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School Start Times

By , Reno, NV

Right now, we are all sitting here at school, in the early hours of the morning. I'm guessing most of us, if not all, are tired and exhausted. If this is the case, you are certainly not the only one. Schools all around the globe – especially the United States – are in desperate need for later school start times. Early school start times leave students feeling tired from lack of sleep, unprepared for class, and even having higher rates of stress and anxiety. If later start times are established in schools around the globe, students will benefit from it in many ways.
Among the countless students that feel exhausted everyday, me being one of them, can highly benefit from bumping up start times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) reported that "..in more than 40 states, at least 75% of public schools start earlier than 8:30 a.m." (Richmond). Early start times highly affect us students. Early start times leave countless, growing teenagers feeling weary, unprepared, having attendance issues, and even lower test scores.


Since most schools in the United States start before 8:30 a.m., it's hard on students to get the recommended amount of sleep, which ranges from 8 to 10 hours a night (MacMillan). According to a study from the CDC, "almost 70% of high school students report sleeping 7 hours or less on a regular basis" (MacMillan). Lack of sleep for teenagers has its effects, crucial ones even. Those of which are associated with injuries, stress, anxiety, poor performance skills, and even higher risks for things like obesity and depression. In worst case scenarios, automobile accidents that can be caused from lack of sleep as well.


Although some students are trying to get their wish of later start times, some have already seen and experienced it, and its effects are great. A recent study of 9,000 high school students in a handful of states that have been involved in later school start times show great results. Researchers analyzed an increase in attendance, test scores, and grades in a handful of subjects. Researchers also noticed a decrease in tardiness, signs of depression, and even substance abuse (Richmond). These results greatly exhibit the effects later school start times have on growing teenagers and students, those such as ourselves.


Many people are in favor for bumping up school start times, but certainly not all. Many school districts oppose of the idea of doing so. According to Amy Morin, "delaying junior or high school start times would most likely impact the schedule for all schools within a district... pose problems for teens who provide childcare to younger siblings... and teens might stay up even later if they don’t have to wake for school at an earlier time.." (Morin). This being said, many school districts oppose of the thought of increasing school times because it's too much to cope with, so they stick with the regular early start times. School districts stress about transportation issues as well, so they refuse to budge. Although there are negatives to increasing times, there are more benefits, meaning its more good than harm.


Overall, increasing start times will have a great effect on students all over the globe. Students will perform better academically and even mentally. Not only will students be more active in their education, they'll be proving it with test results and grades. Increasing school times is necessary in order for students to meet, and even exceed standards. Increasing times will do much more good than harm, which is why it should be put into effect.

 


Sources
Richmond, Emily. "Why School Should Start Later in the Morning." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 17 May 2017.
MacMillan, Amanda. "Teens May Do Better When School Starts Later." Time. Time, 17 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 May 2017.
Morin, LCSW Amy. "Should High Schools Really Start Later so Teens Can Get More Sleep?"Verywell. Amy Morin, 11 Apr. 2017. Web. 17 May 2017.






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