Start times: How it will effect more than just high school

Sleep deprivation. It’s a chronic health problem that’s affecting adolescents today, and to some, it all comes down to having to wake up as early as 5 a.m., just to get ready for school. Everyone knows school starts way too early and it’s been told time and time again that students need more sleep. Lately, school systems have been proposing to have high schools start at a later time, but here’s the catch: often times, this means that elementary school students have to start a lot earlier.

Research done by the National Sleep Foundation has shown time and time again that teens who start school at around 8:00 a.m. or earlier have a higher risk of not performing well in school, than those who start at around 9:00 a.m. If districts were to go forward with this change in start times, it would possibly mean a big change for elementary school students.

One of the biggest concerns parents and the districts have for their elementary students is time management and transportation. Some parents who have to work overnight, and don’t get home until 7:00 a.m., or get up in the early morning hours of the day to get to work, are concerned they won’t be able to supervise their child as they get ready, or be able to drive their child to school on time.

Most districts use the same busses to drop off their high school and elementary students, but if start time changes goes forward, it means the districts would probably have to hire more busses to take the younger children to school, otherwise, earlier school start times for elementary students would have to take effect.

If elementary schools were to start earlier, that means they would get out earlier than usual as well. As stated before, some parents have work during those hours so were would young students go during that time? After school activities would be an option for some, which could help out in the long run, but for the high school students, starting at a later time could lead to fewer or no after school activities.

It’s a debate to surely never end, but the biggest question here is really:

Is it worth it to have high school students start at a later time?

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