Later School Start Times: The Benefits

Later School Start Times: The Benefits

Olivia Gonzalez, Writer

Let’s face it: NO ONE likes to get up early for school. Whether you are a 6th-grade student or an 8th-grade language teacher, we can all agree on this. So why does it bother so many of us to get up an hour or two early? It’s all about what students and staff miss out on!

One of the first reasons that it would be beneficial is that it would allow kids to get the recommended amount of sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for children in middle school is around 8-10 hours. Generally, kids in middle school go to bed from 10:00 p.m. to midnight. If you go to bed at 11:30 pm and wake up at around 6:30 am that is only about 7 hours of sleep and it would be beneficial for students to get the extra hour of sleep.

The second reason that it would be beneficial for the school day to start later would be that it would allow kids (and teachers) to have more time to prepare for school. They would have more time to get tasks done and be fully prepared for school. Think about it: if we can shorten each class by 10 min, the extra time could be used to get some homework done or complete household chores. It would be beneficia for all students and staff.

Now some people may say that children could just go to bed earlier and they could prepare for school during the night before. But think about the logistics. Most of us get home at around 2:30-3:00. So if we get home at 2:45 and we start our homework at 3:00, after completing the 3-4 hours of homework some of us have, that will put us at around 6:30 p.m. Around that time families have dinner and that lasts for around 30-45 minutes, so that would put us at around 7:10 p.m. Then children have to do their chores, basic cleaning,  and spending time with family. After those 1-2 hours, it’s already 9:30! Kids then need to bathe, change, and finally get into bed and actually fall asleep. And that’s all if you don’t have an extracurricular activity! With the average time that people in this school wake up being around 6:00 a.m., that would mean kids get maybe 8 hours of sleep. While 8 is within the recommended amount of sleep, that is the bare minimum, IF they are able to fall asleep immediately.  Teachers don’t expect their students to do the bare minimum so why would kids settle with only the bare minimum amount of sleep? This dilemma could be resolved with a later school day.

All in all, it would benefit everyone to have a bit more sleep and time to prepare. Kids would be more mentally prepared for everything so that there can be a successful day at school. It would benefit teachers and students with more sleep as well! So what do you think? Do you want school to start later?