167 petitions

Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to SOMSD Superintendent and Board of Ed and CHS Principal Morgan

Start Columbia High School Later to Reduce Sleep Deprivation in Teens

We, the concerned residents, parents and students of South Orange and Maplewood, are writing to urge you to submit an application to the New Jersey Commissioner of Education to allow Columbia High School to participate in the pilot program for later start times for high schools. A later start time would promote the health, well-being, and academic success of our students. Major studies show that most adolescents suffer from sleep deprivation when their school day begins before 8:30 AM. Most teens undergo a "phase delay" in their sleep patterns, causing them to naturally fall asleep later and wake up later in the morning than they did in early childhood. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that high schools start class after 8:30 AM. According to the CDC, 70% of all teens are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation endangers children's health and safety, contributing to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, obesity, and car crashes, among many other issues. Inadequate sleep is also associated with poorer academic and athletic performance.  Schools that have changed to later start times report that their students show improved attendance, improved academic performance, higher standardized test scores, increased efficiency in homework, lower rates of depression, fewer disciplinary referrals, and increased total sleep. One city experienced a 70% reduction in teen car crashes.  We believe a later school start will benefit all our high school students. 

School Start Later SOMA
798 supporters
This petition won 11 months ago

Petition to UC BOARS Committee

Make Computer Science count in California #CSinCA #MakeCSCount

In California, unlike most states, computer science is only an elective. This discourages students from taking it and schools from teaching it. California ought to be a leader in computer science.  Make CS count in California and let all our kids have access to this foundational field. While most of America has already made this change, California doesn’t count CS toward graduation or college admission requirements. For this reason, most California schools don’t even offer it. As one of California’s few CS educators, I’ve witnessed the direct impact on my students in Oakland. Strained by the rigors of filling their schedule with required courses, few students can even consider computer science. It’s heartbreaking to see a student forced to choose between CS, which would be foundational to her career, and the courses required for college. No student should have to make such a choice. I’ve seen computer science transform the lives of my students.  In America’s top universities, CS is rapidly becoming the most popular field of study. Leaders across academia and business have declared that computer science is foundational. California is making big moves to embrace CS. Schools across the state are adding CS classes. Governor Brown and the State Legislature have passed new laws providing a path for computer science to count towards graduation and university admission. In spite of these advances, the ultimate decision rests with the independent University of California Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) , and so far they’ve rejected proposals to make computer science count. I’m joining elected officials and dozens of academic and business leaders who stepped forward this week to ask the BOARS committee to update their math requirements (category “C”) to count computer science. Allowing computer science to count as a “C” credit will drive curriculum adoption by schools and enrollment by diverse populations across the state. Join us in urging the U.C. BOARS committee make computer science count. Together let’s bring California’s education system into the 21st century.

Claire Shorall
18,353 supporters