By Daphne Nelson and Areej Arif
As we all know, high school students are one of the most sleep-deprived groups of people in the country. This is caused by teenagers’ urge to go to sleep later due to biological shifts that occur during and after puberty. Early school starting times affect teenagers more than teachers or younger students and are the most common reason students lose sleep.
According to a survey sent out by Canvass, Seven Hills students would rather have the school day start at either 8:30 am or 9:00 am, but this comes with its own issues. “I don’t think there would be a good way to have sports and other activities after school because you finish school, and it’s sort of dinner time, and it’s rush hour,” said Matt Bolton. In addition, starting even later than 8:20 would make students lose time for other activities and homework, which could cause them to start using their mornings for work, therefore defeating the whole purpose of starting school later.
Also, one advantage of keeping the school start time where it is, which is earlier than most jobs, is that students and parents can beat rush hour traffic while going to and coming from school. Another disadvantage to starting school later would be the extra 30 minutes of waiting in traffic. Students would have to leave earlier anyway, making little to no difference in starting school later.
However, there is still much room for improvement related to the current start time. Most students feel that they are not particularly attentive or responsive during their first block class. An anonymous student from the survey said, “During my first block, I am typically feeling groggy if not completely inattentive. Not until about 8:40-9:00 do I feel any semblance of advanced thought.” Instead of waking up early, gaining an hour or so of sleep could give students the additional brainpower needed to succeed academically in their first block classes. According to the CDC, students who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to perform worse in school.
Any school starting time has its own set of pros and cons, and there will always be some challenges along the way. The main trade-off is between hours of sleep and convenience for parents, teachers, and students.