Toronto, ON, April 27, 2011 – Sleeping in, even just an extra 30 minutes, appears to have a positive impact on student achievement at Eastern Commerce CI according to a preliminary study released today by the Toronto District School Board.
The EASTERN COMMERCE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE’S LATE START: Year One Interim Report outlines the pilot project’s first year of a modified timetable that allows students and staff to begin the school day later in the morning. The school implemented the school-day schedule change from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in September 2009. The day ends at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 p.m. on Mondays and 2:30 p.m. on Fridays.
Key findings of the study conducted from September 2009 to present, which included an anonymous, matched comparison school over the study period, include:
- 4-9% improvement in academic credit accumulation for Grades 9 and 10;
- Grades 9 and 10 English and Science showed the highest percentage improvement compared to the control school and the TDSB as a whole;
- Grades 11 and 12 showed the highest percentage improvement in English and Mathematics;
- 70% of respondents reported it is “easier to come to school” and teachers reported that students were much more alert and able to participate in class since the change;
- Eastern Commerce students are getting, on average, 30 minutes more sleep per night than students in the comparison high school.
“Looking at this data, what strikes me is that the modified timetable seems to be making a real difference for students,” says Ward 15 Toronto-Danforth Trustee and Vice Chair Cathy Dandy. “The later start schedule can be considered another innovative strategy for the TDSB to support student success. We will continue to follow student achievement data in 2011/12 and conduct further analysis before any expansion discussion will take place within the system”.
School Superintendent Mike Gallagher notes the success of the pilot is due in large part to the commitment of students, parents and staff. “This was not an easy pilot to implement as there were many adjustments and concessions within family and school schedules. However, the entire school community is very supportive of the initiative and I think the fact that overall attendance among students has improved is a solid endorsement of the pilot.”
As this is the first report from the evaluation, future research is planned, including follow-up interviews and focus groups scheduled for June 2011 as well as additional analysis of student achievement information over time. School registration data will also be monitored to help understand whether the change in schedule affects enrolment.
The full report can be found on the TDSB website at www.tdsb.on.ca.
Eastern Commerce CI is a school committed to high standards in academics, athletics and student leadership, nurtured in an inclusive, respectful, multicultural environment. Located just east of downtown Toronto near the Donlands subway station on the TTC’s Bloor-Danforth line, the school is easily accessible for students. It boasts partnership programs with George Brown and Ryerson University, in addition to a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities, including basketball teams that have earned national recognition. The school has a number of unique programs and course offerings designed to engage students and encourage the development of leadership skills.