Chris Arth: School start times and the board | SierraSun.com

Chris Arth: School start times and the board

School start times and the board

In a recent editorial I outlined summary views supporting delayed school start times per various academic societies such as the Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, Sleep societies and national PTA (to name a few).

On reflection, I did not mean to imply the Truckee Tahoe school board is ignorant of science. My statement comparing this subject and the vaccine debate could be offensive to the board who have studied the scientific articles regarding school success. There is conflicting reports on academics, which I did touch on. That said, the above organizations and I lean toward learning improvement with later start times, more so with recent studies such as Washington state.

The school board are entrusted with the overall task of considering a major policy change such as this and being sure it works for the whole district. I understand there are impacts on after school activities which are important as well, and I respect their diligent efforts.

While their main focus is on school excellence for all, I am hopeful of convincing them of the other issues I deal with clinically in pediatrics are impacted by sleep. The list includes depression, suicide risk, substance abuse, school absenteeism, obesity and impaired driving. I continue to think if at all possible, this a project worth undertaking.

Chris Arth MD

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