Teller Parents oppose earlier start times for our students

Teller Parents oppose earlier start times for our students

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Meredith Buenzli started this petition to Denver School Board

Dear Denver Public Schools Board of Education and Operations Division,

We, the parents and families of students at Teller Elementary School, oppose your proposed 7:35 a.m. bell time for the 2021/22 School Year.  You failed to involve parents in this decision-making process and your change wrongly prioritizes financial and transportation concerns over student mental and physical well-being.  A 7:35 a.m. bell time will negatively impact our children as follows:

1.  Endangering Child Safety:  If Teller adopts your proposed bell time, our young children will wait at and walk to bus stops or school in the dark/dawn during some months of the year.  See https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/denver?month=1  

2.  Poor Academic & Behavioral Performance: Doctors and scientists agree that an early bell only provides a worse experience for teachers, families, and students.  See https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/edu-a0037195.pdf (earlier start times for elementary students associated with lower academic scores); https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721817300049(earlier school start times associated with higher rates of behavioral problems in elementary schools). 

3.  Sleep Deprivation:  The National Sleep Foundation recommends 9 to 11 hours of sleep for school-aged children, ages 5 to 10.  Seehttp://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 

4. Increased Tardiness & Absence: There will likely be an increase in tardiness, absences and illnesses due to an earlier start time, as we will be reluctant to send our children to school with inadequate sleep.  

For these reasons, among others, we request that you change the bell schedule such that no DPS elementary school will begin before 8 a.m.  Groggy, sleep-deprived students, who will now be waking and waiting in the dark for school to start, face dangers to learning, memory retention, and physical health.

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