To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In – NYTimes.comPosted: March 17, 2014
March 13, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Jilly Dos Santos really did try to get to school on time. She set three successive alarms on her phone. Skipped breakfast. Hastily applied makeup while her fuming father drove. But last year she rarely made it into the frantic scrum at the doors of Rock Bridge High School here by the first bell, at 7:50 a.m.
Then she heard that the school board was about to make the day start even earlier, at 7:20 a.m.
“I thought, if that happens, I will die,” recalled Jilly, 17. “I will drop out of school!”
That was when the sleep-deprived teenager turned into a sleep activist. She was determined to convince the board of a truth she knew in the core of her tired, lanky body: Teenagers are developmentally driven to be late to bed, late to rise. Could the board realign the first bell with that biological reality?
Jillian Dos Santos studies at her home in Columbia, Mo.
DAN GILL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
The sputtering, nearly 20-year movement to start high schools later has recently gained momentum in communities like this one, as hundreds of schools in dozens of districts across the country