Start School Later Masconomet is a group of concerned parents, students, and citizens working collaboratively to educate the Tri-Town community and Masconomet Regional School District (Boxford, Middleton and Topsfield Massachusetts) about the importance of healthy sleep in adolescents’ lives – from safety, to learning, physical and mental wellness, and athletic performance. Founded in December 2015, Start School Later Masconomet is a chapter of national advocacy organization, Start School Later. If you’d like to see updates, you can Like us on Facebook to get updates on this issue via Facebook to get updates and information.
Why is a Start Time Being Considered?
The following medical groups have examined the available research and made a recommendation to school boards. The recommendation says that school at middle and high schools should not start before 8:30am for the health and safety of the students. These medical groups include:
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Medical Association
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- National Association of School Nurses/Society of Pediatric Nurses
- American Psychological Association
- American Sleep Association
- American Thoracic Society
- National Education Association
- National Sleep Foundation
In addition, the following local organizations have joined in these recommendations:
- Massachusetts Medical Society
- Department of Pediatrics at Beverly Hospital
- Boxford Board of Health
- Middleton Board of Health
- Tri-Town Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
- Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)
If you would like to understand the scientific research behind these recommendations, you may want to download the SSL Masconomet Sleep Research Binder (PDF), which contains many articles that explain the underlying science. Understanding the science is important for some, but most should be satisfied with the expert recommendation of the medical groups listed above.
Is Start Time Change Going to Happen at Masconomet?
Not necessarily. The Start Times Advisory Committee (STAC) has made a recommendation. It’s up to the School Committees for Masconomet, Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield to agree to make a change. If you want to see start time change, you need to contact your school committee and let them know. You can go to a meeting, send an email, make a phone call, or write a letter. Every person who reaches out makes a difference.
Other towns in Massachusetts are also considering a start time change. Find out more about what’s happening with Start Time in the state of Massachusetts.
Who is the Start Times Advisory Committee (STAC)?
The Masconomet Start Times Advisory Committee (STAC) was founded in April 2016 to explore whether a change in start time is feasible for the Masconomet school district. STAC finished its work in May of 2017 with a recommendation to make a change. For more information Visit the STAC web page.
Important Presentations and Information about Masconomet Start Time Change:
- May 2017 STAC Options Final Report (PDF)
- April 2017 Survey Options Results
- Watch Dr. Judith Owens – Teens Decoded – a talk about adolescent sleep. One parent said, after the talk: “I walked in a skeptic. I am convinced. We need to change start time.” (slides from this talk are available).
- Watch Survey results – A discussion of the results of the sleep surveys that were sent to Parents, Staff, and Students in the Tri-Town schools (slides are available). The survey shows clearly that our teens suffer from sleep deprivation.
- July of 2015, the Masconomet and Tri-Town Elementary Calendar Advisory Committee published the results of a calendar survey conducted with school staff, parents, and students in Boxford, Topsfield and Middleton. The survey covered a number of topics, including questions about school start time. The findings of the survey show that the community, (without any real education on the topic) broadly support a later school start time.