Later Start Time Exploration
Why a Later Start is Good for Your Student
The research is in. Teens need more sleep. More sleep equates to improved mental health and improved academic performance. Schools and districts across the country are looking at the research from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, and are doing the right thing – starting school a bit later so teens can catch a few extra zzzzs.
Why? Teens’ circadian rhythms – biological sleep cycles – are different than those of adults. Teens go to bed later and wake later. I think that the SMUHSD should join the growing number of districts who are looking at the science and saying, “Yes, let’s figure out how to start school a bit later so kids can get a little extra sleep.”
Efforts by Neighboring Schools and Districts
Schools like Carlmont High and Half Moon Bay High School have moved start times later. Davis Unified starts middle school later and is moving high schools to a later start for the 17/18 school year. Districts and schools interested in moving to a later start time all have similar challenges to address – concerns about traffic and commute times, labor agreements that are not in alignment with a later start, activities and sports that will end later.
Other districts have found solutions to these challenges and we can too if we all work towards the common goal of giving our teens more of that they need – sleep.
Surveys for Students, Families and Staff
In February and March of 2017, students, families, and staff provided their thoughts on the topic of a later start time via a survey.