Thursday, October 29, 2015

Make a Change

I'm having one of those days where everything I might write about just makes me feel pissy (translation: angry or in a bad mood.) Not violently angry but annoyed and/or jaded. And I don't think it's healthy to go on day after day like that.

Part of what colors this is watching my daughter struggle each morning with the early high school start time. It's not good for her. Actually, it borders on being soul-crushing. Being forced to operate on a clock which is opposed to her naturally body clock is taking much of the joy out of her high school experiences.

That's how we start each day. Miserable.

She goes to a great school, is involved in activities she likes, she has already made new friends. But she is dragging around her messed-up sleep cycle like a ball and chain. It goes everywhere she does. And at the end of the day, when she is supposed to be giving her best to an increased homework load, she is exhausted almost to the point of paralysis.

There is a substantial body of evidence that early school start times are bad for kids. Why has our school board not acted on this? It affects health, judgement, emotional well-being, and academic performance.

Later school start times are linked to:

  • Improved attendance and enrollment rates
  • Less sleeping in class
  • Less student-reported depression
  • Fewer student visits to school counselors for behavioral and peer issues
  • More even temperament at home
What will it take to make healthier start times a reality in Howard County?

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