Wellness Task Force begins discussion

issue5 Page 2 

Students, staff chosen to represent HHS in district sleep committee

By Shauli Bar-On

Published March 2, 2016

The district-wide committee to combat student sleep deprivation, the Wellness Task Force, is up and running. Their first meeting on Jan. 25 allowed them to set the foundation for further discussion.

In Monday’s second meeting, committee leader Trudy Gross said she finalized the roster, which includes teachers, classified staff, parents and students from all schools in the district.

Though the roster is not yet open to the public, junior Johnny Kobori is confirmed to be the student representing HHS, Gross said. Kobori is expected to remain on the committee until he graduates in 2017.

Students were chosen by each school’s administration, with the most input from principals, Gross said.

“I felt honored to be chosen to represent Homestead on the committee. I love the dynamic of the group,” Kobori said.

The committee, whose responsibilities include advising the district board on school start times, will reach a decision on the time school should begin by the end of 2017.

HHS physics teacher Susan Mrozack is the most recent HHS staff member to have accepted a spot on the committee, Gross said.

Student Board Representative and senior Cyrus Miremadi has also been asked to weigh in on Wellness Task Force issues. His seat will be vacated at the end of his term this year and replaced by the new Student Board Representative, a position open to any student in FUHSD.

Gross said the first meeting involved discussions on sleep deprivation and student stress as a whole. Talks progressed to debate over college pressures, college visits and the college fair. Time commitments to high school sports were discussed as well.

“Because our defined problem has issues of stress and sleep deprivation and school-life balance, the recommendation that we give to the board in February of 2017 could be related to any of those areas,” Gross said.

At Monday’s second meeting, Associate Superintendent Graham Clark presented the education code stipulations and information about instructional minutes, Gross said.

The task force will review each school’s annual school climate survey and its results at each of the FUHSD schools, Gross said. These surveys are taken anonymously by every student at the end of the school year to give the staff a sense of the school environment.

Gross said she plans to survey parents, teachers and students across the district, with specific questions not covered by past surveys. These questionnaires will ask for input on changing school start times.

“I don’t know if it’s something timing-wise that we can accomplish by the end of this year,” Gross said, “but if not, the goal would be that all the work would be done, and we can implement at the start of next school year.”

Gross said she will be working with Communications Director Sue Larson to publicize future information regarding the Wellness Task Force.

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