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Lower Merion School District


Sleep and School Start Time Study and Report

In March 2014, LMSD and the ISC brought national sleep expert and pediatrician Dr. Judith Owens to speak to our school community on Sleep and the Teenage Brain. In August 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics ("AAP") stated "chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common, and easily fixable, public health issues in the U.S. today", and recommended that middle and high schools start at 8:30 am or later in order to optimize student health and learning (followed by an identical recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August 2015).

In response to the continued community interest, then LMSD Acting Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille and School Board President Dr. Robin Vann Lynch authorized the ISC to conduct a short- term study on the issue of sleep and later start times for LMSD high schoolers. The ISC committee's charge was to meet with a number of administrators to discuss the impact of a change in school start time, both in terms of opportunities presented, challenges, and logistical issues. This report is a result of those interviews with over two dozen administrators and staff during March and April 2015. This report was presented to Acting Superintendent Dr. Wagner Marseille and sent to the Board of School Directors on May 1, 2015.

We are very grateful for the input and thoughtful consideration from administrators and staff throughout our school communities.

The ISC Sleep and School Start Time Committee:
Amy Norr, Juli Gruber-May, Ellen Keefe, and Heather Marg-Bracken