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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Later school starting times

More sleep will help students learn and stay focused

As a founding member of Start School Later-Seattle (SSL), I would like to make a correction to the schools should start later op-ed piece [“The school day should start later,” Opinion, Nov. 1].

Our organization advocates for secondary schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. beginning in September 2014. This position is supported by most School Board members, the Seattle Council PTSA and the approximately 3,000 Seattle residents who have signed our petition.

One way to accomplish this without cost would be to flip elementary and secondary bus schedules. A survey of 700 families that we conducted in April showed support for a flipped schedule if elementary schools started no earlier than 8 a.m. If bus schedules are flipped, SSL would advocate for a 9 a.m. start for secondary schools.

We agree completely with the authors’ points about the negative impacts on teens’ learning and health caused by ignoring their biology, and regarding documented improvements seen in districts that have moved to later starts.

Cynthia Jatul, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education

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