School Start Times Should be Later

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Annabella Rapp, Staff writer

Opinion: School Start Times Should be Later

Kids are sleep-deprived, and waking up before six a.m five days a week is not helping. Most teens need anywhere from eight to ten hours of sleep a night. The majority of teens, according to a study done by Better Health, get 6.5 to 7.5 hours a night. This is up to an hour and half less sleep than we need, making us sleepy and moody all day, or glued to our coffee cups.

Julia White, a sophomore, thinks that if schools were to begin over an hour later and end at the same time, she feels it would help with her energy levels, and as a volleyball player, this would help her greatly. This could be beneficial for many student athletes, as well as anyone involved in clubs, especially musical kids and members of the football team.

There’s lots of evidence to state that schools should begin later. One of those pieces is the fact that around the ages of 11 to 13, teens’ circadian rhythm changes drastically. Your circadian rhythm is what makes you naturally tired at a specific time. For most teens, this changes, and they go to bed about two hours later, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Now, around this time is middle school and high school. In elementary school, we woke up at eight o’clock, and, as little kids, we would get up much earlier naturally, with a gradual decrease in wake-up times, nothing drastic. The second you hit middle school, most of us students are getting up before six o’clock just to make the bus. If we could switch the start times for the elementary kids and the older kids, life would be so much easier for everyone.

White also feels like she “would have a much better chance at retaining information and memory,” which would help you with unit or end of chapter tests, raising your grades up. Mr. Hayes, JA building principal, says that a later start time might show an increase in grades, and that it could be very useful for the district.

However, there’s also a problem with sports and conflict. If we were to push back start times, there’s also the question of if school would run later. Another question is whether or not students would get to sleep at the same time, or go to bed later with a later start time. Many of us are distracted by sports, homework, and friends, and sometimes we’re just too stubborn to go to bed, or saying “just ten more minutes,” to ourselves, staring at our phones or video games.

All in all, if schools began later, it would mean more alert students, better grades, and would be beneficial to all. I felt like it would be best if we were to begin later, since multiple students felt like it would be best for everyone.