BY MORRIE PONGRATZ
Former School Board Member
As a former school board member, I know that changing schedules is the “third rail” of school administration. I applaud the Albuquerque Public Schools for having the courage to recognize the science and move their high school start times later in the morning. Seeing on the Los Alamos Public Schools website that “Student Well-being” is their top focus gives me the incentive to write this letter.
According to the CDC Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and problems with attention and behavior. According to the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) (Home – New Mexico Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey) many of our HS students are depressed and many consider suicide (especially girls).
A lack of sleep is frequently cited as a cause of teen depression. According to the YRRS survey most of our HS students are not getting enough sleep, especially the girls. Courtesy graph
In the face of this data, I ask LAPS to consider a later starting time for LAHS. Let them sleep another hour like APS has done. I know that it may complicate athletic practices, but, for me, student behavioral health is more important than athletics.
Thanks for listening.