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Nonprofit group pressures Ohio high schools to start classes later
Advocates say it's a matter of math and the hard-wiring of teenagers' brains

Amy Cooknick
Courtesy of Creativecommons: Some rights reserved by husin.sani
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In The Region:

A national group is pushing high schools in Northeast Ohio and the rest of the country to start classes later each day.

The  group, Start School Later, wants the school day to begin at  8:30 or 9 a.m., saying that would blend better with teen-agers’ sleep cycles.  It cites research that finds adolescents are wired to fall asleep around 11 p.m. A later start time would allow students to get nearly the recommended average of nine hours per night.

Four years ago, Hudson High School moved its start time from 7:20 to 8 a.m. because of such research.  Principal Brian Wilch says, despite some initial difficulties with busing and extra curriculars, the overwhelming response has been positive.

LISTEN: Wilch on the reception

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“It’s always that balance between starting later versus afterschool activities. That’s always the rub, along with busing constraints. But somehow, you know, Hudson did their research and adopted it and it received favorable reviews from students and parents and staff, so we’re doing it.” 

Locally, Parma, Kenston and Westlake high schools also have a later schedule.

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