Request T/E School Board to study how to implement later start times in our schools!
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The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, and Centers for Disease Control all recommend middle and high school start times of no earlier than 8:30 AM. Schools that have met this standard are already enjoying the benefits of decreased rates of teen car accidents, substance abuse, obesity, depression, anxiety, athletic injury, and an array of other high-risk health behaviors – and better academic performance.
The health and wellbeing of our children is paramount.
The T/E Adolescent Sleep Committee is encouraging the school board and administration to study how to delay school start times for the health of our students.
Please sign this petition to show your support for delaying school start times to 8:30 or later. The more interested parents and community members, the faster this change will happen.
More information on the subject:
While solutions to getting more sleep include adhering to a regular sleeping schedule and turning off electronic devices, it is also important to note the natural biological shift that occurs during adolescence. Due to a delay in the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in regulating sleep cycles and circadian rhythms, teenagers often do not feel the need to sleep until much later at night. This means that while early waking times may be suitable for adults and young children, the same does not go for adolescents.
Pushing the start time in high schools to 8:30 AM gives students the chance to get their needed sleep; it may even motivate students to develop better sleeping habits. With enough time to sleep at night, students falling asleep in class would be replaced with those who are focused, alert, and ready to learn. There are plenty of additional benefits that come with a later starting time:
- Higher attendance rates, less truancy and tardiness
- Healthier students who can perform better in after-school activities and sports
- Awake and alert students who are better able to comprehend, process, and retain information
- Drop in number of students developing high-risk health behaviors
- Drop in number of students experiencing depression and anxiety
- Schools with later starting times have shown increases in test scores and grades and decreases in dropout rates and disciplinary actions/delinquency
It is also important to recognize the logistical and budgetary concerns that come along with moving school times.
Hundreds of districts across the country have found solutions to the challenges of transportation, after school activities, sports schedules, students' jobs, and childcare needs that later start times may initially create.
We are confident that TESD can do so as well, especially as several other districts in our area, including Radnor, Lower Merion, and Phoenixville, are moving forward on the issue this school year. The adjustments and expenses that may come with later starting times should be made to give our students the best possible opportunities to learn and succeed each day.
For more information on the topic, visit:
Let's take the initiative to ask the T/E School District to make the study of implementing later start times a goal for the 2018-2019 school year.
This petition has the potential for positive impact on thousands of T/E students and their families. If you believe in a school system that supports both the health and education of our students, please add your name!
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