The strong foundation of a student’s start of the day is the feeling of waking up, refreshed and prepared for what’s piled on ahead. It’s what motivates a student to go through the long hours of mandatory education for five days a week, resulting in rewarding successes of good grades, an increase of self-esteem and confidence, as well as the boost of improved performance in classroom interactions and perhaps maybe even the development social skills. However, if what’s listed is the case to ensure a student’s life of normality and health, then why is it that, based on the research, more than forty states across the United States still have at least 75,000 schools starting earlier than 8:30 in the morning? It’s ridonkulous.
“Everyone learns better when they are awake.” as Carskadon put it, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior, displayed her argument against the policy of schools’ early start schedules. And this stands true and applicable in the events that occur in a day of a student’s life. If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of a teenager, typically focused around high schoolers, not only do they focus on math or science or any of the A-G requirements they are currently taking, but it’s a must for them to balance all of the mandatory academic subjects with extracurricular activities such as sports and volunteering events. It’s a sacrifice high schoolers must make in order to fully meet the requirements not only of A-G but also for colleges and universities of their dreams. This sacrifice eventually leads to a lack of sleep if schools remain conservative with their policy of starting class at 8 in the morning. Researchers have found according to an excerpt from an article, “Getting Enough Sleep is No Easy Task for Today’s Students” by Alina Saminsky, over 50% of high school students report that they only receive around seven or possibly fewer hours of sleep and statistics have shown that shockingly, combined this not only with high schoolers but also middle schoolers, 82% wake up unrefreshed and unable to concentrate for the rest of the day. Students desperately need sleep in order to function and perform academically well. Not only is it for the sake of their health but also to assuage the rising concerns of parents. If students are unrefreshed and have the inability to remain awake especially if they have assessments in several periods, then how will they expect to pass high school with poor performances?
Despite this controversy, many still feel that school should not start later because of reasons such as school will adjust eventually to ending later or maybe perhaps sports practice hours will extend until nighttime. It’s true that the hours of the school day may be affected but this is all for the sake of students getting sleep the day before. As Snider, a medical writer and a mother of three children had put it, “We have to convince school systems that this has to happen for the health of kids. It’s not a negotiable budget item-it’s an absolute requirement.” If our mindset is not on the “what-ifs” and more on the reality, life changing events that will impact the lives of students, then there’s no need for second thoughts or focusing on the fact that school need not start later. In fact, there’s actually a positive consequence for school ending later for the day. Another excerpt from the same article commented, “Ending school at 2:30pm doesn’t really make sense. First of all, kids have more time in between when they get out of school and when their parents get home, which can lead to unproductive behavior. Also, kids that drive home would be less likely to get into accidents due to fatigue.” It’s not about focusing on the “negativity” of the likelihoods of what might happen when school starts later, it’s all about focusing on students getting the suitable amount of sleep that they utmost need in order to set that strong foundation for the day and the ability to perform academically well and also endless positive benefits on their health. Thus, in my conclusion, we, as a whole, as a school, should have a later start on the school day for these reasons.
Saminsky, Alina. “Getting Enough Sleep Is No Easy Task for Today’s Students.” RSS. N.p., 2010. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.
Richmond, Emily. “Why School Should Start Later in the Morning.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 13 Nov. 2016.