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Hartford, CT: District to study later start time in order to improve student health

Oct 30, 2017, Hartford Courant: West Hartford, Simsbury Looking At Changing School Start Times http://www.courant.com/community/west-hartford/hc-news-west-hartford-simsbury-schools-committee-school-start-times-20171011-story.html As committees in West Hartford and Simsbury begin evaluating the impacts of changing school start times, high school students in those districts said they think school should start later in the morning.... …“So what we’re forcing our children to do is get into bed before they’re ready, lay there wide awake staring at the ceiling until 11 or 11:30 at night and then we force them to get up right in the middle of one of their deepest sleep cycles.” This, Raskin said, leads to sleep deprivation, which has been linked to increases in suicidal thoughts, increased risk-taking with alcohol and drug use, more tardiness, less academic performance in the classroom and standardized testing, increases in the number of motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. “It’s a simple fix, it certainly requires a lot of effort when you first make the move,” Raskin said. "I don’t want to minimize the barriers and challenges involved, but once you’ve made that move you take care of so many vast health issues in our children — immune systems change, mental health changes, physical ability to respond behind the wheel and on-the-field changes — all of them can be improved with this one change in the classroom.”