Welcome to Start School Later Ridgefield, CT!
Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics tells us that biological sleep cycles begin to shift up to two hours later at the start of puberty, making it more difficult for adolescents to get to sleep early in the evening and wake-up early in the morning as they grow older.
Despite this knowledge, as students in Ridgefield Public Schools move through the system, they start school earlier and earlier. Too-early school start times, resulting in sleep deprivation among students, are a national public health concern with serious consequences that impact children and their families. Sleep deprivation has been found to be detrimental to both health, growth and learning, and is considered to be one of the leading causes of learning difficulties, teen depression, car accidents, and risky behaviors.
Changing school start times is a complicated issue for Ridgefield; it has been discussed for many years. However, concerns about its effect on sports schedules, childcare, extra-curricular activities, student employment, and bus schedules are imprudent. Schools and districts, similar to Ridgefield that have successfully delayed start times have reported positive impacts on the emotional health, stress levels, and academic performance of students. Our community should not fear this change but embrace adjusting the schedule for the betterment of ALL our students.
Again, the question is not should Ridgefield middle and high schools’ start times begin at healthier hours, but rather how can we make this happen. It is not acceptable to allow bus schedules and adult convenience to dictate school start times. It is not acceptable to make budget decisions on the backs of our adolescents.
Momentum is building for a change, but we need your support to finally accomplish the goal of so many parents, students, educators, and health professionals! Join us!
RHS begins the day at 7:25am with some students scheduled to be picked up by bus as early as 6:19am.
ERMS/SRMS start at 8:00am with some students scheduled to be picked by the bus up as early as 7:10am.
Communities around the nation are coming up with innovative ways to implement later school start times. Wilton made the change successfully ten years ago. West Hartford and Greenwich have SSL chapters, and other towns like Cheshire and Guilford are talking about adjusting their schedules. Westport can do this too! Let's prioritize our kids health and use our energy to find solutions that work for the majority of our kids. Please contact us to see how you can help.