GCSD BOE seeking volunteers to serve on school start times task force

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion in local and national news about the circadian rhythms of adolescents and the amount of sleep they need to be healthy, safe and fully engaged in their learning. These discussions have suggested that the early arrival times at many high schools may contribute to students getting insufficient sleep to feel and perform at their best.

The Guilderland Central School District Board of Education is seeking volunteers to serve on a task force to investigate school start times. The purpose of the task force will be to investigate and review the research regarding school start times, share findings with the School Board and community, and make recommendations for potential action.

In order to fulfill this purpose, the task force will consider questions like:

  1. What does research, including academic research, policy papers, case studies, etc., say about the impact of school start times on adolescent students?
  2. What data exist to describe the current conditions for Guilderland High School students including attendance, tardiness, course and Regents grades, student performance on SATs and ACTs, and sleep habits?
  3. What roadblocks might exist to altering the current schedule of start times in the Guilderland Central School District? Topics to consider may include:
    a. Transportation
    b. Athletics
    c. Extra-curricular activities
    d. Other
  4. To what extent would various stakeholders support a change to school start times in Guilderland?

The task force will include students, parents, district faculty and staff, and community members and will meet several times (as a large group and in subcommittees) beginning in mid-October and continuing until the committee is able to make a recommendation to the Board. Meeting times will be set by the task force, but will generally occur in late afternoon and early evening.

If you are interested in being a member of this task force, please send a letter of interest to Dr. Marie Wiles, Superintendent of Schools at PO Box 18, Guilderland Center, NY 12085 or by email to wilesm@guilderlandschools.net by Sept. 28, 2018. A subcommittee of the Board of Education and Superintendent will review letters of interest and make recommendations for appointment to the task force on Oct. 9, 2018. The first meeting of the task force will be on Oct. 18, 2018.

On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for considering your participation in this important work.  We genuinely appreciate the guidance and support of our entire school community as we contemplate this topic.

 

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