Graduation Date

5-2013

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Lisa Ray, Ph.D.

First Reader

Debra Polack, M.A.

Abstract

School start times have the potential to be damaging to students academically. Several studies have linked sleep to the transfer of knowledge into long term memory, while others show how the lack of sleep is disruptive to learning. If school start times truly have an impact on the functionality of the teenage brain, educators should be doing everything in their power to make sure schools begin at a proper hour. The purpose of this study was to extend research done in other parts of the country, traditionally in urban areas, that attempted to show a link between student achievement and school start times. This study aims to compare two different schools, with comparable demographics, in hopes of extending the research to small, rural schools. Data from two rural schools were obtained, organized, and tested to see if there was a statistically significant difference between the average GPA of the two schools for the 2011-2012 school year. Graduation rates, or continuous enrollment, from the 2010-2011 school year were also analyzed in this study. The results showed a trend toward a difference in GPA between both schools, but no statistically significant difference was found. The school that had a later start time, however, did show a statistically significant higher graduation rate than the school that had an earlier start time.

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