Legislative study advocates delayed school start times


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A legislative advisory committee has issued a report that says school districts should consider delaying their secondary school start times.

The report does not recommend a specific, detailed plan of action, but says the ideal start time for secondary school students is 8:30 a.m. or later. It says the recommendation is also that of medical organizations and supported by scientific evidence.

The committee also recommends no early practices, rehearsals, or activity periods scheduled before the official start time.

The report says later school starts times could positively impact an “epidemic of sleep deprivation” in adolescents. It says other factors contribute to the problem, so education on healthy sleep habits is also recommended.

The majority of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts have start times between 7:30 a.m. and 7:59 a.m.

Online: Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents: A Case for Delaying Secondary School Start Times

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