It’s time for later school start times


Thank you, Marsha Sutton. Thank you for your perseverance in writing about the benefits of later school start times for middle and high school students. As a neuropsychologist, I have followed this research with interest for decades. As a community member, I have read your many columns over the years extolling the benefits of later start times, and I have been dismayed by the response of the San Dieguito Union High School Board. Now, as the parent of a sixth grader who will start at Earl Warren Middle School next year, it is with dread that I anticipate rousting my son every morning for the school’s 7:40 a.m. start time.

Rarely in behavioral research are results so compellingly consistent and conclusive: Later school start times are clearly associated with better physical health, emotional well being, and academic performance.

I was encouraged to learn that the district has asked its principals to begin a conversation about start times with their school communities. District parents have successfully flexed their collective muscle on several high profile issues recently. I hope they will campaign for later school start times with comparable vigor. The research is clear: Starting school later benefits our kids.

Diane Jacobs Baizer