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Should school start later?


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“You are feeling sleepy.” Yes, you are, if you’re a typical student who has to start school so early.

By KACEY KOCH

The Mirror reporter

Twenty percent of all schools in the United States start school at 7:45 or earlier. Health should always be prioritized and be one of the most important parts of life as a teenager and getting enough sleep each night should be mandatory for a high school student. I believe that a later start to junior highs and high schools should be implemented in order to achieve better health and academic performance in students all across the United States.

“Starting school later would be amazing,” Franco Bonelli, a SPASH junior, said. “First of all, you get more sleep and also you’ll feel better coming to school.” The National Sleep Foundation claims that in order for a high school student to function best they need to get nine hours and 15 minutes each night. Because of hormonal changes occurring in students of this age, their bodies don’t allow them to go to bed early which leads to less sleep. Schools in Idaho City found that making a change to the school system to have a later start time found that absences went down by 15 percent. Students that are able to sleep in longer will become more motivated to get things done in their day and also feel that getting up later is natural for their body.

Most school districts, elementary, middle, and high schools have different start times in order for buses to make two trips for different age groups, and in most cases, the early buses are for the high schools. There has been constant talk about making high schools later and elementaries earlier, but conflict from parents of younger kids was hard to get past.

“For older kids, I think school starting later would be great!” Brad Schmidt, SPASH band teacher, said. “I think it’s flipped around and that younger kids should be up earlier and the older kids should be up later. Older kids are more awake later on.” It is proven that because of the onset of puberty, students’ bodies don’t begin to feel sleepy until around 10:45 p.m.

Some risks of keeping school at an early start time include a higher chance of being overweight, depression, more automobile accidents, lower grades and test scores, and lower quality of life. Waking up later provides more time for students in the morning to wake up and get ready for their day, and this includes breakfast. You always hear “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and in most cases this is true. Having the extra time for students to get ready in the morning allows them to have time to eat and gives their body a boost of energy to get things done for the day. “I wouldn’t be so tired, I’d be less crabby, and I’d have more time to eat a better breakfast,” Zach Stremer, a SPASH junior, said.

Many say that the disadvantages override the advantages to having a later start, but I disagree. A disadvantage that becomes the most difficult to work with would be after school sports/activities. Activities would be harder to fit into people’s available daytime schedule during the week because all of their available daytime would be spent at school.

Although this is true, I think many solutions can be made to solve this. For example, if schools were able to commit to having school from 8:30 to 3:30, then after school activities would still be just as available as they were before. The only problem would be having to figure out how many extra days of school they would need to add on because of the missed time that they have every single day. However, I believe it would be very easily accomplished.

Overall, I believe most of the time the districts don’t properly commit to the idea of starting school later. People are so used to the schedule we’ve had for so many years and know they’ll be able to make do with what we have, but the health of the students should be considered first before the comfort of the present.

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12 Comments

12 Responses to “Should school start later?”

  1. Alyssa Schroeckenthaler on March 8th, 2018 12:28 PM

    This article is very persuasive. Everyone seems to agree that school should start later, students and teachers. I like the statistics included and also the picture is funny, but also an accurate representation of how people feel at school in the morning. Why don’t they just start school later already?

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  2. Kara on March 8th, 2018 12:39 PM

    I totally agree with this! Good points and statistics, also great job on quotes from students!

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  3. Hannah Siegel on March 8th, 2018 12:42 PM

    I loved this article. I’m glad someone finally addressed this! There are so many benefits to starting later, however, there are some downfalls… I wish the school district would put more thought into it, especially because there are so many benefits.

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  4. Alina Burmistrova on March 8th, 2018 12:59 PM

    Hi, Kacey! I long wanted someone raises this topic. And I hope someday school will start later than now it does. Because lack of sleep is really harmful for youth health. Even in my native Rostov school starts at 8:15 a.m. and many students have more time to do something in the morning. Ok, we’ll hope for the best. So, the article is really liked by me, because it’s full of different opinions and picture is fun 😀

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  5. Will Carroll on March 9th, 2018 12:19 PM

    I really enjoyed how pertinent the article was to the current struggles of students, and there were interviews from students putting their opinions forward, nice work!

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  6. Tony Ludwig on March 9th, 2018 12:41 PM

    It’s nice someone finally addressed this issue!

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  7. Dylan Trigg on March 12th, 2018 12:41 PM

    Good article. I think the school should start later. Even just a half hour. I think it would really help with peoples performance in school.

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  8. Hannah Gibbons on March 13th, 2018 12:42 PM

    I loved the picture, it made me laugh because that’s how I look when I have to get up every morning at five. I’m so glad a student finally addressed this issue in our district because as mentioned, there are so many benefits to starting school later. You did a very good job not picking one side in the article, considering it was an opinion piece.

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  9. Mark Mauger on March 14th, 2018 2:27 PM

    I feel like this would for sure be a better idea yes students would have to stay a little longer around the end of the day but I’m sure many can agree that more sleep and more time would definitely be way more beneficial for all of us

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  10. Katie Hauer on March 14th, 2018 2:27 PM

    This would help me get a lot more sleep. I go to be at 10:30 on average most nights, even on weekends, but I get up a few hours later on weekends, whereas I get up at 6:00 on school days and only get seven and a half hours of sleep.

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  11. Nathaniel on March 14th, 2018 2:33 PM

    Hi Kacey! I couldn’t agree with this article more, I’ve spent two semesters now having first hour off and I can personally say that having just an extra hour in the morning to sleep in and get ready is amazing. I think starting school later is a great idea.

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  12. Tim on March 14th, 2018 2:42 PM

    If schools start at a later time, 8:30 or 9:30, they can just end that much later. After school activities such as sports can also be moved back to later in the day. Teenagers produce melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep, at a later period in the day than other ages which causes them to become tired and fall asleep later, as well as naturally wake up later. School’s don’t account for this and that leads to sleep deprivation related problems.

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