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The push for later school start times

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Morning sun
The morning sun shines through library book stacks at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn. on Nov. 26, 2013. A new report from the University of Minnesota says after the district pushed back high school start times to 8:35 a.m., student test scores went up and absenteeism went down.
Tim Post/MPR News

A growing number of high schools around the country are opting to start classes later. The changes are a response to studies, including one released at the University of Minnesota earlier this year, that show teenagers' academic performance and health improve with later start times.

Some districts around the state have already made the change, including Minneapolis and Edina. St. Paul Public Schools administrators are currently considering a plan to push back start times for both high schools and middle schools beginning next year.

Kyla Wahlstrom, a University of Minnesota education and sleep researcher who has been studying the effect of school times for nearly two decades, and Aaron Harper, a Woodbury principal whose school delayed start times in 2009 and was part of the committee that implemented the change, join The Daily Circuit to discuss the issue.

• More: School start time change plan divides St. Paul parents
• 2013: Exhausted teens benefit from later morning school starts, study shows