September 2020 Newsletter 
Volume 9, Issue 9
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News from Start School Later

Seizing the Opportunity to Let Teens Sleep

This may well be the most challenging school year many of us can remember. 

But districts around the nation are using some of these challenges to make changes that may have seemed unimaginable only a few months ago. And our team at Healthy Hours is creating some first-rate online resources that students, families, and educators can use to get healthy sleep even in these challenging times. Their premiere video for students touches on a pressing issue: how sleep affects immunity.

Find out more in this month's newsletter, and, as always, stay safe and healthy.

All best wishes,

Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Start School Later

Sleep and Immunity

Premiere Video from our Let's Sleep! Initiative
Did you know healthy sleep can be used as a tool to combat the spread of diseases such as the common cold, flu, and even COVID-19? This premiere video from our new Let's Sleep! initiative is getting that message out to students.

Please share with any students in your life!
Success Story!
Kudos to Start School Later Framingham, MA! Thanks to their ongoing efforts, Framingham High School in MA will run class from 9 a.m.-3:25 p.m. this fall, shifting from the original 7:25 a.m.-1:55 p.m. 

"This is specifically because of our SSL chapter's efforts: we did an email blitz just before the relevant school committee meetings, and got the HS kids themselves to write in, saying how the early [start time] has hurt them," Chapter Leader Tilia Klebenov Jacobs wrote on Facebook. 

The change is only intended for the period of remote learning, but it paves the way for more permanent changes. “We regard this as a monumental decision and recognize the public’s urgency to make this a permanent shift at FHS," the high school principal was quoted as saying in MetroWest Daily News. We will use this opportunity to gather data for consideration for the future."
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Seize the Opportunity
Framingham, MA is far from alone in going to later, healthier start times during remote learning. Other districts that recently came to our attention include: Epidemiologists Rachel Widome and Aaron also recently published an editorial urging districts across the nation to seize this once-in-a-century opportunity to let students sleep.
Quote of the Month
“The COVID-19 school shutdowns have provided an unprecedented, population-wide experience showing us how adolescents might naturally sleep, according to what their bodies need, were they not constrained by the artificial schedules imposed upon them by their high schools.
                                                                      — Rachel Widome, associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota and Aaron Berger, an epidemiologist and a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Research News

What Time Does Virtual School Start?

New research by Start School Later MD shows that 16 of Maryland's 24 school systems have changed their school start times from their traditional hours for online instruction this school year, most to age-appropriate school hours (highlighted in green).
Percentage of Teens Getting Insufficient Sleep Continues to Grow

2019 YRBS Data Confirms Growing Downward Trend
The CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2019 showed that 77.0% of U.S. high school students get fewer than 8 hours of sleep on school nights. This is an increase from the 2017 findings, which showed that 75.4% of U.S. high school students get fewer than 8 hours of sleep on school nights, and 43% get 6 or fewer hours. It also reflects a growing downward trend from the 2011, 2013, and 2015 surveys.

Flyers and Brochures

Spread the word in your community with the shareable flyers and brochures on our website.
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