Welcome to Start School Later California!
Dr. Irena Keller is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and a parent. Having done her PhD dissertation on sleep and development, she has a good grasp of the scientific understanding of sleep and its importance for development and learning. As a parent of both a middle schooler and a high schooler, she has come to the realization that there is a big gap between the scientific knowledge about sleep and the actual public policies and school schedules.
Growing research evidence suggests that the biological sleep cycles shift to later times with development, making it more difficult for students to go to sleep early in the evenings and wake up early in the mornings as they grow older.
Despite this fact, students in most California public schools start school earlier and earlier as they grow up, contributing to a raising rate of sleep deprivation in students. Sleep deprivation has been found to be detrimental to both learning and health, and it is considered to be one of the leading causes of teen depression, car accidents and learning difficulties.
Thus, Dr. Keller launched Start School Later's California chapter to begin closing the gap between science and public school policies and to improve the health and safety of public school students by advocating for more developmentally appropriate school start times.
To contact the Irena and the California chapter, please join their Facebook group or fill out the contact form on this page.