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Research on how sleep affects school performance

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One of the things we are asking schools to do is to take note of the sleep research that says, because of neurobiology and changes in the brain, adolescents need to sleep from about midnight to about 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. We want schools to start later. Those districts that have done that, show significant impacts in terms of standardized test scores, letter grades, attendance at school, attention in class, and attitude at school. Every school that has done this has reported significant positive changes in that direction. Schools that don't -- I work with many of them -- They report that getting adolescents to pay attention and think in first and second periods in class is almost impossible. They have to use extraordinary techniques. That change in starting time really solves many of the issues that we are seeing in adolescent change and later sleep patterns.
TEEN, Health and Development, Sleep

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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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