Should School Start Later?

Alexis Bacani, Staff Writer

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Worldwide, school starting times for schools of all levels has been a subject argued. The question “Should school start later?” has been brought up due to students complaining about starting times, and whether current standards affect their working ability.

To address the negatives of current school starting times, studies have shown that 73% of students don’t get enough sleep due to school, which can cause an increase in health risks. Additionally, students become more prone to depression and engage less in school work and physical activities, as well as becoming more susceptible to peer influence. “The American Academy Of Sleep Medicine” recommends teenagers receive about 8-10 hours of sleep before taking part in school. Due to its effects, students starting school later would also decrease the number of students that sleep in class. Studies show that delaying school by 30 minutes can positively impact how students behave during classes. Delaying the beginning time also positively impacts the grades students will receive.

To get more insight on the matter, students and teachers were asked for their opinions. A sophomore at NWCTA, Alec Martinez, felt otherwise on the topic. Alec receives six to seven hours of sleep. Every night, Alec goes to bed around 9 to 10 p.m. and wakes up at around 6:15 a.m. However, he does not think that school’s starting time affects his ability to focus. We asked what Alec thought about if school started at a different time and he responded, ”Schools shouldn’t start earlier or later because it will affect many after school activities such as sports.” Alec encourages getting the recommended amount of sleep for a high school student which is around nine hours.

To understand more of the teachers’ opinion and thoughts on this issue, two teachers were asked for their insight. Ms. Champeau, the health teacher for NWCTA, provided her view. She is a “morning person” who gains a total of six to six and a half hours a day and can function perfectly with the timing of the school hours. “The current starting time is appropriate,” stated Ms. Champeau.

Mr. Smith, NWCTA’s Career Education teacher for nearly nine years, justified that school should not start earlier because, “what we have now is a sufficient time and the problem is that the students here work and have jobs, so the later we work the later we get stuff done.” He had also stated that the school times did not affect his ability to focus but was “challenging at first” to adjust to the system.

Hearing from the viewpoints of those nationwide and at Northwest, how would you answer the question “Should school start later”?

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