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Start School Later: Time to Step Up in Anne Arundel County

It's time to get active for healthy school start times in Anne Arundel County Schools. Sign the petition: no more sending kids to school in the dark!

I’ve written about the grass-roots beginnings of the Start School Later group, compared our county to others around the country that are enjoying the benefits of a later start time, and shared the comments from high school students who are struggling to find a healthy sleep schedule when their first class begins before any other high schools in Maryland.

The latest news is that our neighbors to the west in Montgomery County are calling for a later school start time with a huge petition that has gained well over 6000 signatures in just over a week!

A psychologist in Garrett Park, MD, rallied her fellow parents and they decided
to become a chapter of Start School Later. With our help, they compiled all the current research, wrote a petition on SignOn.org and immediately caught the attention of local media.  Soon, they will be taking their request to Montgomery County School Board with the power of thousands of supporters behind
them.

I have to confess to being in awe.

We have recently moved our Anne Arundel County petition over to the free SignOn.org hosting service – and because they’ve seen the explosion of signatures on the Montgomery County petition, they are already promoting our brand new petition! With that momentum, we can build ours just as quickly as Montgomery can – with your help.

SignOn.org - Set 8 a.m. as the earliest opening class time for Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Please sign this new petition today and let’s get the attention of Dr. Kevin Maxwell at AACPS and the members of the School Board who hold decision-making power over the start time of our schools right here at home. Sending the petition to your network via email is the best way to grow it.  Post it on Facebook, Tweet it, talk
about it.

The kids of our community deserve our commitment to their health, well-being, safety and quality education and we need a school schedule that’s in sync with adolescent and young adult sleep needs. This needs to be an AACPS priority now.

Visit www.startschoollater.net for more information and to join us.    

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kari O October 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Thank you for this great blog! The evidence could not be more clear that the profound sleep deprivation adolescents are experiencing puts them at risk for obesity, substance abuse and other risky behaviors, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Both because of the shifted sleep cycles nature imposes on teens and because of crazy schedules we impose on them, it's not as easy as telling them to turn off the electronics and go to bed earlier. When school starts later, kids sleep more. It's time for this change in our county.
Heather Macintosh October 27, 2012 at 08:30 PM
The petition zoomed to 1324 signers in less than a week! Keep sharing it and sending it to your contacts. Can we make it to 5000 signatures? Then it will be a serious message of support that we can take to the school board.
Beth Santin October 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Always interested in this topic, so thanks for posting! The only 'relief' my daughters have had this year, is that since my oldest can drive to school now as a senior they get about 30 minutes more sleep. It's not enough, especially given the academic pressures put on them at school.

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