Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal

National Conference on Adolescent Sleep Health
Speaks Up on School Start Times

Experts recommend that teenagers start school no earlier than 8:30 am. FCPS almost meets the recommended goal for our high school students and promised to work to improve the 7:30 am start time for middle school students. Let's complete the mission! Our middle school students need your help. Find out more by watching this clip from the National Conference on Adolescent Sleep Health and School Start Times. You'll see some familiar faces!


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  • Adequate sleep improves learning, memory, mood, and performance in school, athletics and other extracurricular activities.
  • Brookings Institutution economists report that later school start times improve performance equivalent to two extra months in school and that lifetime earnings increase for students with later start times
  • Students are less likely to fall asleep in class or while doing homework when the school day better coincides with a time of day when students are awake and alert and prepared to learn
  • Teens in districts with later high school start times have fewer teen car crashes (driving drowsy is like driving drunk)
  • Districts with later high school start times have less depression and a decreased need for medications to treat depression (1 in 4 Fairfax teens suffers from symptoms of depression)
  • Later high school start times are associated with decreased drop-out rates and improved attendance 
  • Later start times results in fewer behavior problems or disciplinary referrals (interruptions to instruction)
  • More sleep means better sports performance and fewer sports injuries

There's more! Click here to hear Dr. Sandy Chung and Dr. Michael Martin talk about why doctors support later high school start times!.

Here Are Some of the Many Organizations Which Advocated for Later HS Start Times

    Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Society of Northern Virginia Northern Virginia Clinical Psychologists
    Virginia PTA Fairfax County Council of PTA's  League of Women Voters-Fairfax Area
    Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT) Coalition of the Silence Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform
    FCPS School Health Advisory Committee Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition (9-5-2-1-0 Campaign) 

    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

    Medical Society of Virginia American Thoracic Society Real Food For Kids
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work Fairfax County School Board
    Society of Pediatric Nurses    
    Updated May 2018

SLEEP in Fairfax
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