Start School Later Newsletter
Vol 5 Issue 1
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We welcome the new year with renewed energy! Here's what we're excited about.

Red Flags

A group of parents and doctors in a community have been advocating for change, rallying support, offering expert testimony -- and in response, the school Superintendent has put forward a proposal. What can go wrong? Plenty. Here are a few red flags to watch for:
  • Reasons for change are not emphasized
  • Only one proposed schedule is being offered
  • Opportunity for public input is limited
  • Changes to elementary or already late-starting middle schools are dramatic
  • The single option comes with a large price tag
The "Blueprint for Change," a recent report based on studies of many districts around the USA that have successfully changed to later school hours, concludes that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, all successful implementations have included leadership from the school system and authentic community education and engagement.

"School Superintendents who want to foster calm and productive dialogue between community members should start with a broad-sweeping community outreach program to share the strong scientific evidence that is prompting school divisions to reconsider very early morning classes. Community dialogues should be further informed by firm plans to address the usual logistical concerns like practice and game times for athletes with additional input and ideas from the community welcome." says Phyllis Payne, Implementation Director for Start School Later, "It's also critical for Superintendents to provide clear opportunities for input with a declared intention to improve any first draft schedule. In fact, it's best to provide more than one schedule for discussion, dialogue and consideration."  

Geico asks: "Is your teen too sleepy to drive?"

In a powerful new handout, the auto insurance company warns of drowsy teen driving. "Making the problem worse, teens’ biological clocks are set so that they tend to fall asleep later at night and wake up later in the morning, a schedule which is impossible to follow due to early morning school starts for most teens." Got 15 minutes? Advocate for safe and healthy hours.

A Day in the Life of a High Schooler

This student gets 6 hours 45 minutes of sleep/school night. VIDEO 

ASMF Announces Teen Video Contest! 

High School Students: win $1000 for a short video telling your story of sleep struggles. Deadline is February 29th. Details here: American Sleep Medicine Foundation.

Call To Action: Speakers Wanted

Start School Later occasionally gets requests for speakers from local school boards and community groups. If you are a subject matter expert in sleep health,child/adolescent psychology, grassroots advocacy, or another area related to school start time change, please send your contact information and area of expertise to be added to our Speakers Bureau list via our Contact Form

New Chapters from Coast to Coast!

Interest in joining in this nationwide grassroots movement has picked up and we're inundated with requests from communities wanting to bring about change. We have 57 chapters in 21 states including our newest: California Statewide, and Georgetown, MA. More information here on the benefits of having a local chapter of Start School Later.
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