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Newsletter No. 5

October 1, 2018

Welcome Back!

Happy Fall everyone! We hope you and your children are getting into a groove now that we've had our first full week of school. The adjustment to waking up early again after lazy summer hours can be tough on the whole household. 

We've had several discussions and shared stories on our Facebook page about the start of school and the absurdity of waking our sleepy adolescents in the dark. Some kids are sleeping in their clothes so they can get a few extra minutes. Others are skipping breakfast because it's too early. Teens sleeping through alarm clocks, 7th graders adjusting to 10:30 lunches, and parent traffic hacks are all part of the conversation.

How are your kids adjusting? If you'd like to share your viewpoint or anecdotes with the superintendent and BoE members, please email them with your perspective! Our mission becomes stronger with each voice that speaks out. (Scroll down for email addresses.)

Trending In the News 

We've come across some very interesting articles that we would like to share with you. Starting school later and the health of our teens is a hot topic in the news these days. Here are some excerpts...

The Curse of America's Illogical School Day 

“When there’s a weird practice in American education and you don’t know why, if you say ‘sports,’ you’ll be right about 75 percent of the time,” says Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. A lot of the pushback against moving back school start times, he notes, comes from coaches, players, and parents who worry that the change would eat into precious practice and game time. 

[I]n fact, there’s good evidence suggesting that getting more rest helps athletes perform better and be less vulnerable to injuries. Nonetheless, sports-related concerns often dominate when the prospect of later start times is raised.

Positive Reviews after District Creates Later Start Task Force

"We had a late start task force last year and one of the things that we learned was that a teen's sleep pattern is different from an adult's, where they get the best sleep from about 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.," District 128 associate superintendent Briant Kelly said. "So just that shift and starting the day later helps a lot. And there are so many benefits to teens getting more sleep, from academic success, to physical health to emotional well-being.

"We've been in school for only three weeks, but we're already getting great feedback. We don't have as many tardies, students are more awake and more active in the mornings at school."

And that attentiveness, and focus and energy seems to carry through the day into after-school activities, like football practice.

Vernon Hills football coach Bill Bellecomo, whose team is 1-0 heading into Saturday's nonconference game at Waukegan, loves the bounce that the new schedule gives his practices.

"We haven't had a bad practice yet," Bellecomo said.

Why Sleep Should be Every Student's Priority

"Sleep is really a central part of learning. Even though you’re not studying when you sleep, your brain is still studying. It’s almost like it’s working on your behalf. You can’t really get the full impact of the time you put into your studies unless you sleep."

These articles have also been posted on our Facebook page so click over to share your comments!

Update on New Canaan

In June, the administration and BoE affirmed that they would be forming a committee of stakeholders this Fall, including parents. The main goal of this committee would be to create options to present to the Board in time for the budget discussions in November. This has not happened yet and the timeline is shrinking by the day, so if you would like later start times to be a priority and implemented by the 2019-20 school year, please let the BoE and Dr. Luizzi know by writing them today!


Action Item


Write to our Administrators!

Please take ten minutes this week to write to the superintendants and BOE members to tell them why you are in support of a Later Start.
Starting school before 8:30 shows a tragic disregard for both the mental health of children and for science.

Please sign the petition if you haven't already, and pass along this newsletter to friends and neighbors who you know will sign our petition. Click HERE to sign.
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