Wake up — time for school!

A new recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that encourages middle and high schools to push back start times for the benefit of the students has been receiving a lot of attention this week in social and traditional media.


The author uses a bullhorn sometimes to wake up one of her sleepy teens for school.

In Indiana Public Media:

Dr. Vaughn Rickert, professor of adolescent medicine with the IU School of Medicine says teenagers especially thrive from getting extra sleep because they’re at a point in their lives when the brain develops at an incredible rate.

“Clearly kids who are deprived of sleep are not going to be coping with stress, and certainly they’re going to be at risk for other [things],” such as depression, anxiety, and psychiatric disorders, Rickert says.

“There’s really no reason not to have later school start dates except many people who are working on the other side of the classroom are not particularly thrilled about starting later,” Rickert adds. “It disrupts their day.”

I was encouraged to see that 15 percent of high schools already begin at 8:30 a.m. or later. My middle child’s private middle school begins at 9 a.m. My oldest child’s public high school begins at 7:40 a.m., with many athletes, like Peter, practicing or participating in weight training before school. Part of me wonders if later start times would result in more before-school activities.

Last year Peter’s first period teacher let her bleary-eyed students make hot chocolate, which I thought was brilliant.

In lieu of a later starting time, maybe administrators could schedule in nap times for students … nahhh.

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