Dear parents of Saxe 8th graders,
Have you heard that New Canaan Public Schools is evaluating whether to change school start time for 7th - 12th graders to a healthier 8:30 a.m. or later? The fact is, a 7:30 a.m. school start time is harmful to our older children's health and well-being. But if the BoE makes this a priority NOW, we can stop the sleep loss before your child is faced with the added pressures and homework load of high school.
Adolescents' body clocks begin to change at the onset of puberty
Does your teen sleep later on weekends to try to make up for lost sleep? Doing so is actually a symptom of chronic sleep deprivation and can amplify the effects of sleep loss by worsening what sleep researchers call "social jet lag". With social jet lag, many teenagers feel like they have flown to California and back -- every day.
Thanks to sleep science, we know that it is illogical and harmful to send adolescent children to school an hour earlier, just as their bodies are naturally inclined to go to bed later and sleep later in the morning.
That is why major medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control have recommended that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
And why should you care so much about sleep?
Because more sleep for students results in:
- Improved academic performance, abstract thinking, and efficiency in completing homework
- Better sports performance and fewer sports injuries
- Decreased rates of car accidents, a decrease in risky behaviors such as alcohol and drugs, and better impulse control
- Improved mental health, with decreased risk of anxiety and depression
What can you do?
Early start times are causing unnecessary harm to our children. You can help fix this BEFORE YOUR CHILD ENTERS HIGH SCHOOL by getting involved now! Let the BoE know that this is a PRIORITY for your family!
- Write to our school leaders and the Board of Education Members! (Email addresses below.) Write a quick note to the superintendents and members to let them know that this is a PRIORITY for your family.
- Visit our website to learn more and Sign the Petition!
- Come to the November 19th BoE meeting at 7:oo pm in the Wagner Room - it will be dedicated to later start times.