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. Craig Canapari, MD, Director of Yale Pediatric Sleep Center, will speak about the latest adolescent sleep research, why start times matter, and provide actionable tips for optimizing sleep. New Canaan’s own William Flynn, MD, of New Canaan Pediatrics and Tracey Masella, LSW, of Silver Hill will also be on-hand to speak about and answer questions about the real sleep-related issues that our adolescents are experiencing. (The event is free and open to the public and no registration is required.)
We hope that parents, students, BoE members and members of the school faculty and administration will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about school start times and why they matter.
Committee for Later School Start Times in New Canaan