BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Late nights and early school start times are leading to many Maryland classrooms full of sleep deprived students. Now one school district is considering a later school day.
Gigi Barnett reports it’s looking for students and parents to weigh in first.
Wiped out hours before the start of class. This is how many Maryland students begin the school day–sleep deprived, and the battle to concentrate is on.
“I just end up being tired all day; keep my head down and usually miss a lot of work,” said one student.
Pediatricians say most teens need between eight-and-a-half and nine-and-a-half hours of sleep every night. Blame it on their biological clocks, which are naturally geared to later bed times.
Now, after months of exploring the idea of a later school day, a 15 member task force in Anne Arundel County says it’s figured out several ways to do it. The group had to factor in everything.
“The impact if you move start times back on things like athletics, after-school activities, private school dance, private school piano lessons, hypothetically, those were all things that the task force looked at,” said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County schools spokesman.
Later start times are working at school districts in Minneapolis. Teachers are seeing improved attendance, a drop in depression and fewer behavioral problems. More sleep equals a better student.
“I think I should be able to stay awake in class the whole time and pay more attention,” said one student.
The task force turned in four later start options to Anne Arundel County’s school leaders. They range in cost between $600,000 and $9 million. Before school leaders decide, they want to hear from parents and students first.
“Getting input from parents is the biggest thing right now. That’s what the board wants more than anything else,” Mosier said.
If you would like to check out those later start options, click here.
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