendars and bell times, and that changes can be disruptive to family schedules. Later start times will impact end times, as we are required to meet the hours of instruction as per the BC School Calendar Regulation. We want to improve our understanding of the needs of the communities we serve, so we can make our decisions as a district and plan in the best interests of our families and students. ​​

Please contribute to our conversations by engaging in a brief survey on the topic of later start times: 

​​Thank you to everyone who completed the surveys.  The survey is now closed.

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