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Start school later movement

Benefits of Delaying School Start Times: – University of Minnesota’s School Start Time Study demonstrated positive effects like improved attendance and academic performance. – Over […]

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Benefits of Delaying School Start Times:
– University of Minnesota’s School Start Time Study demonstrated positive effects like improved attendance and academic performance.
– Over 250 schools in 45 states have implemented delayed start times.
– Studies show that delaying school start times can alleviate sleep deprivation effects and improve overall health.
– Later start times have been linked to increased test scores and attendance in various states.
– Delaying school start times disproportionately benefits economically disadvantaged students.

Health and Safety Impacts of Early School Hours:
– Early school start times are associated with health issues like stimulant abuse, weight gain, and mood swings.
– Sleep deprivation from early start times can lead to drowsy driving and increased car crash rates.
– Adolescents with insufficient sleep have reduced impulse control and increased risk of depression.
– Risk of engaging in unhealthy behaviors rises with schools ending early.
– Delaying school start times can mitigate these negative health impacts.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Later School Start Times:
– Resistance to delaying start times includes concerns about cost, disruptions to activities, and logistical issues.
– Legislation in some states mandates later start times for middle and high schools.
– Efforts to balance the benefits of later start times with community concerns continue.
– Restructuring class schedules to align with adolescent sleep patterns is proposed as a solution.
– Collaborative efforts involving various stakeholders are essential for successful implementation.

Economic Impact and Reform Advocacy:
– Delaying school start times to 8:30 a.m. or later is a cost-effective strategy with significant public health and economic benefits.
– The RAND Corporation projected substantial gains to the U.S. economy from implementing later start times.
– Legislation, resolutions, and advocacy efforts at state and national levels support later school start times.
– Strategic planning is crucial to mitigate potential economic effects on communities and families.
– Educational leaders and organizations have been advocating for reforming school schedules for better student outcomes.

Advocacy Efforts and Grassroots Movements:
– Community groups and organizations like Start School Later advocate for raising awareness about the importance of sleep and school hours.
– Initiatives by educational leaders, healthcare professionals, and policymakers support later school start times.
– Grassroots advocacy efforts have emerged in various school communities since the 1990s.
– Collaborative efforts involving medical experts, educators, parents, and policymakers aim to develop plans for later school start times.
– Legislation and initiatives in different states and at the federal level are pushing for reforms to school start times.

Start school later movement (Wikipedia)

In the United States, the start school later movement is an interdisciplinary effort by health professionals, sleep researchers, educators, community advocates, parents, students, and other concerned citizens working for school hours that give students an opportunity to get enough sleep at optimal times. It bases its claims on a growing body of evidence that starting middle and high schools too early in the morning is unhealthy, counterproductive, and incompatible with adolescent sleep needs and patterns. During the second half of the 20th century, many public schools in the United States began shifting instructional time earlier than the more conventional bell time, thought[by whom?] out 9 a.m. Today it is common for American schools to begin the instructional day in the 7 a.m. hour and end about seven hours later, around 2 p.m. Most sleep research suggests that morning classes should begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for middle and high school students.

Advocates of a return to later school start times argue that sleep and school hours should be viewed as a public health issue, citing evidence linking early school start times to widespread sleep deprivation among teenagers as well as a wide array of acute and chronic physical, psychological, and educational problems. Not only do students consistently get significantly more sleep on school nights when their schools move to later start times, but later school hours have been consistently linked with improved school performance, reduced impulsiveness, and greater motivation, as well as with lower rates of depression, tardiness, truancy, and morning automobile accidents. Recent (2011) studies suggest that early school start times disproportionately hurt economically disadvantaged students and may even negatively impact future earning potential of students, offsetting any financial savings to the school system attributed to earlier hours.

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