Later School Start Time for Sycamore High School

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The evidence is clear, compelling, and consistent: early school start times negatively affect student physical and mental health, safety, and academic achievement. 

  • In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that insufficient sleep due to early school start times puts students at risk for adverse consequences, including increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, car crashes, drug abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and is associated with impaired attention, memory, and organization, and lower academic achievement.
  • In 2016, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis reported “nearly all studies to date provide evidence that delaying school start time accomplishes the goal of increasing sleep duration among these students, primarily by delaying rise times ... Later school start times also generally corresponded to improved attendance, less tardiness, less falling asleep in class, fewer depression symptoms, and fewer motor vehicle crashes.”
  • In 2016, the American Medical Association concluded: "Scientific evidence strongly suggests that allowing adolescents more time for sleep at the appropriate hours results in improvements in health, academic performance, behavior, and general well-being. We believe delaying school start times will help ensure middle and high school students get enough sleep, and that it will improve the overall mental and physical health of our nation's young people."
  • In 2017, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National Parent Teacher Association urged high schools to implement start times no earlier than 8:30 am to improve student physical and mental health, safety, academic performance, and quality of life.

It’s time for the Sycamore Community School District (SCSD) to stop ignoring the evidence and the experts. It’s time to do what’s right for our students, our future. SCSD follows other recommendations from these organizations related to vaccination requirements, bullying prevention, vision and hearing screening, and mental health. Why would they ignore this one?

We recognize that there are logistical issues with changing the high school start time. However, school districts across the country have found ways to successfully address these issues and do what’s best for their students, and we are confident that the leaders of SCSD are just as capable of solving these issues. As Dr. William Kobler of the American Medical Association stated: "While implementing a delayed school start time can be an emotional and potentially stressful issue for school districts, families, and members of the community, the health benefits for adolescents far outweigh any potential negative consequences.”

No more excuses, no more delays, it’s time to act now. Our students need you to make this happen, our future depends on your action.

Sign the petition to support an 8:30 am school start time, effective in the 2019-2020 school year.

Please do not sign the petition if you are not a student, parent of a student, or a teacher in the Sycamore Community Schools district. Please only sign once per person, please do not create multiple accounts to sign multiple times. If you support this petition, please share it with others who might be interested in our cause.

For more studies and information visit the Start School Later website: