Catchin’ Some More Z’s

Late Start Could Be Beneficial to Students and Staff

Gracyn Shulista

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It’s 6:30 in the morning and I wake up to the sound of my third or fourth alarm.

I think to myself, “Gracyn, you have got to get up, you’ll be late.”

I finally get out of bed and walk slowly to my closet and get dressed. Walking by my bed and seeing the stack of textbooks and my notes still open makes me think about how I wish I had more time to work on homework so wouldn’t have had to stay up late the night before. I continue with my daily morning routine and end up having to run out the door at 7:30. As I drive to school I keep yawning and think about if it’s possible that my first block teacher will yell at me if I catch a couple z’s during class.

Starting school later than 8:30 can have benefits to the students, parents and teachers. Heather Kauk, English teacher, says it would probably be beneficial since students aren’t really awake until noon. Professor Russel from Michigan State said that teens follow different sleep patterns than adults making them more alert during the afternoon and evening.

Though starting school later can result in practices for sports and other activities to continue later into the evening, this can be beneficial. Polls and study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition showed that adolescent athletes who did not get a good night’s sleep were more prone to minor and major injuries.

High school students have struggled with attendance, students skip classes and just decide not to show up to school. With a late start the attendance problem can be improved as well as test scores and just the overall mood of students. At the university of Minnesota, in a study researchers found high school students in Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming show that with school starting later in the day, attendance and test scores in math and reading improved.

However, only having one day a week where there is a late start like neighboring schools could be an inconvenience. Parents who drop their students off at school could have a hard time being able to get off work in the morning to take their child to school in the morning because there isn’t a lot of consistency. Heather Kauk says that when she worked at Prairie View and they had one late start day it was a hassle and inconvenient for everyone.

I think that school should start later in the morning to benefit students and teachers who are having to deal with the sluggish results of having to get up before our brains are ready.

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