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Presentation on theme: " SLEEP in Fairfax History of Later Start Times in Fairfax 1998 School Board Task Force concluded later secondary."— Presentation transcript:


2 SLEEP in Fairfax

3 History of Later Start Times in Fairfax 1998 School Board Task Force concluded later secondary school start times would: 1.Improve academic performance. 2.Reduce unsupervised after-school time for teens, lessening dangerous and criminal behavior 3.Decrease teen car crashes due to lack of sleep 4.Improve moods and relationships

4 1998 Task Force (cont’d) Sleep deprivation is having a negative impact on learning in Fairfax County. “Later high school and middle school bell times... can produce results of benefit to the entire community.” No consensus was yet reached on how to adjust bell schedules.

5 How do later start times help?

6 Teens experience a biological shift to a later sleep-wake cycle The biological clock of children shifts during adolescence, because of the timing of Melatonin secretion. 11 pm: Teens generally ready to fall asleep 8 am: Teens generally ready to wake up This “delayed phase syndrome” conflicts with early school start times.

7 Teens are chronically sleep-deprived Teens need 9 ¼ hours of sleep. Only 15 % get enough sleep.

8 Consequences of Sleep-Deprivation Sleep-deprived people are: Cranky and irritable. Impulsive, hyperactive, depressed and possibly violent. More likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. At risk for accidents and injuries. Sleep debt can impair metabolism and disrupt hormone levels. Sleep debt can contribute to obesity. Overall, daytime sleepiness reduces enjoyment and quality of life.

9 With Later Start Times Students Sleep More Wilton, Connecticut: School started 40 minutes later; Students sleep 35 minutes more each school night Minneapolis, Minnesota Student sleep gain= 1 hour/night

10 Sleep-Friendly Schools Many schools across the country have established later start times Several studies available showing positive outcomes at “sleep- friendly” schools.

11 Start Times at Nearby School Districts Alexandria: HS 8:15 am MS 8:40-9:15 Loudoun: HS 9:00 am MS 8:20-8:30 am Arlington: HS 8:19am Falls Church: HS 8 am

12 Benefits of Later Start Times Health Scholastic Sports and Extracurricular Community and Social

13 Health Benefits of Later Start Times Data proves decrease in: Car accidents Clinic visits Appointments with counselors Depression and need for medication Days absent Daytime sleepiness Increase in: Participation in sports and extracurricular activities

14 Scholastic Benefits of Later Start Times Improved learning Improved student behavior Students more alert in class Decreased drop out rate (Minnesota studies) Pediatrics (June 2005): –Teen students performed better in the afternoon. –Sleeping late is part of in-born cycle –Bright light exposure did NOT modify the sleep-wake cycle or improve weekday performance. Improved performance on standardized tests (Navy study)

15 March 2008 Sleep and Learning Conference Neurologists and sleep experts from around the world agreed: “Adequate sleep helps you learn, retain and fully understand new material.” “Changes in sleep and circadian rhythm in adolescence are inconsistent with optimal learning when morning school start times are too early (before 8:30 -9am).”

16 Sports and Extracurricular Benefits of Later Start Times Participation increases or stays the same–more students join teams and school clubs with later start times. Improved attitudes Improved performance

17 Is there time for sports? Other schools with later end times find the time and succeed: –TJ, Loudoun and Arlington Game times—many could stay as is Practice times: –Same (some start late w/current schedule) –Move teacher-student flex time into the school day/week – e.g., Marshall or TJ –Shift and adjust practices to maintain time for community use. Surveys show parents want two hour limits—coaches say won’t work for all sports

18 Other Benefits of Later Start Times Parents report more “connect time” with teens Teen schedules more closely match parent work schedules Improved attitude and behavior One year later, 92 percent of Minnesota parents are happy with change

19 5:38

20 Focal Issue : SCHOOL START TIMES FCPS high school and middle school start times interrupt the teen sleep cycle.

21 Teen Sleep Clock 11 PM to 8 AM

22 Transportation Task Force 2008 Transportation system in crisis. The School Board believes that later start times benefit teens. Task Force asked to define acceptable bell schedule and transportation guidelines

23 Transportation Task Force 2008 Recommended Bells Start Times Elementary Current 7:50-9:25 Most 7:50 - 8:55 Some 9:00 - 9:40 High Current 7:15-7:30 Proposed 8:35 - 8:55 Middle Proposed 9:20 - 9:40 End Times 2:30 - 4:00 2:30 - 3:45 3:40 - 4:20 2:00-2:15 3:15 - 3:45 4 - 4:30

24 Cost Comparisons Transportation Consultant models: Zero cost to $9.2 million Task Force: Reengineering will improve efficiency and save money. Other school systems have switched with no new buses


26 Support for Later Times More than 8,000 petition signers Surveys (students, parents, teachers) FCCPTA Virginia State PTA FCPS Student Advisory Council School Health Advisory Comm. National Sleep Foundation Medical Society of Northern Virginia League of Women Voters Fairfax

27 Facts in English and Spanish Link to research Find answers to FAQ Review survey data Download materials for volunteers from the “How To Help” page Read anecdotes from parents and students Sign the online petition

28 How You Can Help Visit our website Sign the petition Sign up to receive emails Write to School Board members Volunteer to help Ask your PTA or community group to pass a resolution in favor of change

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