Should Schools Start Later?


Alarm clock

Sam Alderson, Writer

Year after year sleep experts have studied the effects of starting school early on students. As of  February 5, 2021 both the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that both middle schools and high schools begin no earlier than 8:30 

Springlake-Earth ISD should start school later than the current time of 7:45. 

One major reason for starting school later is that students who get more sleep have been proven to have higher grades. Seeing as how schools are based around work and grades students feel compelled to stay up later to work on homework that may either be behind or part of a hoard of other work from other classes. If school was to be started later it would allow students in this predicament to work later and still have time to catch up on much-needed sleep to get through the next day. 

Another example of how starting school later would help is by allowing students more time to get ready for class in the mornings. Having more time in the mornings would benefit students by allowing them to eat a healthy breakfast which leads to more energy throughout the day. Allowing this extra time for students to get ready and eat breakfast in the mornings would lead to minimized tardiness not only in the mornings but also throughout the day.

Starting school later could not only help with productivity in class but it could also lead to safer driving conditions for students that drive to school and those around them. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, “teen drivers who start class earlier in the morning are involved in significantly more motor vehicle accidents than peers with a later high school start time”. The earlier school starts the darker it is in the mornings, this means that it is harder for obstacles on the roads to be seen, there is also the fact of students being tired which leads to slower responses leading to a higher likelihood of an accident happening.

One argument to this may be that it would be harder to allow availability for after school tutoring, due to school ending at a later time. This can be solved by allowing a class period for tutoring during school hours much like the tutorials we have now but with more availability to seek help from more than one teacher. School would begin at a later time and also end at a later time, too. That could be an issue with having a tutorial period. It would have to be a shorter tutorial time because core classes need the majority of the time given. Students could set up a time with a certain teacher, or the district could offer Saturday school, in order for students to catch up. 

Schools should look further into the benefits of starting schools later. Greater productivity in class, minimized tardies, and safer roads for students are only a few of the many reasons as to why school systems need to start at a later time. If schools really care about the students’ education, they will see the outcomes of why they should move the start time back. More students and maybe even staff will see more good things come out of a later start time, rather than starting at 7:45.