SLEEP urges expanded use of waiver of requirement for a full-day schedule

SLEEP, an organization which advocates later high school start times in Fairfax County, recently sent two emails to supporters pointing out the existing regulation which allows some students to waive the first period of class in the morning. Here is the first email sent May 13:

“Waiver of a Full Day for Fairfax Students Can Be Used to Opt-Out of First Block.  In an option few parents know about, an existing Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) regulation allows a student to be excused from a block or two of classes “on a case-by-case basis” when parents can show personal or family hardship or economic necessity.

“SLEEP would like FCPS to expand availability of the waiver to families who request it for students who are suffering from sleep deprivation since that certainly qualifies as a hardship. FCPS also should expand opportunities for students to take online courses in place of the waived first block.
“Further, SLEEP has asked FCPS to publicize availability of the waiver–especially when students are repeatedly late to school as sleep deprivation is a likely cause of such tardiness.
“To read more about Regulation 2412.6, or to see the application form, please click on the link in the title of this article.”

In a second email sent June 6, SLEEP urged supporters to ask the school board to “allow students to replace first-block courses with online courses AND also  expand availability of a waiver…to allow families two different options to meet the health and mental health needs of Fairfax students.”

Most high schools in Fairfax County start at 7:20, 7:25, or 7:30 a.m. (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which is a magnet school, starts at 8:30 a.m.)

(Emails quoted with permission by Phyllis Payne.)

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