Should School Start Later?

 

 

By Emma Zavala

It’s been a topic of debate for years whether or not school should or should not start later in the day. People have many arguments from both sides, saying that starting later improves health, or that starting at a normal time gets students ready for the working world.

The majority of people in the Journalism class want the school day to start later.

“I think it’d be better if school started at nine o’clock and ended at three o’clock. It still has the same amount of hours but works better for students,” says seventh grade student Charlie Hess. He, and many others, think that if school started later in the day, then the students would be more attentive and engaged to the lessons during class. Some people who support this idea as well are The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Brown University Researchers, and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. These esteemed organizations have all shared their decision that school should start later in the day. 75% of public schools throughout America start before 8:30 a.m. including our own school. Another argument is that no matter what time first period starts, zero period always starts at the same time. This means that students who have a zero period are getting up earlier and most likely staying up later because they have more work to get done.

In a study of over 9,000 students throughout Minnesota, Colorado, and Wyoming, students had their school times start later. The students who had their school start later in the day showed improved attendance, higher test scores, and better grades in core classes. They also showed a decrease in tardiness, substance abuse, and symptoms of depression.

“When people have more time to wake up, they are more alert at school. Lots of after school activities start at 3:30 so getting out of school at 3:00 would give students time to do their activity, do homework, eat dinner, and still have some time for themselves,” says a Condor Press staff member.

However, there is a flip side. Arguments for the opposing side include parents’ jobs, public transportation, and after school activities. Parents have many responsibilities including taking care of their child and making money to provide for them. Many jobs are from nine o’clock to five o’clock. Personally, my parents’ jobs go from about eight-thirty in the morning to about four-thirty in the evening, plus about a half hour commute. If school started at nine, then I wouldn’t be able to get to school.

This brings me to another point, some schools’ schedules are shaped around the public transportation services of that specific area. Many buses, subways, and other modes of public transportation don’t provide services to the school areas at that time. The schools have made it so that they can get the students to school using public transportation.

Although some after-school sports or activities start later in the day, some start earlier. These activities would be hard to get to with just a short period of time. I know from experience that it’s hard to have enough time to have a snack, get some homework done, change into whatever clothes you need to be wearing, and get the practice. This mixed with all the other stress put on students from school does not sound like a happy student.

Overall there are many sides to whether school should start later or not. Some people say that it should because of health and test score reasons, but transportation and after school activities may make this impossible. Choose your own side.

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