Without a doubt, many students strive to succeed and do the best they can in school. However, if students are not able to stay awake to listen to the material, there is no way for them to effectively achieve their goals. In order to improve test scores, maintain grades, and succeed, students must be able to physically function properly first.
Most high schools have the option of starting school as early as 7 A.M., offering these classes as first or zero periods. Many do this in order to fit in extra classes or to allow students to fit their parents’ schedules.
However, students must get an average of 8-10 hours of sleep in order to receive adequate sleep benefit according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study. In addition, 28% of students in high school have fallen asleep at least once in their class.
While some state that high school students can easily just sleep earlier. Many are packed with an incredible workload.
Furthermore, many students are just not able to sleep early. In teenagers, puberty causes the “phase delay” which shifts the time they sleep by two hours. So many students usually fall asleep after 11am and are supposed to wake up around 8 A.M.
For this, it is important that schools make a change in order to allow for extra sleep. Mission Viejo High School already tried this by allowing for late starts on Mondays.
Late starts allow even the students with first periods to wake up much later. Instead of starting school at 6:56 A.M., they start at 8:39 A.M., allowing for a lot more sleep.
However, some may not see it feasible to allow for late starts to occur everyday. In reality, the school can adjust to this bell schedule everyday as it benefits the students.
While tutorial may be removed, and classes slightly shorter in time, it gives students opportunity to get as much sleep as they can. Having the class period a little shorter is a lot better than having the student sleep in class and not focus at all. In addition, the teacher could set a little time to help those students in need of extra help.
Also, this would not hinder extracurricular activities as school would still get out at the same time. So those very committed to sports, clubs, or other important ventures would not be affected.
Starting the day would also reduce the risk of students getting into car accidents driving to and away from school. Many students have to wake up early in order to get here, and by the end of the day may be extremely tired and have to drive back home.
Starting school later is not only important for the physical health of a teen, but also for them to be able to succeed without any extra disruptions.