Letter: Start times decision goes against simple science
To the Editor:
Two weeks ago, the Ridgefield school board announced that they would back down on their earlier decision to make school start times later for high school students. Though pleasing to the admirably represented anti-change group, this decision goes against simple science and will only continue the chronic sleep deprivation faced by most of the student body.
Teenagers naturally fall asleep later than elementary and middle schoolers and as such naturally wake up later. The school start time system is currently set up opposite to this biological fact, and as a high school student who must get up at 5:45 every day and ride the bus when the stars are still out, it is clear that the system must change.
It is true that there are many issues with the proposal that need to be sorted out, and in this the criticizers of later start times do have a point. Buses will have to be rerouted, practice times for sports will have to be changed, and cost estimates look worrisome at best. Despite this, the objective evidence showing the benefits of later start times is strong and should be followed. If we decide to make start times earlier, it will not be a pretty process, but the greater health, performance and well-being of the youth of Ridgefield will increase as a result. Ridgefield students are the future, and they deserve the best we have to offer.