Should school start later in the day?

Photo of female student sleeping in class. Shallow depth of field, multi-ethnic group of students in the background.

I personally think high school and middle school should start around 8:30AM because it can benefit the health and welfare of students. When there are early school hours it can affect kids health. According to the CDC, some health effects of students not getting enough sleep include: drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, marijuana use, use of other illicit/prescription drugs, depression, anxiety, behavior problems, and it can affect brain development.

Verywellfamily.com shows that when school starts around 8:30AM there can be benefits that include:

  • Students are more likely to get the amount of sleep they need.
  • Students will be less likely to depend on coffee to stay awake during the day.
  • When teens sleep longer it could reduce health issues that accompany sleep deprivation (see above).
  • Schools with later start times can improve school performance.
  • Later start times can mean less tardiness, and lower dropout rates.
  • Later school times can give students time to eat a healthy breakfast.

Other factors that have been found to be associated with school starting too early is a lack of sleep. When kids don’t get enough sleep they are more likely to have problems paying attention, and they can have poor academic performance. When kids miss a bus early in the morning, and that’s their only form of transportation, they miss class and then soon they are falling behind in their classes.

In December or 2014, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine advised many schools that later school start times could reduce car accidents. Researchers looked at two towns, and they found that among every thousand licensed drivers ages 16 to 17 there were about 53 car crashes during the school year.

In November 2014, the Healthy Sleep Project launched the “Awake at the Wheel” campaign to increase the public awareness of the risk of drowsy driving. The study they did included data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles that showed that during the school year there were more than 520 motor vehicle accidents involving teen drivers, and more than 320 teen crashes.

When school starts later in the day it will benefit kids, parents, and teachers.

For more information visit:    

https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-starting-school-later-2609565
https://aasm.org/teens-with-earlier-school-start-times-have-higher-crash-rates/
https://www.cdc.gov/features/school-start-times/index.html
https://www.educationnext.org/do-schools-begin-too-early/

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