The Bar-On Brief: Many surveys, few results

The Bar-On Brief: A weekly column

More data is always good, an FUHSD representative told the leadership class earlier this year when he spoke about the student wellness survey that was sent out last year.

Kindly, I disagree. More data is, quite simply, just more data.

The question of the year involves “student wellness.” In other words, how can we make the lives of students less stressful? The Wellness Task Force was created last year to discuss a proposal to delay school start times. It wasn’t enough to take the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that all schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

But the Wellness Task Force evolved to discuss student stress as a whole. As part of their efforts, they created a survey. Most of its questions were aimed at the possibility of a later school start time.

Parents were surveyed, students were surveyed and teachers were surveyed.

Regardless, the data has been analyzed and has finally been sent to the public, and the following conclusions were reached:

Students actually get more sleep when school starts later. The results show that 17.3 percent of FUHSD students, the plurality of them, go to bed at 11:30 p.m. on regular start days. Compare that with the plurality of 18 percent of HHS students who go to bed at midnight before the 70 minute late start.

So, on average, HHS students sleep for 40 minutes more before late starts. The conclusion the Wellness Task Force reached after analyzing the data from all five FUHSD schools is that students get up to 1.5 hours more sleep on late starts.

However, nearly one in every three surveyed students said they could not tolerate any delay in school’s release time due to after school activities. Another third said they had no preference in the amount of delay, and the final third were split between a 10, 20 or 30 minute longer school day.

For the FUHSD survey results, click here.

Now they have the data. Now the teachers are going to be briefed. Then the board will most likely vote whether to have HHS, and all other FUHSD schools, start at 8:00 a.m. Yes, all of these meetings and surveys for a vote on a 10 minute school start delay for HHS. No guarantee it passes yet.

Who thinks that was a waste of time? Should I send out a survey?

And with that, I rest my case.

The Bar-On Brief is a weekly column that runs Thursdays.

Follow Shauli Bar-On on Twitter @shauli_baron