Adolescent Sleep, Health, and School Start Times      The National Conference

The overarching goal of this first-of-its-kind conference is to provide a forum for all interested school stakeholders across the US to come together and discuss WHY healthy school start times are important to the health of adolescents and HOW school districts can successfully make the change.

This conference is designed to meet a critical need expressed by many educators and health advocates around the country. 

"We need an opportunity to network, share ideas and experiences, tap into unique and practical solutions to challenges, and interface with experts in sleep health, advocacy, education and policy." - Kenneth Dragseth, PhD, Retired Superintendent, Edina, MN, School District, First District in the US to Change Start Times


“Healthy school start times is an educational issue. But it is also a critical public health issue that touches every aspect of the health, well-being and lives and future of our next generation.”- Judith Owens, MD MPH

The Conference will bring together a diverse set of stakeholders, including internationally recognized sleep experts, education policy makers, school superintendents, principals and teachers, health care professionals, community advocates, and transportation experts to: 

  1. Discuss the latest findings and recommendations on adolescent sleep and their implications for health, well-being, and performance.
  2. Share best practices and provide clear, practical implementation guidelines for school districts across the country considering a change to healthy school start times.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to meet and hear from the experts who wrote the healthy school-start-time recommendations and many of the sleep experts whose research formed the basis of those recommendations.  

Day 1:  Presentations will focus on state-of-the science findings regarding:

  • Adolescent sleep biology and sleep needs 
  • The importance of sleep for adolescent physical and mental health, safety, and cognitive function and the immediate and long-term consequences of chronic sleep loss in teens  
  • The evidence supporting healthy school start times as a critical intervention to address chronic sleep loss in adolescents 
  • Importantly, these experts will also be available to answer questions from attendees during the conference proceedings, and to  informally dialogue at the “Conversation Stations” during the cocktail networking reception on Day 1 evening

Day 2:  The Conference will focus on HOW to implement the change in six interactive breakout sessions. These sessions will be led by school board members, school administrators, community advocates, and subject matter experts who have successfully led the change in their districts.  The emphasis will be on best practices and lessons learned, with ample time allowed for networking.

  • Case Studies:  Three breakout sessions will be devoted to an in-depth examination of how a particular school district made the change -- from start to finish.  
  • Core Topics: Three breakout sessions will do a deep dive into topics that are key to making the change successfully;
    • Educating the Community;
    • Understanding Community Impact of Making the Change;
    • Addressing Transportation and Related Logistical Issues. 

Education policy makers
School board and school committee members
School district superintendents
School principals, administrators, and teachers
Parents and students
Health care professionals
Community advocates for healthy start times
School nurses
Athletic directors and coaches

Who Should Attend the Conference?

Take advantage of the opportunity to ask your questions directly to internationally recognized sleep experts and school district leaders.

Tap into a network to share ideas and experiences, discuss best practices, receive practical guidance discover new resources.  

Conference Sponsors
Yale School of Medicine – Department of Pediatrics
Yale School of Medicine - Section on Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
The RAND Corporation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Start School Later Inc.

Conference Contributors

JW Marriott Hotel
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004