Shane Jimerson presents at Stanford University-hosted “Summit on Adolescent Sleep and School Start Times”

Thursday, December 10, 2020
Shane Jimerson

Professor Shane Jimerson of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School will be a featured presenter at a Stanford University hosted “Summit on Adolescent Sleep and School Start Times” on January 22-23, 2021. This online event will encourage cross-disciplinary discussion and research about the relationship between sleep and education as California prepares to implement SB-328, a law mandating that middle and high schools begin instruction no earlier than 8:00 am and 8:30 am, respectively.

The new law aims to fight sleep deprivation in teenagers, as research indicates it contributes to physical and mental health issues, negatively impacts academic performance, and is correlated with behavior problems. “It is very important that we continue to use science to inform our education policy and strategies to support the development, education, and well-being of children, youth, and families,” Professor Jimerson asserts. “California State Bill 328 is exemplary legislation that recognizes the compelling research revealing the association between lack of sleep and the impact on academic performance and attendance of adolescents.”

Opponents of the law argue that mandating later start times for middle and high schools will affect the schedules for buses, elementary schools, and after-school activities. Proponents of the law, on the other hand, argue there is plenty of time for districts to address these concerns and make changes. “This California law goes into effect in 2022, thus there is much work to be done to build toward the implementation during the upcoming year,” Jimerson notes. “Moreover, it will be critically important that we continue to engage in further research to examine student outcomes associated with these efforts during the next decade.” The Stanford Summit will open the door to conducting that research.

For the two-day summit, Jimerson will lead workshops about “Using Existing Data Bases to Assess Outcomes.” Jimerson is a Professor of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology in the Gevirtz School at UCSB. Jimerson is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and recognized by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress as a Board Certified Expert and Diplomat, and is included in their international registry of Experts in Traumatic Stress with specialization in working with children, families, and schools.

[Shane Jimerson is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at george@education.ucsb.edu]