Later Start Time…More sleep?

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Photo from Pixabay by congerdesign

A new bill is currently being debated in California that would require schools to start no earlier than 8:30 am. Many schools have already begun experimenting with this start time. With the new start time, many schools have seen a significant improvement in academic achievement.  In Chicago, a thirteen year long study showed that there were “marked deficiencies in performance in first period courses throughout the term” and that students “perform significantly worse in all their courses taken on that day compared to students who are not assigned to a first period course. Importantly, [researchers found] that this negative effect diminishes the later the school day begins” (Foster). Principal Jayne Ellspermann testifies that after the change in start times, “students come ready to learn … and take on the activities of the day” (qtd. by USA today). A study conducted by the University of Minnesota “found educational and safety benefits. These include less tardiness, higher grade point averages in morning classes” (qtd. By USA today). Scores were higher on standardized tests, and this is obviously closely related to the amount of sleep students got. Many questions have been posed, and I would ask, Are all teenagers more compatible with a later school start time? How would it affect their extra-curricular activities and schedule? How would zero-periods and early morning practices change? Does a later start time really guarantee more sleep?

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One thought on “Later Start Time…More sleep?

  1. I’m a mom. We started this in our school district just last year. I’m not a fan as it makes the day longer. Practice times are more likely to cut into meal time and family time.

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