Please sign our petition

We’ve created a petition called “Start Masconomet Regional School Later”, asking the Masconomet School committee find a way to change the start time for the Masconomet school district to be 8:30am or later. We’d like to ask you to join us in signing the petition.

Hagan Rivers, founder of Start Masco Later writes:

This is an issue that I became interested in about a year ago, and the more research I did, the more angry and concerned I became. I was angry because the science is clear, and yet we’ve done nothing to make change. I was concerned because I know we’re using a school schedule that is harming my children’s health and well being.

The science and research on this is very clear: early start times adversely affect our kid’s mental health, their physical health, and their academic achievement. The American Academy of Pediatricians has recommended that all high schools schools start after 8:30am. The Calendar Advisory committee even did a survey last year on school start time and found that 69% of the 2,300 respondents supported moving to a later start time. So why hasn’t it happened? It’s an issue with a lot of stakeholders: busing, athletics and extracurriculars, cost, employers, child care – it’s going to be some work to find a good solution that balances our needs, while keeping the health of our kids first.  It’s true that there are a lot of issues, but I was heartened to learn that A definitive study by Dr. Kyla Wahlstom in 2001 and 2014 found that 92% of parents preferred later times after one year despite earlier concerns of busing, athletics, child care.

I don’t know what solution the Masco School Committee will come up with, but I do know that unless we work on a problem together, there won’t be any solution – and the status quo is unacceptable. That’s why I created this petition: to let them know that the we are ready to act!  They will have a lot of possibilities to explore and you’ve probably heard some of them: maybe make homeroom shorter, maybe add a few more buses, shorten practice times, create Masco bus pickup points, use K-12 busing WITH monitors, swap buses but move everyone’s start time a little later… There are lots of possible approaches, but the point is, without the discussion, NO change can happen.

Signing the petition doesn’t mean you like one solution over another, it just means that you want to Masconomet School Committee to work to find a solution. This is the first step in the process.

At this point you probably have a lot of questions. That’s why I’ve been working on a web site at that has a lot of information about the science and research, the medical community’s recommendations, and what has happened in communities that have made this change. Visit the site to learn more.  I’ve started gathering people who feel strongly about this issue to help share all of this information with the community and I would love your help, if you are interested.

PLEASE forward this to anyone that lives in Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield or works with the Masconomet Regional School district, to your pediatrician, or anyone who cares about the health of the students in the Masconomet Regional School district.

Thank you!
– Hagan Rivers, parent in Boxford and founder of Start Masco Later

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