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Researchers: School start time discussions should also include middle schoolers

April 16, 2018

Start times are an issue that requires the collaboration of many, if not all, district departments — transportation, instruction, athletics, nutrition, and before- and after-school programs, including those run by community-based organizations. Parents commuting to work in the morning are also affected if their child’s schedule changes significantly.

From a health standpoint, however, the researchers note the middle school years are an important time to prevent negative outcomes and that sleep is linked to both academic success and problematic behaviors, such delinquency and substance use. A recent study from Singapore, conducted in an all-girls, 7th through 10th grade school, also showed that when schools moved start times later, the students’ moods improved and they reported less depression.

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