Rockland County school pushes start time back to help students with sleep deprivation

Joe Torres Image
Monday, April 23, 2018
Rockland school pushes back start time to combat sleep issues
Reporter Joe Torres has the latest on the new initiative

NANUET, Rockland County (WABC) -- Research has found that sleep deprivation negatively impacts academic performance, leading to a debate about the best time to start school. Now, administrators at Nanuet Senior High School in Rockland County have decided to start school at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:20, beginning next fall.

"They need that extra sleep in the morning, which right now, presently, getting up and being in class for calculus or whatever at 7:20 in the morning just doesn't cut it," superintendent Mark McNeill, Nanuet said.

Some parents are not pleased and believe it will encourage students to stay up later.

"My only thing would be, are they going to stay up later because they know they're going to school later?" parent Rosa Alessi said. "That's the only con I have."

Time and creativity allowed district leaders to overcome the biggest logistical hurdle with the schedule change, transportation. The time change will not affect after-school sports, since most games start at 4:15 p.m. and school will let out at 3:10 p.m.

Not all students are thrilled with the new end time, with one student calling it "trash."

Nanuet isn't the first school in the district to make the change. South Orangetown in Rockland County made the change a few years ago, and reports indicate "so far, so good."


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