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Wednesday, March 9, 2011 3:10 PM -0500
School Start Time 
School Start Time Review Committee

The most recent meeting scheduled is for March 9 at 3:30 at 1 School Street. The agenda of the last few meeting has been to formulate a survey to be issued in April as a followup to see if identified problems are resolved or to identify problems that still need resolution.

The Start Time Task Force work has morphed from implementation to followup during 2010-2011. The new committee is a Start Time Review Committee and has been meeting sporadically since October 5, 2010 at 3:30 in room 700 at Sharon High School.

Receive Reports from Student Advisory Council
Receive Reports from Teachers on our Committee
Receive Report from Building Administration
Receive Report from Athletic Director
Identify issues for the next meeting
Identify a committee to work on survey questions for output in January
        - Meetings will be formed by that group
Choose Review Committee meeting dates
        - how does Nov 1-2 at 3:30 look?
        - how does Dec 7 at 3:30 look?
        - how does Jan 4 at 3:30 look?

- Please send comments to sc@sharon.k12.ma.us

School Start Time Task Force (SSTTF)
- an administrative work committee
The School Committee heard the presentation on May 5, 2010 and on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 voted to change the high school start time and to adjust Middle and elementary start times to accommodate bus routing. This will affect the Middle School by 5-10 minutes (start time/end time) and Heights Elementary start time from 8:35 to 8:50 next year. East and Cottage would start at 9:00 and 8:55 respectively.

School Start Times for 2010-2011

News Articles - July 2010


This attachments represents the proposal to the Sharon School Committee on May 5, 2010:

Presentation to the School Committee (May 5) by Mr. Libano:  Presentation to School Committee - Late Start SHS.pdf

In class student survey done May 4, 2010 for grades 9-12:  Survey In-Class Start Time - May 4, 2010.pdf

Employee survey (graphed) results can be viewed at:  http://www.zoomerang.com/Shared/SharedResultsPasswordPage.aspx?ID=L24B9QULFFLD
also as percentages with comments: Survey Results - Employees.pdf

also as percentages with comments: Survey Results - Students.pdf

also as percentages: Survey Results - Parent .pdf

Mission Statement:
The Start Time Task Force has been formed to study the available research regarding adolescent sleep and high school start time and to consider whether a change in school start time at Sharon High School should be recommended. The Task Force will make a proposal to the School Committee after examining the impact of such a change on educational, extracurricular activities, and start times for other schools in the district.

Goal: The Start Time Task Force will make a recommendation to the Sharon School Committee regarding school start times.

The Task Force that has been formed consists of 19 members: two elementary teachers, three high school teachers and a school psychologist, the high school principal, the athletic director, the transportation supervisor, three high school students, five parents, one school committee member and the Superintendent of Schools.

Alison Rutley - School Committee
Alexandra Mellman, Art teacher, Heights Elementary
Stacey ~Simons - Sharon Community Parent
Jane Sullivan, grade 5 teacher, East Elementary
Patricia Bluestein - Sharon Community Parent
Cheryl Harris, School Psychologist, Sharon High School
Netti Sternklar - Sharon Community Parent
Christopher Brillant, Foreign Language teacher, Sharon High School
Liz Dichiara - Sharon Community Parent
Amy Strasnick, English teacher, Sharon High School
Dr. Elizabeth Englander- Sharon Community Parent
Kathleen Turner, Foreign Language teacher, Sharon High School
Robert E. Sondheim, Director of Athletics
Josh L - student, gr 10
Fran Derry, Supervisor of Transportation
Laura G - student, gr 11
Jose Libano, Principal, Sharon High School
Hadley C- student, gr 11
Dr. Barbara Dunham, Superintendent of Schools

Meetings have been held on: January 12, 2010; February 8, 2010; February 22, 2010; March 1, 2010; March 10, 2010; March 22, 2010 at Sharon High School in room 700.

Action Items:
1.      Consider the research on adolescent sleep and high school start times as it relates to the health, safety, learning and quality of life of high school students.
2.      Contact other districts that have changed school start time to gather information about pros and cons from staff and students.
3.      Contact experts in the field to gather information.
4.      Hold informational forums or assemblies for students (prior to any surveys being distributed).
5.      Hold informational forums for the community (prior to any surveys being distributed).
6.      Hold informational forums for staff (prior to any surveys being distributed).
7.      Survey the community, students, and staff to gather feedback.
8.      Present research and provide recommendation(s) to the School Committee no later than April 30, 2010 and in no case, later than the close of this school year 2009-2010.

Work of the Start Time Task Force (Meeting notes)

The members of the Start Time Task Force have read and discussed more than twenty articles about adolescent sleep. The Minnesota Study and other informational documents from the Sleep Research Center provided the most significant findings about sleep and its relationship to health, safety, learning, and the quality of life of adolescents.  Members of the Task Force have also contacted several area high schools (Needham, Hingham and Duxbury) to find out the impact of their later start times.

Members of the Task Force have placed information in the ìSpecial Projectsî section of the school website (www.sharon.k12.ma.us) and the superintendent has given updates to the School Committee.  

The Task Force will host a public forum on April 7, 2010. Dr. Mary Carskadon, an expert in the field of adolescent sleep will speak at two afternoon sessions for staff and at an evening session for parents and students. Informational assemblies for students will be held during the school day for grades 8-11. The Task Force will survey all stakeholders after the forum to solicit feedback.

Meeting notes

After much research (see Sharon Schools Web site for articles), the Start Time Task Force voted to recommend a change in the high school start time.

The most extreme no cost proposal moves the high school start time from 7:25 to 8:15. If this were to occur, the dismissal time would be 2:49. The dismissal time of 2:49 has been reported as causing more potential problems for activities that occur after school such as sports or drama.

The Task Force is also discussing the ideas of ìflexible start timeî for staff who may request to provide extra help ìbefore schoolî rather than ìafter schoolî and/or flexible scheduling for students.

Flexible scheduling for students would require ìfixingî some periods on the schedule and would result in a change to the rotation of the class periods as they currently exist.

The Task Force will consider all proposals and their impact on sports and other activities as well as the impact on start time in other Sharon Public Schools.

Schedules that were under consideration are shown below. The 8:05 schedule is the one that has been voted by the School Committee:

Future Meeting Schedule:

(1) SSTTF MEETING April 5 at 3:00 PM in room 700 Sharon High
        Proposed Agenda
        draft of student presentation for an upcoming assembly (Mr. Libano)
        FAQ draft (Hadley with input from others on the SSTTF
        survey draft (Dr. Dunham),
        Start time bus proposal for 8:05 and 8:10 (Mrs. Derry)

Information on the impact to SPORTS:  Late Start - Impact on Athletics.pdf
Presentation to students in grades 8-11 during assemblies:  Presentation to Students in Grades 8-11.pdf

(2) MEETING April 7 Faculty Meetings in the afternoon --  Community Meeting at 7PM in high school library
        The Task Force and Dr. Carskadon from Brown will present.

(3) SSTTF MEETING April 8 at 3:30 in room 700 Sharon High
        Proposed Agenda - finalize survey, discuss forums
        input from student assembly (Mr. Libano)

DURING Week of April 12 - survey goes out. Paper to students, electronic for others.

(4) SSTTF MEETING April 29 at 3:30 in room 700 Sharon High  - Look at survey results

(5) SSTTF attends May 5 School Committee meeting to present findings and made a recommendation.

April 7, 2010 FORUM will be online beginning April 9 at http://www.sharontv.com/gov_replays.html

                             •Flyer - School Start Time Event April 7_2010.pdf
                                  Late Start - Impact on Athletics.pdf

guest speaker: Dr. Mary Carskadon,
Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University
and Director of chronobiology and sleep research at E.P. Bradley Hospital in Providence, R.I.
Dr. Carskadon presented her research to the Sharon Community at the April 7 School Committee Meeting


Inside the Teenage Brain - an interview with Dr. Mary Carskadon

Sleep Medicine - 2002 - 788 pages

An excellent video clip, Inside the Teenage Brain helps to summarize the issue and the associated problems.  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=frol02nfacq392

Trouble Sleeping - maybe it's your Ipad

Another good resource is the Sleep Foundation website

Additional information:

Minnesota Sleep Study.pdf

Other related websites:
(This one is a 5-minute video that was created by an independent filmmaker about the SLEEP group in Virginia, which is a group advocating for more and healthier sleep patterns for adolescents, including later school start times):

(This site is a follow-up summary of the impact of later start times  - pluses and minuses – on (a) after school activities; (b) mental health; (c) safety – across a handful of schools across the country that implemented later start times)

(This is a brochure about sleep cycles in teens from NIH.)

(This is a 2 page article by the Sleep Foundation specifically on school start time & sleep patterns in teens.)

(This newspaper article points out that grades don’t necessarily improve.)

(This is a detailed, 30-page review of all the evidence about sleep, adolescence, and late school start times, by the Sleep Foundation.)

This is a compiled report on schools that have changed their start time.

Boston Globe article December 2009
School districts south of Boston examine delaying high-scho.pdf

Article: Beyond Doing School - From 'Stressed Out' to "Engaged In Learning"

The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet  by Richard Knox

There is a plan to offer a panel presentation in the next month or two. Please check this website for more information.