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Teachers: Should high school students have a later start to the day?

Comments: 10

Sorry if this is not a forum that allows foreigners to participate in. This topic used to be hotly debated in my country. Since excellent high schools are mostly located in major cities, students who live in the suburbs or the countryside must get up before five-thirty so as not to arrive school later than 7:30, the official standard of being on time to school in our system. Now the problem is that we are a very competitive society and high school students tend to go to bed until after midnight so as to prepare for bunches of tests the next day. As a result, they often sleep just five or six hours a day. Just for your reference. Thank you.

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Eugene L
Taipei, AL

We need to stop ignoring the studies that support later start times for high school students. Extra-curricular activities need to work around a schedule that would benefit high school students' success in the classroom, not the other way around.

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Jeff Welcher
NYSUT
Oneida, NY

Studies have shown that high school students need 8 1/2 hours of sleep. Additionally, teens rarely go to sleep before 11:00 p.m. as circadian rhythms delay with the onset of puberty (Hanson, 2005). This makes an "alert" 7:30 a.m. start time nearly impossible to obtain for teens. This evidence also warrants switching elementary student and high school student schedules. Extra-curricular activities can be scheduled around academics with before-school practices or lunch meetings. Hansen, M., Janssen, I., Schiff, A., Zee, P., & Dubocovich, M. (2005). The impact of school daily schedule on adolescent sleep. Pediatrics, 115(6), 1555-1561.

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Margaret Molnar
Wheeling, WV

The high school day currently starts before 8AM. This early hour does not allow time for the student or the teacher to prepare and eat a breakfast in an unhurried manner unless he or she arises at 4 or 5 in the morning and has a travel time of one hour or less. People's health and well being are more important to their daily performance at whatever the task may be than rushing to be in a specific place at a given time. I recommend an arrival time no earlier than 8:45AM, the way it used to be in the 1970's.

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Beatrice Y. Rice
Philadelphia, PA

Considering that teenagers already stay up for various reasons, including homework, it would definitely improve their working capability throughout the day to start later. Also, teenager's bodies are wired to stay up late (http://healthmad.com/children/why-do-teens-sleep-and-wake-up-late/) and it has already been proven to be beneficial for teens to have a later start in the day(http://www.cehd.umn.edu/research/highlights/Sleep/).

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Caitlin Meisle
Kelseyville, CA

Michael Monaco has a valid argument concerning the problems that might be created by starting later. However, since we are talking about "flipping the class", why not flip the whole school day? Simply hold extra-curricular events (including sports) before school instead of after. The kids involved can arrive as early as they like, while those who would prefer to get some sleep could arrive at the new later start time. . . . and all the kids could leave school at the same time (instead of arriving at the same time).

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Alan Bronstein
(PFT) Phila Fed of Teachers
Elkins Park, PA

If all high schools had later starting times it would not only help out the students, but they would all be on the same page as far as athletics. The elementary schools could start earlier which would help working parents, and since younger children tend to rise earlier it would be a win-win. Years ago all schools went from 8 to 3 and athletic events still went on although not everyone plays sports. The sleep studies and medical reports should be heeded.

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Alison Meyer
St Petersburg, FL

High school students should not have a later start time. My students are the first to admit they stay up too late playing video games and talking/texting friends. Giving them a later start time would condone these actions when in fact they should be encouraged to break this bad habit. When they go to college or get a job they need to be prepared to start their day at 8:00 as most businesses do.

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Amy Carman
Sanderson, TX

many of them have jobs... later start time just makes them need to leave erlier... they will not be able to pick thier start time in a job or college... responsibility is key for high school students...

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kathy schmitt
CTU 279
clevleand, OH

You are not preparing children for the real world where start times are 5 a.m., 6 a.m.? How about have a law where parents are not allowed to have their children out past 9 p.m. If children are in bed at a reasonable time they can get up on time for a 7 a.m or 8 a.m start time. I have seen MANY elementary children in the resturants and stores 10 p.m. and later...

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Karen Kachadurian
DFT 231
Detroit, MI

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