Letter: New Canaan Parents Voice Support for a Later School Start Time

The New Canaan Board of Education is evaluating a change to school start times to allow our older, sleep-deprived students more time for sleep. A group of New Canaan parents created the Healthy School Start Times website to inform parents about this important health concern and to collect signatures on a petition asking the BoE to prioritize changing start times. Over 700 New Canaan families have signed the petition and commented on why they consider the issue to be a priority. Some of the comments are included here and the rest can be found on the website. We hope New Canaanites will read what their neighbors are saying and add their own voice to the petition:

“I have two boys who are currently in elementary school and will go through the entire NCPS system.

Letter: Last Week’s School Start Times Survey Lacked Context

On April 19, New Canaan parents and students were asked by New Canaan Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi to take an unannounced School Start Times Survey. Many adults and children who attempted to respond to the survey found it to be confusing, especially the parents of Saxe students. Furthermore, the survey was conducted before the district made any effort to inform parents about the important impact that school start times have on student health. Thus, many parents and students felt that they did not have enough knowledge of the issue to answer the questions in an informed way. Thanks to the New Canaan League of Women Voters, there is a great opportunity next week for the community to learn more about why the district is evaluating school start times: because decades of research has shown that a 7:30 a.m. start is detrimental to student health; it is harmful to such a degree that every major medical organization in the country has recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later. Parents, students and others in the community are invited to a panel discussion on adolescent sleep on May 3 at 7 p.m. in NCHS Wagner Room.