Start Schools No Earlier than 8:00am in Anne Arundel County, MD
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Public School students are starting school before 8:00am, which creates problems with health, safety and performance in schools.
Although, initially done to save transportation costs, the recently released Brookings Study (http://tinyurl.com/brookings-school-study) finds that any cost savings are negated by increased poor performance in test scores and school achievement. Additionally, it has been shown that there is a huge disparity in the performance of economically disadvantaged students as a result of earlier school start times.
High schoolers, specifically, generally have problems getting to earlier sleep because of their circadian sleep cycles and how melatonin is produced in their bodies. To comply with school schedules, many high schoolers must wake up at 5:30am, which, according to a 2011 study referenced in the Brookings report, is equivalent to waking an adult at 2:30am to function for the remindar of the day.
Research confirms that requiring students to wake up before getting the 9.5 hours of sleep they need is detrimental.
Starting school too early creates performance problems in school, safety problems with tired students driving to school and risks with walking students waiting for buses in the dark.
Because of the volume of research associating earlier school starts (before 8:00am) with increases in driver accidents, decreased school performance, increases in depression and other behavioral issues, it is imperative that the sleep needs of students be protected when making school schedules.
More details and information about the importance of getting sleep later for students can be found here:
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