studies show adolescents need more sleep.

In Education, Education advocacy, School reform on Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 13:15

and THAT would be how you increase academic achievement!  everyone is so concerned about raising academic achievement and ways in which to do it, obviously focusing on teachers and schools.  there are SO many other factors that have a stronger correlation with academic achievement…and sleep is definitely one of them.  i have had kids fall asleep while i’m testing them!

More Sleep for Teens?  Montgomery Petition Signed By Thousands.

By Donna St. George, Published: November 2

The sky is pitch-black at a school-bus stop in Olney, and it might as well be midnight for 15-year-old Joe Palmer. His eyes are open, but his brain feels stalled. He wishes he were still in bed. It is 6:30 a.m., with sunrise still an hour away.

“I’m pretty much a zombie,” he says as his bus pulls up. He drags himself aboard, bound for Sherwood High School.

The teen’s lament is familiar across Montgomery County, where the opening bell of high school rings at 7:25. But such pre-dawn travails have taken on more urgency in recent weeks, propelling a burgeoning effort to change the hours of the high school day.

The goal: a start time of 8:15 or later.

The idea’s at the heart of an online petition, started by a Garrett Park parent, that has garnered thousands of signatures since Oct. 15 and is firing up debate on community and school e-mail discussion groups. Students have signed on, too.

“Either this or less homework. Please,” wrote a North Potomac teen. “I’m barely even alive right now.”

The effort comes six months after Fairfax County school leaders voted to establish a goal of later start times for high schools. The county is now hiring a consultant to come up with a “blueprint for change” by early next year.

Supporters say a growing body of sleep research shows that teens are biologically wired for later bedtimes and later wake-ups. And studies show that lack of sleep is linked to lower academic performance, absenteeism, and an increased risk of depression and car crashes.

Another danger was at issue this week, too: A student was fatally struck by a car at 7:03 a.m. as she crossed busy Route 118 in the dark on her way to Seneca Valley High School. Some parents wonder if the early school-opening hour was a contributing factor.

“It’s dark out — and it’s not safe,” said parent Shelly McGill of Bethesda.

Critics say that pushing back start times would be complex, cost too much, and affect after-school activities and sports. School buses in Montgomery do double or triple duty, shuttling the oldest students first, then middle-schoolers and finally the youngest.

For many parents, a change cannot come soon enough.

Beth Newman, who has 14-year-old twins at Magruder High School in Rockville, said her husband, who is in charge of morning wake-ups, uses an array of tactics to rouse their slumbering sons: flipping on the lights, turning up the radio, threatening to keep them from activities. “It’s just torture. It’s a constant struggle,” said Newman, who works as a substitute teacher in Montgomery and has seen teens fall asleep in class, especially during first period.

Other students nap after school. They ask parents for rides, rather than take the bus, so they can sleep in as long as possible. One Kensington teen says being tired is one of the most discussed topics of every school day.

Mike Kramer, 16, a junior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, started a Facebook page on the issue last year on a night when he had “seven to eight hours of homework and I was up to 2 a.m. and I had to get up at 6.”

Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/montgomery-petition-to-let-high-schoolers-sleep-longer-signed-by-thousands/2012/11/02/805ccfb8-20fa-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_story.html?hpid=z7


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