Welcome to Start School Later Westport, CT!
Westport, CT has an award-winning public school system that unfortunately starts the high school day at 7:30 am. This is a schedule that makes it all but impossible for our teens to get the sleep that they need to fuel their busy days.
For years, Westport has tabled this discussion, thinking that while maybe our kids could use more sleep, it would be too difficult and costly to make a change. Since many adults also operate on less sleep than they actually need, we tend to think it's not that big a deal. But our kids are not adults; they are still growing and developing, and their bodies have different sleep requirements than adults or younger kids. They are also under a lot of stress - being a high school student in 2015 is tough! Getting enough sleep is the cornerstone to good physical, mental and emotional health. When the American Academy of Pediatrics issued their policy statement recommending high school start times of 8:30am or later, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued tweets urging school boards to consider later start times, our school board was listening. They put this item on their agenda in November 2014, asked for a report on the current research, and encouraged public comment.
Now is the time for all of us to show our Board of Ed that their concerns for our teens' health are valid, and that they have the support of the community. We need to move beyond the conversation about whether a later high school start time would be healthier, and start talking about how to do it.
SSL is currently looking for someone to lead our Westport chapter. If interested, please complete the contact form on this page.
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.