Should School Start Later?


What time schools start is a heavily debated topic by many different people. Groups like the Center of Disease Control (CDC) have stated that schools starting after 8:30 are at more risk for major health issues. While School districts say that they could lose valuable time for school. However, the general public seems to think that school should start later, so the students can get more sleep, better health, and higher grades.

The average High School has a common start time of 8:00 A.M, the recommended start time is 8:30. This is problematic for the student’s sleep and not enough sleep is most likely troublesome for the first and possibly second period of school. When a school starts behind the recommended time, students often come to school half asleep. A teen in high school generally gets sleepy at 10 or 11, but when a High School starts at 7:30 they can get about seven hours of sleep. This is just one child too, according to Quartz 15-17 year olds get 7.1 hours of sleep. Still not enough sleep to be fully functioning. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taiwanese_Junior_High_School_Students_Sleeping_in_School_2007-10-09.jpg File:Taiwanese Junior High School Students Sleeping in School 2007-10-09.jpg

Studies by major science groups have shown that not getting enough sleep could have an effect on your health and can get you out of a potential death. Teenagers that can drive to school are often tired and not as focused as the student who starts at 8:40. By starting school later, you could save lives. Not only that, but studies have shown that more sleep can get you better health. The Center of Disease Control states, “ Teenagers aged 13 to 18 years should regularly sleep 8 to 10 hours per day for good health. Adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight, not engage in daily physical activity, suffer from symptoms of depression, engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, smoking tobacco, and using illicit drugs, and perform poorly in school.” When a teenager has a biological shift in a sleeping schedule, they often can’t function normally.

Starting at a later time to get better grades speaks for itself. Getting more sleep means you can focus more, especially in the first and possibly second hour. Focusing more means more detailed notes to study on before a test, then leading to a better score on the test. This time can benefit the student in a lot of ways, and it’s true. Everett states that, “In 1998, Amy Wolfson, Ph.D. and Mary Carskadon, Ph.D. surveyed more than 3,000 high school students. They found that those who reported poor grades (C, D or F) reported getting 25 fewer minutes of sleep than the students who reported getting A’s and B’s. The poor performers also went to bed approximately 40 minutes later than the students who reported getting good grades.”

Overall, starting school at a later time would have a lot of benefits for the students. They get healthier habits, more sleep, and better grades. While there are drawbacks to starting school later, the school can easily fix this by being more flexible with students and parents.

Featured Image Credits:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s