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Sleepy U.S. teens are running on empty

UPI – Steven Reinberg

“Nearly 58 percent of middle school students in nine states and almost 73 percent of high school students across the country don’t get the recommended amount of nightly shuteye, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Children and adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are at increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems, which can affect them academically,” said report author Anne Wheaton, a CDC epidemiologist.” (more)

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn’t start school so early. Yet University of Michigan research finds parents are split almost down the middle on whether they support delays in school start times that might permit their 13- to 17-year-olds to sleep later on school days.”(more)

Lawmaker: Make recess mandatory for schools

WSB TV – Richard Elliot

“A state lawmaker wants to make recess mandatory for school children from kindergarten to 5th grade. State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, a Stockbridge Democrat, introduced a bill that would require school districts to allow children recess time. The bill would also prevent schools from keeping students out of recess as a punishment.”(more)

Health Experts Release New Guidances for Improving Recess in U.S. Schools

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) have partnered to release a series of guidances intended to help both elementary and secondary school leaders improve recess for the benefit of U.S. students. The first guidance, Strategies for Recess in Schools, provides 19 evidence-based recommendations designed for leaders interested in “making leadership decisions, communicating behavioral and safety expectations, creating a supportive environment, engaging the school community and gathering information,” said the American Academy of Pediatrics.”(more)

Why Late Nights Lead to Crankier, More Emotional Teens

KQED News Mind/Shift – Rob Stein

“To try to better understand kids like Lane, researchers surveyed 2,017 students in 19 schools in Fairfax County, Va., about a variety of factors related to sleep. They were in seventh to 12th grades. The researchers wanted to know more about the associations between the amount of sleep students get, how sleepy they are in the daytime and a brain function known as self-regulation — the ability to control emotions, cognitive functions and behavior.”(more)

Why Delaying School Start Dates is a Bad Deal for Students

Education Next – Martin R. West

“The scene would have been a civics textbook come to life—had that textbook been produced by the state of Maryland’s summer tourism industry. Flanked by local politicians and business owners, Republican Governor Larry Hogan took to the Ocean City boardwalk on August 31 to announce a new executive order directing all public schools in the state to delay the start of classes until after Labor Day and end the school year by June 15. “School after Labor Day is now the law of the land in Maryland,” Hogan proudly declared. The governor argued that the move will boost late-season tourism, provide families additional vacation time, and benefit the environment by reducing the use of air-conditioning—all without harm to student achievement. He emphasized that the order makes no changes to the requirement in state law that public schools be open “for at least 180 actual school days and a minimum of 1,080 school hours” each year. And he cited a 2014 task force report commissioned by his Democratic predecessor, Martin O’Malley, that concluded “there was no quantifiable evidence that a post-Labor Day start is harmful to local schools systems’.”(more)