Hit Snooze On The Schedule

JP Skoric, Staff Writer

Should schools across the nation take action on their starting time? Many people think that school should start later so that students can get more sleep. When talking about this subject, middle schoolers and high schools are being referred to. Many schools in different states have started to take action on this subject, but many people think it should be a national change that would help students with learning and assignment scores.  If school start time were to be pushed back, the school ending time would also have to be changed. Some think things should stay the same while others believe it is time for a change. This is being taken into consideration, but what side would be better for everyone? 

Many scientists and teachers say that test and assignment scores are a lot higher when students get more sleep. Further research has shown that assignments are turned in more efficiently when students have more time to rest, especially when teens are going through puberty. Teenage bodies are changing so much and so quickly, that sleep is imperative for these students to function at their best. Additional sleep is also thought to have a positive effect on the communication between teachers and students. A well rested student has increased mental clarity and is more likely to ask questions and actively participate in the classroom. Sleep can also help with comprehension and retention of what has recently been taught.  

Of course not everyone wants school to be pushed back mainly because of after school activities. But it doesn’t seem like people understand that a beneficial time difference can be as little as thirty minutes. Just with that little thirty minutes of sleep so much more could happen. Also, that time don’t even have to be put towards your sleep schedule. You could use it to get in that breakfast that you sometimes don’t eat, maybe even that shower that makes you feel better for the day, or maybe just relaxing. All of these things can benefit your mood and learning ability at school. 

Then when you have all of this energy, you can use that towards activities like sports and activities after school. The importance of eating breakfast before a day at school is imperative. Kids show up to school hungry or without energy and the main reason is because they haven’t eaten all day. Eating a healthy breakfast is crucial in order to give your full effort and attention while trying to learn something new.

Throughout middle and high school most kids are going through changes that have to do with puberty. These are significant changes in the body that require a lot of sleep. Without sleep the body will feel heavy, fatigued and the brain will lack the ability to  focus during a lesson or physical activity. If you get more sleep then you will be able to focus more, perhaps resulting in better grades in all subjects. During puberty if you do not get enough sleep, it is easier for your emotions to take over. You can get really sad, have anxiety or even be short tempered when exhausted, and all of this can be avoided by moving school times back.

Researchers found that one school that started later saw that with all classes combined, there was a 4.5% grade increase. This is an unbelievably huge difference and reflects well on a student’s report card. Researchers also found that attendance changed when a school’s start time was set back later. Several students’ attendance was recorded and they had a decrease of 6 late attendance marks and at least 1 absence after just 6 months of action to the change, this was compared to their last year at school. Another few things that later school time started helped were, students had more time to get ready, eat, or even sleep, they were more likely to get to school. Having better attendance is crucial because this just makes more room for more learning to come into play.  Having less student absences makes a huge difference in the school’s community because a student needs to be present in order to learn. 

Overall, there are many reasons why schools start and finish time should  be pushed back.  A little amount of time makes a huge difference with grades, attendance, and work efficiency. All of these things are very good for a school, or just an individual student.  Seeing schools Across the Nation take action to this experiment would be a good thing.  Hopefully, schools will be willing to try to start school later for the benefit of that school’s students.