Two of the largest school districts in Marin County are discussing the idea of moving middle and high school start times later to help students get more sleep, according to

The Novato Unified School District has a Later Start Committee of about 40 parents, teachers, students, educators and athletic directors, with its next meeting coming up Nov. 3. San Rafael City Schools is discussing a later schedule in response to interest in the community, a spokeswoman said.

Middle and high schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or later to allow students to get enough sleep, medical authorities say. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups indicate that teens who get enough sleep have better grades and are less likely to become overweight or get into car crashes.

In response, school districts across the U.S. are pondering later times.

“Having a later start time would improve the emotional, psychological and physiological well-being of teenagers in Marin,” said Cindy Greenberg, a Sutter Health pediatrician who has practiced in the county for 16 years and has three teenagers of her own.

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