Don’t Be A Hater; Start School Later


Hannah Janvrin and Ethan Jean-Charles, Journalists

As students wake up every morning for school, most dread getting up early between 5:30-7 to get ready. Many feel school should start later, such as at 8:45 instead of 7:40, so students have more time to prepare themselves mentally and physically.  Students would find it beneficial because they can get a longer sleep and do better with school work. This would improve student’s physical and mental health, attendance, and academic performance, according to new research published by Science Advances.

Although some people may believe that the current starting time is fine, like our own Principal Mr. Mitchell, most high school students, including the authors of this article, believe otherwise. Mr. Mitchell is one of those people who is an early riser and finds morning to be a productive time. He exclaims, “In the morning is when I get my best work done!” Mr. Mitchell has no problem with the school hours right now, but he concedes that it could be better for some students if school hours were pushed back a bit. Most people aren’t like Mr.Mitchell in the morning. Most teenagers struggle to get out of bed, and if that is a struggle to them, imagine them sitting in class. We all know that teenagers have difficulty with school starting early, just imagine the teachers. They have to wake up even earlier than kids and they have to teach their students. Students and teachers are much the same when it comes to the mornings. 

Some students like Maddy Chesley says that she has a very hard time getting up in the morning. She doesn’t eat breakfast because she runs out of time. She has to balance school, work, and homework every night and often doesn’t get to sleep until midnight. She believes that it would be beneficial for her to get a little bit more sleep because she knows she needs it.  Then she would get more out of her first-period class in which she now finds herself falling asleep or almost falling asleep.

The Newburyport School District has recently decided to change its starting time to 45 minutes later, to begin next year during the 2020-2021 school year. Even though it’s not a huge time difference, it will help every student get extra sleep. Researchers have found that starting school at 8:45 enables students to get on average an additional 34 minutes of sleep. Once children hit puberty, their circadian rhythm changes, and they tend to fall asleep later. Therefore, starting school a little later will allow adolescents and teens to attend school at a time more optimal for their bodies and minds. This is beneficial because it will help students be more alert and attentive in their classes and consequently do better in school. The downside about the later start time is that it would affect the cost of transportation, and it may interfere with after school sports, activities, and jobs. 

What happens when you start school later? It not only helps students get the extra sleep they desperately need, but it also helps reduce depression, fatigue, and memory impairment and helps improve cognition. It help gets kids up and gives them time to eat breakfast before coming into school. Kids would be more alert, especially in their first period classes. 

Pros of Starting School Later

  • It could reduce the amount of time kids are left alone.
  • It would reduce health-related issues that come with a lack of sleep. 
  • It could reduce caffeine dependence.
  • It could boost individual academic performance.
  • It allows students to cope with their academic responsibilities.