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Student asks school board for later high school start times [Letter]

4:41 PM EDT, May 8, 2013

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The HCPSS board is researching the feasibility of later high school start times. This could have a great impact on many students around the county and I fully back this proposal.

As a high school student, I can visibly see the effects of sleep deprivation on students. I am looking for an increase in support from the school board. Specifically, I would like to see the school board push high school start times to later than the current start time of 7:20 a.m.

In studies done by the National Sleep Foundation, National Department of Transportation and Center Disease Control and Prevention, they found that only 31 percent of high school students reported getting a sufficient eight hours of sleep.

According to the HCPSS school profile for Atholton High School, there are currently 1,482 students enrolled. That means approximately 1,023 students would come to school without a sufficient amount of sleep the night before (less than 460 students are coming to school with a sufficient amount of sleep).

The board will hopefully conclude research soon, and come to the conclusion that high school start times must be pushed back. I strongly urge citizens of this county to press our school board officials toward finding a way to make this change happen.

Matthew Stevens

Columbia