Cure for sleepy teens

By Tonia Bendickson - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – If you've got a sleepy teen at home, you are not alone.  Experts say sleep-deprivation is a chronic teen health problem.

WBTV has learned a CMS plan to save teacher jobs at one school has had a stunning and unexpected BENEFIT for sleepy teens.

Students at Northwest School of the Arts have something new to dance about.  They're getting more sleep.

Teachers report students have improved endurance in the most challenging classes.

More energy, better moods, and better grades.

Cierra Lacey says this is the first quarter she can remember in awhile that she scored all A's.

"All of my friends are alive and happy," she says, "before they were just dead."

This fall CMS moved Northwest School of the Arts start time to 9:15AM.

The move saved 15-20 teacher jobs.

The unintended benefits for students are significant.

Principal Barry Bowe reports better attendance, fewer behavior problems, and the number of late students - cut in HALF.

"We have less tardiness," he says.  "We had a big problem getting students into the classroom on time at 7:15.  We don't have that problem this year."

It's an experiment that's working - and earning high praise at Northwest.

The CMS school board has talked about this issue in the past.

The challenges are significant, busing thousands of students to school and after-school sports.

It's a lot to fit into the day.

Ann Clark, the Chief Academic Officer, said right now there are no specific plans to adjust bell times.