Start School Later Newsletter
Vol 4 Issue 7
Start School Later
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What an incredible month it's been for Start School Later! Let's kick off the school year with renewed advocacy and raise awareness around school start time. There are some major changes happening!

Heather and the Start School Later Team


Centers for Disease Control Calls for Later Start Times!

In a powerful study released August 6th in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC calls for school districts to heed the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that middle and high schools start after 8:30 a.m. In the first survey of its kind, the study team looked at start times across the country; findings show 80% of schools are starting before the recommended time. 

In a press statement lauding the CDC's attention to unhealthy start times. SSL Executive Director Dr. Terra Ziporyn Snider said: "Our greatest natural resource is our youth, and we encourage all superintendents, school board members, and state and federal lawmakers to act now to ensure school start times that protect child health, education, and safety."

New Jersey Legislation Passes! State will Study Start Times

Congratulations to our team in the Garden State as Governor Chris Christie signed their bill and will become the second state to mount a comprehensive study of the benefits of start time change. Codey applauded Christie’s signing of the bill and said he hoped it would start an important discussion about the effects of having children start school so early in the morning In Maryland, where a state study was completed in 2014, the report has been a powerful tool in helping to move local school boards closer to action.

Send Governor Christie a thank you email at

Still Sleepless in America

Why do US schools still run at unhealthy hours when the support is so strong and the science so overwhelming. Start School Later's Executive Board member Stacy Simera explains the "paradox of local control in education" in the British journal Education and Health.
Read More

Connections within Health or Auto Insurance Industries?

SSL is developing some exciting new educational programming to reduce drowsy driving.
Given the correlations between chronic sleep loss and disease as well as unintentional injury and car crashes - the health and auto insurance industries should have much to say about healthy school start times - and we would like to invite them into the conversation. If you have connections with these stakeholders, contact Outreach Director Stacy Simera at


Events Across the Country

Sept 5: Sleep Walk | Tampa Bay, FL

Sept 16: SSL Executive Director Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD, on "Sleep in the Popular Press" and "A Matter of Time: Adolescent Sleep/School Start Times" at MD/DC Society for Respiratory Care, Ocean City, MD.

Sept 25: Presentation by Sleep Expert Dr. Judith Owens, MD, The Walden Forum, Wayland, MA.

Click through Calendar of Events for more details or to see what's going on in your area and sign up to receive weekly updates. Let us know of events related to sleep and school start times that might be of interest to other Start School Later supporters around the country - Contact us

Petition Signers top 11,000

The petition that started it all for Start School Later continues to grow. Sign here and share to join our call to promote legislation to prevent public schools from starting before 8 a.m. 

Seattle Panel Recommends Change!

If approved, Seattle would become the largest school system in Washington state to move to later high school start times. A committee formed by Superintendent of Schools recommends that Seattle move middle and high schools later and elementary schools earlier. Start School Later Seattle calls it "a major step forward." 
Read More

Coddling Kids: Myth Busting about Start Time Change

Isn't the whole Start School Later Movement just an excuse for coddling our kids?

Requiring high schools to start after 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. is no more coddling kids than installing car seats or booster seats in automobiles or eliminating indoor smoking in public locations.  The latter interventions were originally seen as inappropriate and unnecessary but, with newer research, came to be viewed as mainstream public health measures. There is now ample evidence showing that taking steps to ensure safe, health school hours is no different.

Children might be said to be "coddled" when a parent or caregiver gives them something they don't really need merely to pacify them.  Ensuring conditions that allow enough sleep is hardly in this category. Sleep is just as necessary as nutrition and exercise. And early school hours make adequate sleep impossible for many if not most adolescent students. One has to ask why it seems acceptable, even praiseworthy, to ensure that children have physical activity and enough to eat, but somehow indulgent to ensure that they have enough sleep.  

Summer Slumber | School Shock

Even if your teen has a summer job, chances are they aren't waking up as early as they do during the school year. Experts suggest you can help ease the transition by starting one month before back-to-school to move bedtime back by increments of 15 minutes every three to four days. 

Start School Later in The Atlantic

This month in The Atlantic education writer Emily Richmond features Start School Later, Inc. in an article asking why the school day still starts so early despite calls for change by health professionals. The article has gone viral with over 24K Facebook shares.

In the article, SSL Executive Director Terra Ziporyn Snider says she "is hopeful that the policy pressures are reaching a tipping point...with the help of major voices like the CDC weighing in.

"It's become increasingly embarrasing to say, 'If we start school later, what happens to my kid's three-hour soccer practice?" Snider said. "We have to convince school systems this has to happen for the health of kids. It's not a negotiable school budget item--it's an absolute requirement."
Read More


Chicago Fails

In a perfect example of how not to change school start times, Chicago Public Schools announced a delayed start in 80 high schools for this coming year. Selling it as a $9 million cost-saving measure wasn't enough to create community buy-in and the backlash began immediately. Perhaps if they had explained the health, safety and academic gains they wouldn't have had to reverse course. Read More


Bumper Stickers, Buttons and More

These good-looking logo items help support Start School Later and gain visibility for our organization at your local events.
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Click here to find out about how to get a copy of Dr. Helene Emsellem's book Snooze or Lose.


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