Two Renowned Adolescent Sleep Experts to Visit Greenwich


In May Greenwich Schools Superintendent McKersie will present a recommendation on whether to change school start times to the Board of Education. In June the Board of Education will vote on the recommendation in June.

In the meantime, between two rounds of public forums (before and after the Superintendent makes a recommendation to the Board of Ed) Greenwich PTAC and CT Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics  have invited two adolescent sleep experts to speak in Greenwich on Tuesday, April 26, 7:30-9:00 pm at Eastern Middle School. The event is free and open to the public.

Two of the country’s leading sleep experts, Dr. Judith Owens (Harvard) and Dr. Craig Canapari (Yale), will talk about teen sleep requirements and the impact of chronic sleep deficits on their health and behavior.

Dr. Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston’s Children Hospital and Member of the Faculty of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will provide an overview of the medical and scientific evidence that underpin the recent American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy recommendation that middle school and high schools in the United States should not begin before 8:30 am. Dr. Owens was the lead author of the AAP recommendation.

Following Dr. Owens’ presentation, Dr. Craig Canapari, Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at The Yale School of Medicine, will join Dr. Owens on a panel for a question-and-answer period with the audience.

Dr. Judith Owens is an internationally-recognized authority on pediatric sleep and the author of over 150 original research and review articles in peer-review journals, chapters, and books on the topic. Her particular research interests are in the behavioral and health consequences of sleep problems in children and adolescents sleep health education, and cultural and psychosocial issues impacting on sleep.

She was the lead author of the 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement supporting healthy school start times. Dr. Owens is Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston Massachusetts and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Boston Children’s Hospital is a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital which US World and News Report rated as the #1 Children’s Hospital in the United States for 2015-16.

Immediately prior to assuming her role at Harvard, Dr. Owens was the Director of Sleep Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC (2010-15) and she was the Director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic and the Learning, Attention, and Behavior Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island for 18 years.

Dr. Owens was Sleep Advisor to the NBA Coaches Association in 2015-16, consulting on the relationship between sleep and high performance athletics.

Dr. Owens is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavioral Sleep Medicine and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, the Governing Council of the World Association of Sleep Medicine and the Board of Directors of the International Pediatrics Sleep Association.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Excellence in Education Award in 2006 and its Mark. O. Hatfield Public Policy Advocacy Award in 2012.

Dr. Owens graduated from the Brown University Alpert Medical School and completed fellowships in Behavioral Pediatrics at Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center and in Child Psychiatry at Brown University.

Dr. Craig Canapari is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Yale School of Medicine and the Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at Yale. Prior to coming to Yale, Dr. Canapari was a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Canapari is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Sleep Medicine and Pediatric Pulmonology. His interests include pediatric sleep problems, such as obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy, and the behavioral management of insomnia as well as the respiratory issues of children with neuromuscular disease.

Dr. Canapari serves on the Lifelong Learning Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Canapari attended Yale University for his undergraduate education and received his medical degree from University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He did his residency in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and received a fellowship from Massachusetts General in Pediatric Pulmonology.


Week of April 18, a Survey on school start times is set to go out to all Greenwich Schools families, in addition to staff. A student version of the survey will go to middle school and high school students.

April 6- June 14 an online comment form is available for community feedback on the Greenwich Schools website  Click here for the online comment form. 

April 19. 6:30pm-8:30pm Community Engagement forum at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich

April 21. Regular BOE Meeting, 7:00pm, Riverside School (open for public comments)

• May 12. Superintendent’s Recommendation. Superintendent McKersie will present a recommendation on possible changes to K-12 school start (and dismissal) times to the Board of Education on May 12, 2016, 7:00 pm. at North Street School.

A second set of Community Engagement Sessions, “The second pass” will provide the public another chance to discuss Dr. McKersie’s recommendation and the plans for implementing changes to bell times, if applicable.

• May 23 7:00pm at Central Middle School Auditorium

• May 24 9:00am at Town Hall meeting room.Community forum on Superintendent’s recommendation.

• May 26 7:00pm Regular Board of Education meeting with time for public comment, Western Middle School

Decision Time! June 14, 2016, 7:00 pm The Board of Education is scheduled to act on the Superintendent’s recommendation on June 14, 2016, 7:00 pm at New Lebanon School (location reflects a change), includes opportunity for public comment.

See also:

Rested from Vacation? Controversy over Greenwich Schools Start Time Continues